Raffles Hotel

The year 1887 heralded the arrival of “A New Hotel in Singapore” as advertised in ‘The Straits Times’ on 19 September of that year. An institution of Singapore until today, its founding was almost an accident. An Armenian hotelier in Penang, Martin Sarkies, was forced to seek greener pastures down south due to rental disputes with his landlord. In Singapore, he and his brother Tigran found a cooperative landlord in Syed Mohamed Alsagoff, a wealthy Arab merchant and owner of the Beach House, an old bungalow on the edge of the once fashionable European residential area of Kampong Glam. Large and unpretentious, the bungalow was built in the early 1830s by Robert Scott, a well-known Penang resident. By 1 December 1887, Raffles Hotel welcomed its first guest.