Kevin Kwee, co-founder of the prestigious Kai Suites, shares his vision for Singapore’s first confinement luxury hotel delivering a one-stop, holistic, specialised pre- and postpartum care programme.
At Kai Suites, Singapore’s first luxury hotel concept exclusive to mothers and their newborn, sensitivity, empathy and grace are the customer service cornerstones of the tranquil, relaxing environment set in a contemporary, Japanese-inspired interior. Occupying two floors are 18 elegantly appointed and fully-equipped private Deluxe Suites (from 23 sqm) and Premium Suites (from 32sqm), accessible only to staying guests and registered visitors, to ensure full privacy and comfort for the new mum, as rest and relaxation while bonding with baby are top priority. “We’re taking a step back and going back to the fundamentals.
Although it is a luxury product, Kai Suites is about creating a great experience and delivering a great value proposition for the client. We’re focusing on what is most important to the new mother and evolving a product around her needs. It’s not rocket science. It’s the small things that make a difference and it’s all those small things put together that make a huge difference. I am blessed to have an amazing team of passionate individuals that come to work every day, to create those little magical moments that matter. Despite so many moving parts, everything and everyone at Kai Suites is interlinked,” says Kevin Kwee, co-founder of Kai Suites.
Kai embraces omotenashi, the Japanese concept of genuine, wholehearted hospitality, paying attention to the smallest of details and anticipating every need of the new mum to deliver an unforgettable experience. The mission of this luxury confinement hotel is educating, encouraging, motivating and empowering mothers in their journey of motherhood. In Japanese culture, ‘Kai’ symbolises the restoration and recovery that mothers need most after giving birth; while in Chinese culture it represents triumph, as child birthing is one of the most victorious moments in a lifetime
“We have six pillars or six main core components - the product; customer experience; the value proposition for our customer; and the three stakeholders: the client, the investors, and the team that makes it all happen. This is definitely not a one-man show. Our business is driven by a core team of highly motivated, like-minded individuals. We’re focused on the product, the customer and the value creation, a common goal which allows us a very consistent approach,” says Kwee.
Range Of Services
Kai Suites’ services encompass the full spectrum of maternity care ranging from prenatal and postnatal education, to mother and baby care after birth, postnatal nourishment and nutrition, and body rejuvenation, by combining Asian cultural practices and traditions with modern science from the west. Kai Suites’ support system of specialists includes qualified and experienced nurses, a culinary team specialising in maternity cuisine, visiting TCM practitioners, and spa and aesthetics therapists at its new Spa & Aesthetics Centre, complete with state-of-the-art equipment that provides treatment for a comprehensive spectrum of postpartum issues.
An introductory rate of $25,000 for a 28-day programme in a Deluxe Suite includes accommodation for mother and spouse with full amenities, 24-hour care by experienced maternity nurses for mother and infant, as well as three nourishing Kai Cuisine meals and three snacks per day for the mother, including postpartum beverages. Mothers can also choose the Kai Suites Combo Experience, where after a minimum 14-day stay at Kai Suites, a visiting nurse comes home to care for mother and baby, along with Kai Cuisine meals for the mother for another fortnight. “We’re here to add value. This is not a holiday. It’s a vital opportunity to recover. We want our mothers to rest and bond with their baby in the most comfortable way possible,” shares Kwee.
Kai Suite’s signature confinement Kai Cuisine restores the body and fortifies the spirit by combining TCM principles of healing, detoxification, restoration and nourishment; and postpartum dietary science with gastronomy, to ensure a full recovery. The talented in-house team of chefs use recipes sourced from dietary specialists through the generations, employing both Asian and Western cooking techniques. Menus are planned according to the mother’s childbirth method, the different phases and rate of postpartum recovery, the required amount of nutrition, as well as cultural background and preferences to give a sense of familiarity to these comfort dishes, and are adjusted after each weekly TCM consultation according to the mother’s rate of recovery and body condition.
With Kai Cuisine being as pure, artisanal and wholesome as possible, there is no use of any added MSG or artificial additives, while natural sugars and umami are extolled from the ingredients themselves. The best, natural herbs are used, such as black dates instead of the usual red variety, and sulphur-free ‘dang gui’ or angelica root. Much care is also given to minimalise or completely avoid the use of ingredients that may eventually cause gas or colic in the baby.
Additionally, most of the stocks, sauces, seasonings, and condiments are made in-house in small batches from scratch, including wheat noodles, infused oils and syrups, oyster sauce, tomato sauce, Hakka yellow wine, red lees paste, chicken essence, kaya and fruit jams. In addition, stringent efforts are made to avoid the use of aluminium foil and cookware, as well as plastic containers and similar items that may pose harmful health effects.
Kai Cuisine is also available as food delivery (from $3,500 for a 28-day programme). “Currently we have about 10-15 food delivery orders on a daily basis. Some are for clients who have already checked out and want to continue the nourishment at home; some are for people who have undergone surgery; and some are just for people who want to eat something healthier for dinner every day. That doesn’t mean that we are becoming a food delivery company. Rather, we will do as much as we can because of our core value of helping people and providing value to our clients.”
Kwee goes on to say that the difference between Kai Suites and the multitude of other regional postpartum centres comes down to Singapore’s high quality standards, stringent laws and regulations. “Take our location for instance. This three-storied building was originally occupied by the Singapore Family Planning and Population Board, so it’s apt that this heritage building is Kai Suites today.”
“Typical five-star hotels have a service-to-guest ratio of 0.8 to 1.2 per client. We have two people per client, and when we are fully booked, that goes up to approximately 3.2,” says Kwee. “Most of the news on a confinement forum is often bad news. But it needn’t be anymore. Our strategy is to set the gold standard for our services, impart knowledge with local Singaporeans and to get local talent to do the job,” he says. “Another of our USPs is our 15-key mindset, our attention to detail, and our proactiveness in creating genuine support groups and communities, especially for first-time parents. Mums have their own bonding session, and for fathers, we organise small things such as little surprise breakfasts to chat over a nice meal. These are not big things, nor are they expensive. But these small touches go an extremely long way. This is where I get the most valuable feedback from; this is where I get my inspiration,” says Kwee.