The Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road

Situated near the junction of Grange Road and the Orchard Road tourist and shopping belt, the Mandarin Hotel was one of the first large-scale hotels to be established in the Orchard Road area during the hotel construction boom of the late 1960s and 1970s. The site for the hotel was purchased in 1964 by former Overseas Union Bank Chairman George Lien Ying Chow, who pushed for its construction in 1967 in anticipation of Singapore’s upcoming tourism boom. No expense was spared for the project, with Hollywood set designer Don Ashton specially invited to Singapore in 1969 to work on the interior of the hotel. Although the Mandarin Hotel opened its doors to guests in November 1971, the project was only fully completed in 1973. The crowning glory of the 39-storey hotel was a revolving restaurant, Top of the M, housed in a saucer-shaped tower on the hotel’s rooftop. It was one of only two such restaurants in Singapore (the other was the Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant) at the time. In 1980, a second wing was added to the hotel. Following extensive renovation works, the hotel (now known as the Meritus Mandarin) and its four-storey shopping mall, the Mandarin Gallery, were reopened in 2009 with completely new glass facades and updated interiors. The driveway of the hotel, which used to face Orchard Road, was shifted to the side along Orchard Link as part of the revamp.