7 Heritage Hotels in Singapore That History Buffs Would Love
Singapore may be famous for its swanky towers of glass and steel. Still, the architecture and history lovers gravitate more towards the city’s slew of heritage buildings that have been repurposed to become hotels.
These impressive structures reflect old-world charm and sophistication, supposed to be a relic of a bygone era. The government didn’t let these beautiful buildings go to waste and transformed them into national monuments.
If you’re looking for more than just your basic hotel room, then there’s no better place to stay than in one of these heritage hotels in Singapore.
1. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
A commanding presence on the edge of the Singapore River, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is an attraction itself, with tourists posing in front of its imposing columns.
Before it became a 400-room luxury hotel, the Fullerton Building, which was built in 1928, housed the general post office and The Singapore Club. The Japanese Army even used it during World War II as quarters, hospitals, and bomb refuge.
The hotel’s stylishly contemporary interiors provide an exciting contrast to the building’s Palladian architecture, with its grand façade, Doric columns, and porte-cocheres (grand doorway). It was declared a national monument in 2015 and remained to this day as one of the best luxury hotels in Singapore.
2. Raffles Hotel Singapore
After a massive renovation, Raffles Hotel Singapore re-opened in August 2019 to welcome guests to partake of the grandeur of this national monument.
The 115-room hotel retained its rich and traditional luxury and polish, which is already evident in its interiors: period furniture, quaint fixtures and fittings, and accommodating butlers-on-call. It’s like a grand old dame made glorious once more.
Now, the colonial-style luxury hotel is known for its opulent surroundings and its legendary service. Equally legendary guests that have graced its hallways include American comic actor Charlie Chaplin, English-American actress Elizabeth Taylor, and British playwright Somerset Maugham.
3. Hotel Fort Canning
What was once part of the British Far East Command HQ is now an 86-room hotel with lavish rooms and two full-sized pools.
Hotel Fort Canning was the site for the palatial resort of former Majapahit kings, which made it an exclusive address of many of Singapore’s colonial leaders and rulers dating back to the 14th century.
Much of the building’s original structures were retained and lovingly restored, including its famous grand stairway. Hotel Fort Canning is a lush retreat with deluxe garden rooms with private sundecks and premium bathrooms that guests love.
4. Capella Singapore
These two colonial buildings dating back to the 1880s were restored and transformed into a lush getaway set against the rainforests on Sentosa Island.
Re-opened in 2009 as a hotel designed by British architect Norman Foster, Capella Singapore is now a magnificent resort situated on immaculately landscaped grounds across the South China Sea.
Exclusivity is another selling point of the Capella; only 112 keys for its range of luxury accommodations from premier rooms and villas to colonial manors. The icing on the cake is the 900 pieces of artwork scattered around the resort.
5. The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore is an Art Deco jewel of a hotel that is located in two restored historic landmarks known as the Venetian Renaissance-style Stamford House and the neoclassical style Capitol Building. The former, the older of the two buildings, was transformed into a boutique hotel in the mid-1930s.
At present, the Capitol Kempinski is now a ‘colonial heritage meets modern luxe’ hotel, boasting 157 beautiful rooms and suites and a restaurant run by a Michelin-starred chef.
The hotel’s very own The Bar at 15 Stamford is a divine place for sophisticated drinks. Its mahogany-clad and nineteenth-century themed furniture paired with an impeccable liquor selection makes this Asian bistro and grill restaurant an ideal spot for nightcaps.
6. The Scarlet Singapore
Fancy staying at a former pre-war shophouse turned luxury boutique hotel? The Scarlet Singapore is low-key than the other hotels, which makes it even more special. It’s interestingly the city’s first luxury boutique hotel and one of the oldest conservation buildings in Singapore.
The four-star hotel has modern-day comforts housed in pre-World War Two architecture: a rooftop restaurant and an outdoor hot tub.
Moreover, The Scarlet Singapore was also awarded the Singapore Architectural Heritage Award in 2005. It’s worth noting that the hotel has been recognised as one of the well-restored gazetted national monuments and conserved buildings in the country.
7. The Warehouse Hotel
More than its commanding architecture, it’s the history that makes The Warehouse Hotel a favourite among heritage hotel hunters.
Situated along the former epicentre of Singapore’s red-light district, the present hotel was once a spice trading hub, an illegal distillery, and even a discotheque during the 1980s.
Fast forward to today, hospitality company The Lo & Behold Group transformed the 120-year-old building into a premier heritage hotel along Robertson Quay. The Warehouse Hotel is described as “luxe local at its best,” thanks to the efforts of Singaporean designers, chefs, and backers.
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