The Tiger of Singapore

RafflesSingaporeAmong many concrete walls, steel and structural glass, the classic and flattened silhouette of the Raffles Hotel draws the attention of those strolling down Beach Road Street. What is a relic like this doing in a city-state whose flagship hotel is a complex of three skyscrapers crowned and linked by a panoramic pool that defies the basic laws of gravity? If it turns out the sea, when built, almost reached their rooms. And the street, denominated from the beach, received in its number 1 the new tourism tenant, in which Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad would tread.

In 1887, Singapore was still a British colony. The new hotel assembled a collection of 10 small bungalows by the sea, an unnamed paradise for the few merchants who ventured into these dangerous Malaysian waters. But that innate sense of Asian hospitality soon became a mecca of services. First came the famous Singapore Sling cocktail, created in 1915 by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, which attracted bar and clubroom parishioners very fast, including the so-called British writers. Continue reading