KINN Studios: The DANAMIC Staycation Review

They say Singapore is a melting pot of cuisine, but few areas encapsulate that phrase as much as Keong Saik Road. From Kafe Utu to Alegria, Potato Head, and Lime House, there’s enough to be full just thinking about all the spots. But Keong Saik Road is, of course, more than just about the food. Recently, a new name, KINN Studios, has popped up to offer some R&R within the vibrant area. 

Taking over the building formally known as ‘The Keong Saik Hotel’, KINN Studios is the second establishment from KINN, a boutique hospitality brand. Their first is KINN Capsule, just a short distance away at South Bridge Road. As the name suggests, KINN Capsule has capsule-style accommodation for guests while advertising a safe and relaxing space to commune. KINN Studios echoes those same principles but offers private rooms for the utmost comfort.

I could not try out the many food options at Keong Saik Road, but I did spend time taking in the experience of KINN Studios over my one-night stay. Here is what KINN Studios is all about.

The Location and Check-In Process

KINN Studios: Entrance
The subtle entrance to KINN Studios

If you value convenience, you’ll love where KINN Studios is located. The hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Outram Park Station, connected to the East-West Line [Green], North-East Line [Purple], and the Thomson–East Coast Line. If you’re coming from the Downtown line [Blue], you can drop off at Chinatown Station, also nearby. Whichever station you choose, it should take less than 10 minutes to get to the hotel.

Even closer are the various food establishments you can dine at around the area. Right next to the hotel, you can savour French cuisine from Mag’s Wine Kitchen, while the previously mentioned Alegria (which serves Latin-Asian food) is just a little further away, hidden around the corner. Those are just some of the eclectic options nearby, but if you’re thinking of getting some local food instead, you can just take a short stroll to Chinatown Complex for hawker fare.

Besides the food, the area is great for taking photos, too. Of course, there are the individual old-school shophouses you can snap shots of for that retro look, but just step a step outside the entrance of the hotel, and you’ll find a highly Instagrammable visual of the vintage architecture with the modern Pinnacle @ Duxton staring down in the background.

KINN Studios: Entrance 2
View from outside the hotel

There’s a lot to like about the location where KINN Studios is situated, but you might have trouble finding it in the first place. The hotel has retained the shophouse design and architecture of the buildings in the surrounding area to give off a traditional look, but it perhaps camouflages the hotel a little too well. If not for the unassuming plaques fitted next to the entrance and side of the building — which can be easy to miss — you wouldn’t know that this is a hotel.

KINN Studios: Entrance 3
Be on the lookout for this plaque when finding the hotel

KINN Studios has no designated parking area for guests, but public parking is available right outside. However, given the location’s popularity, you’ll likely have trouble finding a spot during the peak periods. So come early if you want to drive; otherwise, it is best to take public transport.

When you get through the entrance, you’ll immediately see the front desk. I’m being generous when I say that the hotel lobby is small. Still, the pastel aesthetic certainly mitigates any sense of claustrophobia and brings a warm, inviting atmosphere when you enter the building.

KINN Studios: Front Desk
The cosy Front Desk at KINN Studios

For extra security, the hotel automatically locks the entrance after 10pm to deter unruly roamers during the late nights. Guests are provided with the password to the door when they check in, and I’ve been told that the hotel routinely changes the code every so often. 

But before you head to the front desk, you may be drawn to the small rest spot next to the entrance. Proudly displayed on the shelves are various books picked out by Chayadi Karim, founder of KINN — a process that his Marketing Manager Samantha Loh joked was hard work given how meticulous he was in choosing which books to get. But besides being a display, guests are welcome to take some time to read the books.

KINN Studios: Reading Spot
An intimate reading spot conveniently by the entrance

Next to the front desk, there’s also a little alcove to the side, which houses a coffee machine. For now, the space is largely vacant (though it does advertise some KINN merchandise), but the hotel plans to turn it into a tiny coffee bar so guests can get their caffeine fix.

The Room

Once I had checked in, I was escorted to my room. KINN Studios does not use a card system for its rooms, so I was instructed to create a passcode for whenever I wanted to enter the room. Some will probably like this approach, as it means that losing your card is never an issue, but obviously, you miss out on the convenience aspect.

KINN Studios has three room types available, and my stay was in the Cosy Room option. They are primarily located on the second and third floors and come in two variations — one with a queen-sized bed and the other with separate twin beds — but ostensibly, they are the same room.

The room’s decor is kept simple. KINN Studios has elected to use a neutral beige tone for the walls. It’s a little plain, perhaps, but it fits the relaxing mental wellness vibe that the hotel is going for. At around 15 m², the room is just about right in size for two people, but there is an extended ceiling in one section that helps make it feel bigger.

KINN Studios: Windows
As you can see, behind the modern glass is the original shophouse window panes

The Cosy Room is the only room option with windows, but the implementation here isn’t that great. Because the hotel uses a traditional shophouse window design, natural light can only stream through the top half of the windows. We were informed that we can’t open up the windows as well. As you can imagine, the room was pretty dim since the skies were rather gloomy on the day.

So why this design, then? Well, the hotel was built within a heritage building, and the original architecture had to be refitted. Aesthetically, it works, but unfortunately, it isn’t great functionally.

Within the room, you can find a work desk that you can use, though the hotel appliances take up part of it. Still, there’s enough space for a laptop and mouse setup if you plan on working here or enjoying a takeaway meal, though it is slightly cramped because of the cubicle-like design.

On the desk, you can find a kettle, cups, instant coffee and tea, a telephone, a hairdryer, two universal power points, a box of tissues, and two complimentary bottles of water. 

KINN Studios: Work Desk
A little desk setup that’s all yours!

Underneath the table, the hotel has also provided a safe box and a mini fridge for storing sensitive items and snacks/drinks. The mini fridge isn’t stocked—not much of a surprise there. 

Near the door, there’s a shelving area where you can conveniently place your bags and items after returning from a trip out. The shelving area also has drawers and cupboards to store items out of sight, which is a helpful addition.

And then there’s, of course, the beds. The twin beds are Super Single-size, and KINN Studios generously provides two pillows for each, which some higher-end hotels don’t even do. The bed mattresses and pillows are on the firmer side, which some people will like. Personally, I prefer those that are softer.

KINN Studios: Beds 2
KINN Studios: Beds
Bed and shelving areas, though we got a little excited and sat on them before we got the pictures down (oops!)

On each bedside, there’s a small table fitted with a reading light, regular power outlets and a single USB port for charging. The hotel has also thoughtfully added a switch so you can turn off the light without needing to leave your bed, but this only controls one of the lights.

The TV placement is above the work desk, which makes it comfortable to watch from the bed while lying down. It has the usual apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime for your entertainment needs. That being said, the size of the TV is relatively small, so it isn’t something I would necessarily use to watch something I was trying to enjoy.

Next, I should preface that the bathroom is pretty small. But it has a different feel. While the general room opts for a safe look, here it is anything but. The combination of the marble walls with the metal vanity area creates a decidedly stark look, which I quite like. It certainly adds a modern air to it.

KINN Studios: Bathroom Entrance
The bathroom, though small, does feel quite luxurious

You’ll find amenities like toothbrushes, shower caps, and more within the vanity area. Most importantly, it’s nice that KINN Studios has equipped a bidet hose next to the toilet for those who prefer that option; it’s more eco-friendly, too.

While I did say the bathroom may be small, the hotel is generous with the space given to the shower area. Due to the open concept, there’s a good berth of space afforded here. There’s a rain shower equipped here, with a hand shower alongside it. The coverage of the rain shower is pretty good, while the hand shower has a decent level of water pressure.

I also want to give a special mention to the soap that KINN Studios has provided. The hotel has partnered with Visage, a local shampoo and body wash company, to create unique soap variations used throughout the hotel. The White Musk shampoo and body wash offered here is nice and light on the skin, delivering a subtle scent as you wash it off. 

KINN Studios: Bathroom Soap
KINN Studios’s special soap is made in collaboration with Visage; it’s fancy!

My biggest nitpick is the lack of towels. There’s just one full-sized towel for showering, and a hand towel hung at the sink. Given that the shower area is completely open with no dividers, it invariably gets wet everywhere, and there isn’t a rug available to dry off your feet once you step out. The hotel does provide slippers, but this isn’t a good solution. Make sure to ask for an extra towel from the reception.

However, while the room has decent features, it unfortunately isn’t as relaxing as it can be. The walls here are thin, and I could hear other guests walking and talking in the hallways as they returned to their rooms. I don’t think they were being especially noisy as well. It’s certainly an issue you will likely face late into the day.


Like KINN Capsule, KINN Studios focuses on communal connections, and that aspect shows in the hotel’s facilities.

The highlight is the open lounge area. Decked in earthy colours, it provides a calming space for guests to do their work in peace. Opposite the seating area, you can also admire the quirky animal paintings by lettering and typography artist Qinyi, with whom KINN Studios has collaborated. I’m also told that different paintings will be rotated seasonally to refresh the look of the lounge.

KINN Studios: Open Lounge
KINN Studios: Open Lounge Paintings
Take a look at their open lounge with colourful paintings for that little whimsical daydream in between spreadsheets

There is some good intention in designing the lounge as a working space, but some things could be improved. The power outlets are peculiarly located on each end of the semi-circular seating area. You’ll need a long cable to reach the outlet unless you are seated at the corresponding end. If you are sitting in the middle, you miss out completely; the power outlets are simply too far away. I wonder why the hotel couldn’t install the outlets behind the backrests for convenience, even if it does muddle the design a little.

Right next to the open lounge, guests can also make use of the pantry. It has the core essentials like coffee, tea, and filtered water available, with a decently sized dining table provided as well. It’s certainly better to have your dinner here than in the room, plus I think the environment is better than the open lounge for working, in my opinion.

KINN Studios: Pantry
The pantry area feels a little like home—even more so if you’re up for socialising with the other guests!

Upcoming Plans

When I stayed there, KINN Studios functioned like a typical hotel. You got a room, stayed for the booked period, checked out, and left. However, the hotel plans to offer value-added experiences for its guests!

It’s very much like what they do at KINN Capsule. Not only are there perks set to be included with your room booking, like free breakfasts every first Tuesday of the month and complimentary fitness classes, but there is also the opportunity for events. Previously, KINN has brought in singers like Regina Song and Dominic Chin to perform.

The KINN staff were also keen to emphasise their partnerships with local brands. One of them is Ahimsa Cafe, and my colleague and I were given a short workshop about creating our own healthy shots. I suspect the open lounge would probably be the perfect space for these kinds of workshops.

KINN Studios: Collaborations
Ahimsa Cafe is one brand that KINN collaborates with, providing workshops for guests and creating memorable experiences


KINN Studios is a foodie’s dream—a short distance away from the very best of Keong Saik and even more if you’re willing to venture a little bit further into Chinatown. It’s pretty good for travellers, too, near a pair of connected MRT stations and just a few stops away from the town area.

Meanwhile, the hotel provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere to its guests. Rooms are comfortable despite their size, with the decor aiding the relaxing vibes and guests enjoying the decent set of amenities equipped within the space. And if you’re a social creature, the lineup of activities by KINN Studios might elevate your stay.

My takeaway is that KINN Studios is an establishment that focuses a lot on style, which isn’t inherently a bad thing. But there are a couple of chinks in its appearance, namely the thin walls of the rooms and the confusing placement of the power outlets in the open lounge.  

As it is, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. So, if you’re looking for a great hotel in a convenient location, a good number of eating spots, and a decent distance to town, KINN Studios is worth booking!

Booking KINN Studios

KINN Studios can be booked on their official website or your typical travel sites like,, and Traveloka

Available room types at KINN Studios are the Ground Rooms, Cosy Rooms, and Hideaway Rooms. Details on the rooms are found below:

Room Details
Ground RoomGround floor rooms that are wheelchair-accessible (windowless)
Cosy RoomSecond and Third-floor rooms with natural light
Hideaway RoomTop-floor rooms with attic design and added privacy (windowless)
  • Check-In: Starting at 3pm
  • Check-Out: Till 11am

Photos by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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