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Follow HISTORY

Historic Hotels

Historic Hotels

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

As they wander around Raffles Hotel admiring its finer details, an astute observer might notice a curious thing: some items in the hotel have a small, unobtrusive metal badge attached to them. The metal badge says “Raffles Hotel Original”.

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, if you were fortunate enough to travel in Asia and to stay in a luxury hotel, the odds were the hotel you stayed in would have belonged to the Sarkies Brothers, Hotel Proprietors.

The Metropole Hotel, Hanoi

Now known as the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, the Metropole Hotel opened in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1901. At this time, Vietnam was a French colony and called French Indochina.

The Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand

The Oriental in Bangkok has a long and glamorous history. It was the first hotel in Thailand and when it first opened in 1887 it was the most luxurious building in the country besides the royal palaces. Even the fact that it had more than one storey made it spectacular for the country at the time. It hosted royal guests and grand parties.

The Peninsula Hong Kong

The Peninsula Hong Kong was the first hotel to ever come under The Peninsula brand that now has luxury hotels all around the world. When The Peninsula opened in 1928, Hong Kong was still a British colony and the island was vibrant and cosmopolitan.

The Strand, Yangon

When the most famous hoteliers of Southeast Asia, the Sarkies brothers, decided to expand their growing empire into Burma (now Myanmar) people thought they were making a mistake.

Astor House Hotel, Shanghai

It was the first building in China to have electricity; the first building in Shanghai to have running water; the first telephone used in Shanghai was in the hotel; and the first movie with sound shown in China was screened there.

Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya

One of the most well-known and iconic incidents of the Indonesian fight for independence occurred at the hotel.

Manila Hotel

After Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898, the Americans wanted to “Americanise” the new territory. One way they set out to do this was by creating the capital of Manila and making it as cosmopolitan as possible.

Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka

The hotel was originally built as a Governor’s Residence by Sir Thomas Maitland, the second Governor of British Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known). Constructed in 1806, the original building was a one-storey bungalow, in the area known as Galkissa just south of Colombo. It was on an elevated site with panoramic views of the bay.