Hotel de la Paix



Hotel de la Paix was established in 1865, making it one of the earliest hotels to be set up in Singapore.1 It operated from Coleman House, the former personal residence of Singapore’s first superintendent of public works, G. D. Coleman (George Dromgold Coleman2), at 3 Coleman Street.3 It was billed as a first-class hotel in its heyday.4

History
Coleman arrived in Singapore in 1822, and was appointed superintendent of public works in 1833.5 In 1829, Coleman built a house at 3 Coleman Street for use as his personal residence.6 When he left Singapore in 1841, the landmark building was occupied by a succession of hotels and residences.7 The house was initially leased to Gaston Dutronquoy, Singapore’s first photographer, who turned it into London Hotel, which had been located on High Street.8 The premises were then taken over by Adelphi Hotel, before it was occupied by Hotel de la Paix in 1865, which had Mrs Kahlcke, a German widow, as its proprietor-cum-manager.9

Sometime in the 1880s, however, Coleman House became the home of Tan Yeok Nee (or Tan Hiok Nee), a wealthy Teochew merchant, until his mansion (present House of Tan Yeok Nee) off Tank Road was ready.10 During this period, the hotel operated from 1 Coleman Street.11

Hotel de la Paix later returned to Coleman House and remained there until 1914. As early as September 1914, the premises were advertised as suitable for use as either a hotel or boarding house.12

The last occupant of Coleman House before World War II was the Burlington Hotel.13 The building was demolished in 1965 and the Peninsula Shopping Centre currently occupies the site.14

Description
Along with Raffles Hotel, Hotel de l’Europe and Adelphi Hotel, Hotel de la Paix was one of the main hotels in Singapore in the late 19th century.15


The two-storey brick mansion housing the hotel was seven bays wide and eight bays deep. It was a piazza-style building in a simple, classical design with tall and flat stuccoed pilasters. The building also had open verandahs and a porch.16

In advertisements placed in George Murray Reith’s Handbook to Singapore and in the 1902 edition of the Singapore and Straits Directory, Hotel de la Paix was described as a first-class hotel located in “one of the healthiest and most central localities of the city”, and “within easy distance of telegraph, post and other offices”. The advertisements also mentioned the hotel’s telephonic communication to all parts of the city; its unparalleled cuisine; quality wines and spirits; comfortable beds; and the well-furnished sitting rooms, showers, cold baths and billiard tables.17 The hotel rates were said to be reasonable and many residents of the town had stayed there.18



Author

Joshua Chia Yeong Jia



References
1. Singapore days of old: A special commemorative history of Singapore published on the 10th anniversary of Singapore Tatler. (1992). Hong Kong: Illustrated Magazine Pub, p. 169. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
2. The correct spelling is Dromgold as appears in the marriage certificate of G. D. Coleman to Maria Frances Vernon dated 17 September 1842, St George’s Church, Hanover Square, London. See Hancock, T. H. H. (1986). Coleman's Singapore. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in association with Pelanduk Publications, p. 87. (Call no.: RSING 720.924 COL.H)
3. Tyers, R. (1993). Ray TyersSingapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); Peet, G. L. (1985). Rickshaw reporter. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, p. 130. (Call no.: RSING 070.924 PEE)
4. Reith, G. M. (1985). Handbook to Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 REI-[HIS])
5. Tyers, R. (1993). Ray TyersSingapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
6. 3, Coleman Street link with Conrad. (1954, April 1). The Straits Times, p. 4; $270,000 to save house of history. (1955, November 10). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Tyers, R. (1993). Ray TyersSingapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
8. Last look at the house that Coleman built. (1965, December 5). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (1921). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 2) [Microfilm no.: NL 6542]. London: John Murray, p. 494.
9. 110-year-old Adelphi Hotel to close soon. (1973, April 3). New Nation, p. 14; Chandy, G. (1979, February 5). Cakes and ale. New Nation, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Friends of Singapore. (1958). The house in Coleman Street. Singapore: Straits Times Press, p. 5. (Call no.: RCLOS 728 FRI)
Singapore days of old: A special commemorative history of Singapore published on the 10th anniversary of Singapore Tatler. (1992). Hong Kong: Illustrated Magazine Pub, p. 169. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
10. Friends of Singapore. (1958). The house in Coleman Street. Singapore: Straits Times Press, p. 5. (Call no.: RCLOS 728 FRI); Samuel, D. S. (1991). Singapore’s heritage: Through places of historical interest. Singapore: Elixir Consultancy Service, p. 145. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SAM-[HIS]); Townhouses of ancient Chinese towkays. (1981, November 29). The Straits Times, p. 48; Finest house in Chinese style. (1937, September 19). The Straits Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Singapore and Straits directory for 1889 [Microfilm no.: NL 1178]. (1889). Singapore: Mission Press, p. 160.
12. Page 16 advertisements column 2. (1914, September 16). The Straits Times, p. 16; Page 2 advertisements column 1. (1914, October 22). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. For a Singapore scrapbook. (1946, December 16). The Straits Times, p. 4; The Burlington. (1946, September 3). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Last look at the house that Coleman built. (1965, December 5).The Straits Times, p. 4; Mok, S. P. (1974, May 27). Peninsula Hotel all set to receive guests. The Straits Times, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Liu, G. (1999). Singapore: A pictorial history 1819–2000. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 123. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 LIU-[HIS])
16. Hancock, T. H. H. (1986). Coleman’s Singapore. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society; Pelanduk Publications, p. 43. (Call no.: RSING 720.924 COL.H); Friends of Singapore. (1958). The house in Coleman Street. Singapore: Straits Times Press, p. 11. (Call no.: RCLOS 728 FRI)
17. Reith, G. M. (1985). Handbook to Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 REI-[HIS]); Singapore and Straits directory for 1902 [Microfilm no.: NL 1181]. (1901–1902). Singapore: Mission Press p. 3.
18. Souvenir of Singapore: A descriptive and illustrated guide book of Singapore. (1905). [Microfilm no.: NL 16348]. Singapore: Straits Times Press, pp, 139, 142.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 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.

 

Subject
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Commercial Buildings
Hotels--Singapore
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Commercial buildings