The Omni Marco Polo Hotel at Tanglin Circus

Located next to Tanglin Circus at the junction of Tanglin and Grange Roads, the Hotel Malaysia was then the biggest modern hotel complex in Singapore when it opened in April 1968. Built at a cost of $15 million by the Goodwood Group headed by prominent banker and hotelier Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat (father of film director Eric Khoo), the hotel housed 300 rooms and boasted modern facilities such as a 24-hour coffee shop, circular swimming pool, shopping arcade, gymnasium, steam bath and massage parlours. Designed by Alfred Wong Partnership, the hotel’s interior was adorned with oriental-style materials such as jade, marble and teak. The exotic theme was completed by lobby lounge girls wearing cheongsams. Situated between the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Orchard Road tourist and shopping belt, the property was ideally located to tap into Singapore’s tourism boom in the late 1960s and 1970s. The hotel was extremely popular in the 1970s and hosted foreign personalities such as British pop singer Sir Cliff Richard and Hollywood actor Roger Moore of James Bond fame. The property was renamed the Marco Polo Hotel in 1973 after it was bought over by the Hong Kong-based Peninsula Group. Following another change in ownership in 1986, the hotel was rechristened as the Omni Marco Polo Hotel three years later. It was eventually demolished in the late 1990s to make way for the Grange Residences condominium development.