The Oberoi Imperial Hotel at Jalan Rumbia

Tucked away in Jalan Rumbia street off River Valley Road, the Imperial Hotel was one of the many properties established around the outlying city area during the hotel construction boom of the late 1960s and 1970s. Extensive renovation works on what was initially a block of residential flats was started in 1968 and the hotel was opened for business in 1971. The 12-storey luxury hotel housed 564 rooms and provided guests with modern amenities such as a coffee house, three restaurants offering Chinese, Indian and Continental cuisine, a sky lounge, an open-air swimming pool, and a sauna bath. In keeping with the luxury theme, three huge Italian chandeliers and wall-to-wall murals adorned the interior of the hotel’s main lobby. The project was plagued with financial problems from the start and this prompted the owners to appoint the Oberoi Hotels of India group to manage the property, which was renamed the Oberoi Imperial Hotel. One of the first foreign dignitaries to stay at the hotel was King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga, whose tall frame required the installation of a special four-poster bed in the presidential suite. In 1977, the hotel was sold to the Jhunjhnuwala brothers of the Hong Kong-based Hind Group for $37.5 million. The new owners eventually decided to take over the running of the hotel from Oberoi Hotels and the property reverted to being known simply as the Imperial Hotel. The Hind Group announced plans to redevelop the site of the hotel for residential use in 1997 and the Imperial condominium project was subsequently launched by CapitaLand in 2003 after it had bought over the site.