July is my birthday month and it is customary to celebrate it with a weekend staycation.

Since we got married, my husband and I made a deal that we will try a different hotel for every staycation, and 4 years in, we barely skim the surface of some of the best accommodation our island has to offer.

And now that we are parents to an infant — making getting away at a whim very difficult — staycations are the next best thing.

Two weekends ago, we stayed a night at the newly opened Hotel Clover The Arts.

The art-themed boutique hotel opened its doors in April and is located in the Chinatown area, at the intersection of South Bridge Road and Hong Kong Street. For the uninitiated, it is a an area bustling with backpacker hostels as well as a pub-lined street worthy of both seasoned local bar-hoppers and tourists alike (the hipster joint The Vault is mere minutes walk away).

Hotel Clover The Arts is nestled in the center of a row of conserved shophouses. The exterior is a striking blue and orange (a color scheme dictated by the authorities and must be preserved) but don’t be fooled by its staid demeanor. Within the mid-19th century shophouse is a six-storey, 44-room hotel that is very convicted in creating a unique staying experience for holiday makers through its individually art-themed rooms. The result is a visual feast of creativity and a wide range of design aesthetics, from retro kitsch, urban street art to Pop Art and line art minimalism. For sure, each room in the hotel exudes its own distinct quality, unique to the artwork that is displayed in the room.

We stayed in the Mt Fuji room, which was mural-ed by the local artist Ceno2, whose brainchild Artkhalytis congregates a group of dedicated graffiti artists with formal training in fine art.

Mount Fuji room @ Hotel Clover The Arts. It was as close as the famous Japanese natural landmark as we could get!

The room, which is an Arts King (one of 3 in the hotel, priced from $567 per room per night) grade serves up amenities that can give the bigger hotels a run for their money. We had:

 Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine

 Fully Air-conditioned with individual control

 Laptop-sized safe

 Branded bathroom amenities

 Hairdryer

 Laundry & dry cleaning service

 Daily housekeeping service

 Complimentary coffee & tea making facilities

 LED HDTV with satellite channels

 Complimentary Internet (Cabled & WIFI)

 Complimentary local calls

 Iron & ironing board (upon request)

 Secured key card locking system

Not too shabby at all. Our room over looks South Bridge Road and we had these little porcelain dolls to watch the world go by alongside us:

Little Japanese dolls perched on the window sill next to the bed

Ceno2 ‘s work dominates most of Hotel Clover The Arts — from the exterior of the back of the hotel (a waterfall that looks like water is cascading down to the ground) and the lobby area to the corridors of some of the levels of the hotel.

Ceno2 amazing waterfall drawn on the exterior of Hotel Clover The Arts

When I was told Ceno2 uses spray paint to draw most of the works in the hotel, my jaw dropped! I would never have thought they were sprayed on because the strokes are so precise and intricate. I guess, it’s truly what Ceno2 himself calls it his signature ‘Graffiti Fine Art’. Ceno2’s work can be found in prominent venues in Singapore including Club Kyo.

I had the honors of being taken round a tour of the hotel and was shown some of the more popular and significant rooms in the building. Here are the noteworthy and ones that really spoke out to me, even though I’m not a super artsy person (I suppose that’s the beauty of the place; art is being brought down to the level that even masses or those who have not prior contact with arts can appreciate. That’s what ‘art education’ should be, I say!):

Because I love tulips. This would have been my second choice room if Mt Fuji was not available

It’s like Kai Kai and Jia Jia are reunited with their families… on a hotel wall!

A wall mural drawn entirely by eyeliners titled “Diary of Singapore” by 3 students from Raffles Design Institute

In a bold move to lend a voice to the Singapore’s brand of creativity, Hotel Clover The Arts invited students from different arts and design schools in Singapore to participate in a mural competition for 19 rooms. The winning piece (above pictured), by Devina Chandra, Vini Kurniawan and Angel Jayayanti of Raffles Design Institute, was of a beautifully rendered vintage travel journal encapsulating some of the numerous attractions of Singapore, including Marina Bay Sands, Bugis Street and Universal Studios. So guests can enjoy not just a visual feast but also take a leaf from the journal on some must-sees and must-dos in Singapore. I took a read and they’re really legit and good travel advice in there!

A gorgeous piece picturing plum blossoms by the  Life Art Society;

And try not to knick these adorable adornments you might find strategically placed around the rooms– window sills, by the headboard, on the study table, the door of your bathrooms. The themes of the rooms were really thought out through and through right down to the detailing — neat!

You might find a couple of pint-sized Singapore Girls in your room ;)

You might find a couple of pint-sized Singapore Girls in your room 😉

I asked them if these were for sale (obviously I was not the first to do so) and the hotel management said they’re looking into making these available for retail for guests soon 🙂

Or how about toying with some samsui women with their unmistakable red headgears?

Or how about toying with some samsui women with their unmistakable red headgears?

And I thought I’d provide 3 tips on how to make the best of your stay at Hotel Clover The Arts:

Tip #1: When you check in, INSIST on a tour of the hotel. The concierge/ hotel manager will be more than happy to do so. And you will get a better sense of the concept of the hotel and the philosophy behind all the hard work in creating the art pieces in the rooms. Ask them to tell you about the story of the cat who’s always up to different adventures on different storeys of the hotel 😉

Tip #2: If you’re a light sleeper, opt for a room away from the main South Bridge Road. Traffic noise can startle the sensitive of ears

Tip #3: To see Ceno2’s waterfall mural in its full glory, see it sometime at dusk, between 6 and 7pm. The evening lighting really makes a difference!

So are you arts-ttracted yet to Hotel Clover The Arts and fancy a stay there?

Good news for Alvinology.com followers and readers: The people at Hotel Clover The Arts are in the spirit of giving (because they genuinely want people to experience works of some real local talents and the arts) away a one night stay! All you have to do is this:

1) Head over and like the Facebook page of Hotel Clover The Arts

AND answer the following questions:

2)

Q1: What was the name of the artist who created the Mt Fuji mural in one of the rooms?

Q2: What did he use to draw the mural?

(You would have to like the Facebook page and answer both questions right to stand a chance to win the coveted prize!)

Email your answers along with your full name, a screenshot to show you’ve liked the Hotel Clover The Arts Facebook and your mobile to wong(dot)adlena(at)gmail.com by the 9th August, 6pm

One winner will be picked at random. Good luck!

PROMOTION: 

Hotel Clover The Arts is offering an Artsy Singapore Staycation package offers room at 15% off Best Available Rate, with breakfast for two and a little surprise gift pack! This package is available for booking from 10th July, ​and the stay runs from 1st August – 31st August (Terms & Conditions applie​d​). Guests could contact Hotel Clover The Arts at [email protected] or 6439 7088, quote ‘An Artsy Singapore Staycation’ and select their preferred rooms amongst the 44 rooms.

Happy National Day in advance from me to all of you!

 HOTEL CLOVER THE ARTS GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: 

We’re pleased to announce the winner is:

LIM Qin Liang
M: +65 943XXXX4

Congratulations! You will be contacted by the hotel representative soon. Enjoy your staycation at Hotel Clover The Arts!