Out of all the colonial-era hotels in Asia, one of the most well-known is the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The “grand lady of the Far East” is famous around the world for being a luxury hotel that has retained much of its heritage from a bygone era. Its international fame is also helped by the fact that it was the birthplace of a famous cocktail (more on that later).
The Sarkies, Again
The hotel was established in 1887 by the Sarkies, Armenian brothers from Persia (now Iran). The Sarkies had already established themselves in the region with the Eastern Hotel and the Oriental Hotel in Penang, which later became the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
The hotel was originally located on the seaside but the little island city has been gradually reclaiming land over the decades, and the property today is located in the middle of town and not on the waterfront. The original 10-room hotel was expanded 12 years after it opened with the construction of the neo-Renaissance building that stands today.