Situated at the junction of Tanglin Road and the Orchard Road tourist and shopping belt, the Ming Court Hotel was officially opened in June 1970 by then Minister for Labour and Foreign Affairs S. Rajaratnam. Built at a cost of $20 million, the 350-room luxury hotel was designed to capture the pomp and glory of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) of China. The oriental theme of the hotel, which was to be “An Inn for Emperors”, was reflected externally through the building’s 17-storey pagoda-like tower. The Ming Dynasty theme was also carried forward into the interior of the hotel, where the furnishings were designed to look like those from that era. To complete the oriental fantasy, the hotel had a Chinese-style restaurant, the Chip Bee Hall, and another eatery that served continental fare, the Genghis Grill Room. In contrast to the traditional theme, the hotel also housed a modern cafe, the Coffee Shop, and Barbarella, a futuristic discotheque with psychedelic lighting that was popular with swingers. Originally owned by the Goodwood Group headed by prominent banker and hotelier Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat (father of film director Eric Khoo), the hotel changed hands in 1991 and was renamed as Orchard Parade Hotel.