ReTRIeVIA

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Page 49

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Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel was the brainchild of four visionary Armenian brothers:  Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak Sarkies.  The Sarkies brothers were well-known hoteliers having earlier opened the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang and The Strand Hotel in Rangoon.

The Hotel opened in 1887 and was originally housed in a sombre-looking old bungalow known as the Beach House.  It was later renamed Raffles Hotel, after Singapore’s founder.  One of its earliest guests was the famous novelist Joseph Conrad.

The main building of Raffles Hotel as we know it today was opened in 1899.  Over the years, the hotel played host to numerous celebrities including Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Chaplin and Noel Coward.

The main building was gazetted as a National Monument in 1987.  Thereafter, the hotel underwent massive renovations and a whole new wing on North Bridge Road was added.  It reopened in 1991 to great acclaim and retains its status as Singapore’s premier address.

The Raffles Hotel is world-famous for one other thing: The Singapore Sling.  The drink was created by Ngiam Tong Boon for the Raffles Hotel Bar sometime in 1910s.  It was also reputed that a tiger was shot under the billiard table at the Bar & Billiard Room in 1902.

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Written by victorkoo

11 January, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Philatelic Book

Tagged with , ,

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