The legendary Raffles hotel in Singapore
Legendary in the hospitality business named Singapore Raffles were Armenian Sarkis brothers. Shortly after its founding, the hotel became the most successful Armenian business in Southeast Asia. According to the many reviews of guests, the hotel simultaneously harbored both the exotic East and the spirit of old England.
In 1887 the brothers Tigran, Martin, Avet and Arshak Sarkis base on the island of Singapore the Raffles hotel, naming it in honor of the founder of the colony of Thomas Stamford Raffles. They open a 10-room colonial Bungalow at the intersection of beach road (Beach Road) and Bras the Bass road (Bras Basah Road). As it turned out recently, the study of historical documents concerning the construction of the hotel, the place of construction and building belonged at the time of the famous Arab trader, Syed Mohammad Alsagoff. The hotel opened on December 1, 1887 and was dedicated to the birthday of the Queen of great Britain.
Two years later, the company announces an extension to the old building two new wings to the facades of the sea. In a year when the hotel was opened a pool hall, for guests organized the first free Banquet with music.
In 1899 the first Central building was replaced by a new three-storey, Renaissance style.
A dining hall for 500 persons had glazed the roof and floor in Carrara marble. Wide verandochke building’s perimeter, protecting rooms against heat and tropical downpours. Now the hotel had 100 rooms, he soon became the first hotel in the Straits with electric lighting, which has developed an Autonomous generator. Capacity of ten thousand gallons continually provide guests with fresh drinking water.
In 1900 the kitchen was operated by two experienced French chefs and the chef special for the exotic local cuisine. In the next three decades, the local press enthusiastically retold and savored the menu.
Since its inception, the company “Sarkies Brothers” took on the administrative work almost exclusively Armenians. One of the first assistants of the Manager was Gregory Nahapiet, behind him stretched a number of other young people.
Raffles has flourished and expanded year after year. This did not prevent even the first world war. In 1919 the hotel for the first time in the East presented to the public last cry music fashion — transatlantic jazz orchestra “American Boys’ Jazz Band”. New music relished guests, and the hotel hired for a permanent job American jazz pianist Harry Levin.
Soon the brothers Sarkis began financial problems and the company was declared bankrupt.
Hotel management was transferred to the newly established consortium “Raffles Hotel Ltd”, which was appointed to manage the Teddy Key.
As can be seen from the street “Beach Road”. the Raffles hotel is surrounded by lush greenery. In front of the hotel grow fan palm, which is both a symbol and hotel. and Singapore. The old garden around it, with a small cozy and quiet courtyards, with fountains and tropical flowers. creates a feeling of peace and quiet in the heart of one of the most active business cities in Asia.
In 1989 the hotel was closed for extensive refurbishment, costing over $ 160 million Hotel re-opened on 16 September 1991, after the restoration of a historic building in the condition in which it was during its heyday in 1915.
Today, under the sign of “Raffles” contains about forty luxury hotels worldwide. Here are 10 individual rooms visited by celebrities such as Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Ava Gardner, Noel Coward, Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Prince Charles, etc.
In the summer of 2005 as a result of the transaction a billion dollars. Singapore Raffles and other hotels holding has acquired Los Angeles-based “Colony Capital”, already owns hotels and casinos in Europe and the U.S., including the Hilton in Las Vegas. When signing a transaction, the buyer assumed an obligation to preserve the historical appearance of the legendary Singapore hotel.