Old Sea View Hotel

Singapore Infopedia


The old Sea View Hotel was opened in 1906, during the hotel boom years of the early 20th century.Unlike most of the early hotels that were located in town or its vicinity, Sea View Hotel was set up in Tanjong Katong, what was then considered the countryside.2 The old Sea View Hotel was originally a large colonial bungalow situated on the sea front, and surrounded by a grove of coconut trees.3 It was known for its idyllic surroundings and seaside location.4

Early history
The building that housed Sea View Hotel was owned by Manasseh Meyer. The hotel was leased to several people over the years, including Eleazar Johannes (1912–23) and the Sarkies brothers (1923–31).5

When Eleazar Johannes took over in 1912, he added improvements such as the installation of electric lighting and fans.In 1913, a bungalow was converted into an annex known as Grove Bungalow for additional accommodation.7 By then, Sea View Hotel had also been using the nearby Grove Hotel as an annex.8

The Sarkies brothers became the hotel’s proprietors in 1923.9 Sea View Hotel then underwent extensive renovations – a new wing was built, along with additional bedrooms, a new swimming pool as well as a new reading and writing room.10 On its long verandah, guests were treated to a panoramic view of the sea. Every room in the hotel was fitted with a bathroom with running hot and cold water, and modern sanitation.11 The hotel had a sea swimming pool with reinforced barriers to protect bathers from sharks, and bathing costumes and towels were available for hire at a small fee.12 There were also a ballroom and facilities for golf and tennis.13 Occasionally, cabarets and performances by a variety of artistes were held at the premises.14

In 1931, the hotel was taken over as a going concern by the executors of the estate of the late Manasseh Meyer,15 and came under the management of Sea View Hotel Ltd.16

Willis’s Singapore Guide (1936) described Sea View Hotel as one of the three leading hotels in Singapore, the other two being the Adelphi Hotel and Raffles Hotel.17 In an advertisement, Sea View Hotel was promoted as “the hotel on the sea-shore” and described as being situated on “One of Singapore’s natural Beauty Spots”.18 It earned a reputation as a place for guests to rest and recuperate after an illness.19

In the 1960s and after
In November 1962, more than 160 workers went on strike over a wage dispute.20 The strike, which lasted almost three months, ended in February 1963.21 The hotel closed in 1964, and thereafter its furniture was auctioned.22

Sea View Hotel was subsequently demolished, while a new 18-storey hotel of the same name was constructed at nearby Amber Close. The new Sea View Hotel opened in 1969.23 On 1 November 2003, the hotel ceased operations after Wheelock Properties (formerly known as Marco Polo Developments) acquired the site, and the building was demolished in June 2004.24 A new condominium named The Sea View was built at the Amber Close site.25


Joshua Chia Yeong Jia

1. Sin Chew Jit Poh (Singapore) and Archives and Oral History Department, Singapore, Singapore Retrospect Through Postcards 1900–1930 (Singapore: Sin Chew Jit Poh & Archives and Oral History Department, 1982), 88 (Call no. RSING 769.4995957 SIN); “Sea View Hotel,” Straits Times, 5 June 1906, 5. (From NewspaperSG)
2. Singapore and Malayan Directory (Singapore: Fraser & Neave, 1932), p. 473 (Call no. 382.09595 STR-[LKL]; microfilm NL3174); G. M. Reith, Handbook to Singapore (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1985), 85. (Call no. RSING 959.57 REI-[HIS])
3. Souvenir of Singapore: A Descriptive and Illustrated Guide Book of Singapore (Singapore: Straits Times Press, 1905), 77. (Call no. RRARE 915.957 SOU; microfilm NL16348)
4. Souvenir of Singapore, 73; A. C. Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide (Singapore: A. C. Willis, 1936), 30–31. (From BookSG)
5. Nadia H. Wright, Respected Citizens: The History of Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia (Vic.: Amassia Publishing, 2003), 136–37 (Call no. RSING 305.891992 WRI); Singapore and Straits Directory (Singapore: Mission Press, 1907), 120. (Call no. RRARE 382.09595 STR; microfilm NL1182)
6. Wright, Respected Citizens, 136.
7. Untitled. (1913, May 31). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. "Page 11 advertisements column 3: Sea View Hotel," Straits Times, 5 April 1913, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
9. “Untitled,” Straits Times, 22 May 1923, 10. (From NewspaperSG)
10. Wright, Respected Citizens, 136–37; Sin Chew Jit Poh (Singapore) and Archives and Oral History Department, Singapore, Singapore Retrospect, 88.
11. Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide, 30; Singapore Free Press, One Hundred Years of Progress: Centenary Number, October 8, 1935 (Singapore: The Singapore Free Press, 1935), 17, section 4. (Call no. RRARE 959.59 SIN; microfilm NL3615)
12. Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide, 31, 33.
13. Wright, Respected Citizens, 136–37; Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide, 30, 33.
14. Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide, 31.
15. Wright, Respected Citizens, 137.
16. “Page 4 Advertisements Column 4: Sea View Hotel,” Straits Times, 3 August 1931, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
17. Willis, Willis’s Singapore Guide, 31.
18. Singapore Free Press, One Hundred Years of Progress, 17, section 4.
19. Ginnie Teo, “View Point,” Straits Times, 26 August 2003, 5. (From NewspaperSG)
20. “Sea View Hotel Strike On,” Straits Times, 11 November 1962, 13. (From NewspaperSG)
21. “Sea View Staff Back at Work,” Straits Times, 7 February 1963, 10. (From NewspaperSG)
22. “Biggest-Ever Auction of 60-Year Old [sic] Hotel’s Property,” Straits Times, 4 May 1964, 9. (From NewspaperSG)
23. “Barker Opens $20M. Luxury Hotel,” Straits Times, 17 December 1969, 31. (From NewspaperSG)
24. Kalpana Rashiwala, “Sea View Hotel to Close Down Tomorrow,” Business Times, 31 October 2003, 4; “Sea View of Yore,” Straits Times, 9 June 2004, 4 (From NewspaperSG); Wheelock Properties Limited, Annual Report 2003/04 (Hong Kong: Wheelock Properties Limited, n.d.), 5.
25. Daryl Loo, “You Can Get First Pick of Choicest Units Too,” Straits Times, 3 July 2005, 25; “Prime Property,” Straits Times, 5 January 2006, 10. (From NewspaperSG)

Further resources
Sea View Hotel, Singapore, 1910s, photograph, Lim Keng Chye Collection, National Archives of Singapore (media-image no. 19980005884 – 0110)

Tay Suan Ching, “Past Presence, Perfect Sense,” Straits Times, 19 August 2006, 4. (From NewspaperSG)

The information in this article is valid as at May 2019 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Rights Statement

The information on this page and any images that appear here may be used for private research and study purposes only. They may not be copied, altered or amended in any way without first gaining the permission of the copyright holder.

More to Explore

Tanjong Katong


Tanjong Katong was an early landmark in Singapore. It marked the eastern boundary of the British settlement that Stamford Raffles established in 1819. The old boundaries of Tanjong Katong spanned the coastal stretch from Upper East Coast Road to Tanjong Rhu. While it is now a self-contained estate, Tanjong Katong...



Queenstown is a planning area and a satellite town located in the Central Region of Singapore. It is one of the earliest housing estates to be built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) and subsequently the Housing and Development Board (HDB). It also has the distinction of being the first...

Pasir Panjang


Named after a long stretch of sandy beach along the southwestern coastline of Singapore, the Pasir Panjang area developed around a main road of the same name that used to hug the coastline prior to land reclamation works. In the early days, the area was occupied by agricultural settlers who...

Yishun New Town


Yishun New Town is bounded by Sungei Simpang Kiri to the north, the proposed Admiralty Road East Extension to the east, Seletar Expressway to the south and Sembawang Road to the west. The town is named after Lim Nee Soon, a prominent businessman in colonial Singapore. The Yishun planning area...

Yan Kit Swimming Complex


Yan Kit Swimming Complex, located along Yan Kit Road, was Singapore’s second public swimming pool. Opened in 1952, the pool faced dwindling usage and high maintenance costs in later years, and was closed in 2001. ...

Finlayson Green


Finlayson Green is the name of both a traffic island (a small raised area on a road which provides a safe place for pedestrians to stand, and acts as a divider that channels traffic flow) and a street in the Central Business District. The green lung served as a road...



Sentosa is currently a resort island of some 500 ha off the south coast of Singapore. It was previously a fishing village, the site of a military installation with artillery batteries and a prisoner-of-war camp during the Japanese Occupation (1942–1945). Developed as a resort from the 1970s, Sentosa now features...

Central Fire Station


The Central Fire Station, also known as the Hill Street Fire Station, is Singapore’s oldest surviving fire station. Completed in 1909, the distinctive red-and-white brick building was gazetted as a national monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board on 18 December 1998. Still an active station, it also houses the...

Raffles City


Raffles City is a complex which consists of two hotels, a convention centre, a shopping centre and an office tower. Built in the early 1980s, Raffles City was planned and constructed over a period of 17 years, and was the single largest commercial development built in that time. The complex...

Singapore Swimming Club


The Singapore Swimming Club (SSC) was established in 1894 at Tanjong Rhu by a group of Europeans. In 1994, the club celebrated its 100th anniversary with the opening of a museum dedicated to its history and the release of a commemorative book. With a huge membership, it continues to concentrate...