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Singapore is seen as a very young country, having just celebrated its 50th birthday in 2015 but its history stretches way beyond. Sir Stamford Raffles, considered the founder of modern day Singapore, landed on the island’s sandy shores in the early 1800s and before that Singapura had a long history tied to its neighbour, Malaysia. Visit these hotels to feel like you’ve stepped into that past.
The Hotel Vagabond is not as old as some of the others on this list, but the artistic luxury boutique presents a different side of Singapore’s history. Located in a post-Art Deco building from the 1950s, The Hotel Vagabond feels like stepping into the past, but one that belongs to the likes of David Lynch. Stepping through the doors of a building that has been both an illegal brothel and workers’ dormitory, is a fascinating experience. The first hotel in Asia designed by Jacques Garcia, the lobby is full of discussion-worthy art installations.
Built in 1900, The Goodwood Park Hotel has a very distinct look compared to other colonial-era buildings in Singapore because it was originally built for The Teutonia Club, exclusively for the Singapore expat German community and its architects took inspiration from the castles that dot the banks of the Rhine. The hotel has had a tumultuous history, at the outset of World War I, it was confiscated by the British. During the Japanese occupation, it was the official residence for high-ranking soldiers in the Japanese army and then following the war, the site of war crime trials. The hotel’s most striking feature is the tower block that even today stands out when approaching Orchard Road from Scotts Road – gazetted in 1989, the tower is listed as one of Singapore’s national monuments.