Goodwood Park Hotel

Goodwood Park Hotel is a luxury heritage hotel located at 22 Scotts Road, off Orchard Road. Built in 1900, the building was originally the Teutonia Club for the expatriate German community in Singapore. The tower block of the building was gazetted as a national monument in 1989.1

Teutonia Club
The German expatriate community in Singapore established the original Teutonia Club in 1856. The club was located on North Bridge Road behind the building that later became Raffles Hotel. The club moved six months later to the Blanche house premises on Mount Elizabeth.2 The growth of the German community resulted in the purchase in 1861 of a piece of land at what was then 7 Scotts Road. The new clubhouse, which occupied the site of a former nutmeg plantation, would later become the Goodwood Park Hotel.3

Built in 1900, the new Teutonia Club was designed by architect R. A. J. Bidwell of Swan and Maclaren in the Queen Anne style, a mix of Dutch, French and English influences that was popular in England in the 19th century. Featuring a striking tower, the building included electric lighting installations that were considered advanced for its time.4

The building was officially opened with a grand ball on 21 September 1900 by Acting Governor of the Straits Settlements Alexander Swettenham.5 The Teutonia Club became the centre of German social life in Singapore, hosting stage performances, gatherings and visiting dignitaries such as Prince Adalbert, third son of the German Kaiser, in 1903.6 

World War I and transformation into a hotel
With the onset of World War I and the issuance of the Trading with the Enemy Proclamation in 1914,7 about 300 German nationals in Singapore and Penang came to be regarded as alien enemies. In 1915, they were shipped to Australia and their possessions, including the clubhouse, were confiscated and liquidated as enemy property.8 Over the next four years, the clubhouse remained largely unused except when it briefly became a depot for troops during the 1915 Sepoy Mutiny. In 1918, the building was sold at public auction to the Manasseh brothers – Morris, Ezekiel and Ellis – for $61,000.9

By 1919, the building had been converted into a reception hall known as Goodwood Hall, a reference to the Goodwood Racecourse in England.10 Goodwood Hall, with a bar installed, became popular as social venue for events such as weddings, dances, concerts and balls.11 A restaurant and cafe were later added to the premises.12 Equipped with what was considered the best concert room in Singapore at the time, Goodwood Hall was also the site of numerous stage performances, including that of the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in December 1922.13 In 1929, the Manasseh brothers converted the establishment into a full-fledged hotel and renamed it Goodwood Park Hotel.14

Following the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942, the hotel was converted into a residence for high-ranking Japanese soldiers.15 After the end of the Japanese Occupation in 1945, the hotel was requisitioned by the Army War Crimes Office. The British held war crimes trials at the grounds of the hotel, under pitched canvas tents.16

Postwar decades and renovation
After the British military’s failed proposal to purchase the hotel to be used as an officers’ club, the British military released the building on 31 August 1947 and returned it to Vivian C. Bath, Ezekiel Manasseh’s stepson. Bath incorporated Goodwood Park Hotel as a publicly listed company that same year, and reopened the hotel on 18 November 1947.17 In anticipation of a rise in tourism, the hotel underwent an reconstruction and renovation between 1959 and 1960, which saw an expansion of room capacity and the installation of the first hotel swimming pool in Singapore, among other changes.18

During this period, the most distinctive feature of the building, the tower block, was also restored to its original position, though not its shape.19 Standing at nearly 30 ft high, the original central tower with its distinctive pinnacle had been removed in 1950 after falling into disrepair.20 Until 1985, the general manager’s room was housed in the tower.21 The tower block was gazetted as a national monument on 23 March 1989.22

In July 1963, an new extension costing $2.5 million was officially opened. Among the additions were a three-storey building housing 94 rooms, a second swimming pool, a new entrance as well as bar and grill rooms.23 A 45-foot-long bar, one of the longest in Singapore at the time, was also unveiled.24

Just two months later, the hotel was bought over by the Malayan Banking Group.25

Ownership by Khoo family
Billionaire banker Khoo Teck Puat purchased Goodwood Park Hotel in 1968.26 From as early as 1979, Khoo had proposed plans to demolish the hotel so that the land on which it stood could be redeveloped into a hotel, shopping mall, office blocks and high-rise apartments, in order to maximise the land’s economic potential.27 However, the plans did not materialise.28

With Khoo’s death in 2004, his daughter, Mavis Oei, succeeded as chairman of the hotel. Now regarded as a luxury heritage hotel, Goodwood Park Hotel remains in the hands of the Khoo family.29


Joanna HS Tan

1. Gretchen Liu, In Granite and Chunam: The National Monuments of Singapore (Singapore: Landmark Books, 1996), 223–9 (Call no. RSING 725.94095957 LIU); Wan Meng Hao and Jacqueline Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2009), 119–20 (Call no. RSING 959.57 WAN-[HIS]); “Our Heritage,” Goodwood Park Hotel, accessed 9 September 2016; Urban Redevelopment Authority for Preservation of Monuments Board, The Goodwood Park Hotel Tower Block Preservation Guidelines (Singapore: Preservation of Monuments Board, 1992), 4. (Call no. RSING 363.69095957 GOO)
2. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 223; Ray Tyers and Siow Jin Hua, Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then & Now (Singapore: Landmark Books, 1993), 174–5 (Call no. RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); “Teutonia Club with Crux Australis,” Straits Times, 3 April 1938, 13. (From NewspaperSG)
3. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 223; Tyers and Siow, Ray Tyers’ Singapore, 174–5; “Former German Club Is Now for Sale,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1932), 6 October 1939, 4; “Singapore’s German Club Is Silent and Empty,” Straits Times, 4 September 1939, 10 (From NewspaperSG); “Teutonia Club with Crux Australis.”
4. “Teutonia Club with Crux Australis”; “The Teutonia Club,” Straits Times, 21 March 1899, 3 (From NewspaperSG); Liu, Granite and Chunam, 223; Wan and Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore, 119–20.
5. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 224; Urban Redevelopment Authority for Preservation of Monuments Board, Goodwood Park Hotel Tower Block Preservation Guidelines, 4; Dhoraisingam S. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage: Through Places of Historical Interest (Singapore: Dhoraisingam S Samuel, 2010), 116–7. (Call no. RSING 959.57 SAM-[HIS])
6. “The Kaiser’s Birthday,” Straits Times, 22 January 1902, 4; “Prince Adalbert in Singapore,” Straits Times, 20 November 1903, 4 (From NewspaperSG); Wan and Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore, 119–20.
7. “Trading with the Enemy,” Straits Times, 16 September 1914, 10. (From NewspaperSG)
8. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 224.
9. Wan and Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore, 119; Ray Tyers, Singapore, Then & Now (Singapore: University Education Press, 1976), 174–5 (Call no. RCLOS 959.57 TYE); Goodwood Park Hotel, Goodwood Park Hotel (1900–2000): 100 Years of Hospitality (Singapore: Goodwood Park Hotel, 2000), 6–10 (Call no. RSING 647.955957 GOO); “Teutonia Club Sold,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 26 September 1918, 18. (From NewspaperSG)
10. Goodwood Park Hotel, “Our Heritage”; “Page 2 Advertisements Column 3: Goodwood Hall,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 18 October 1919, 2; “Page 7 Advertisements Column 4: A Dance,” Straits Times, 11 July 1919, 7. (From NewspaperSG)
11. Wan and Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore, 119–20; “Page 2 Advertisements Column 2: Goodwood Hall,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 9 April 1920, 2; “Russian Light Opera Co,” Malaya Tribune, 25 July 1921, 4; “Local Wedding,” Malaya Tribune, 6 June 1922, 7. (From NewspaperSG)
12. “Untitled,” Straits Times, 20 January 1922, 8. (From NewspaperSG)
13. “Page 6 Advertisements Column 3: Goodwood Hall,” Straits Times, 9 December 1922, 6; Gloria Chandy, “Germans Started the Ball Rolling,” New Nation, 26 February 1979, 9. (From NewspaperSG)
14. Goodwood Park Hotel, “Our Heritage.”
15. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 228.
16. “Court Sits ‘in Canvas’,” Singapore Free Press, 16 May 1946, 5; “Three More Japs to Hang,” Malaya Tribune, 25 May 1946, 3 (From NewspaperSG); Wan and Lau, Heritage Places of Singapore, 119–20.
17. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 224; “Goodwood Park’s Return,” Straits Times, 17 July 1947, 7; “Goodwood Park Hotel Reopening,” Straits Times, 18 November 1947, 5. (From NewspaperSG)
18. “An Old Singapore Landmark to Be Restored,” Straits Times, 9 December 1959, 7; Poteik Chia, “More Hotel Space for the Jet Age,” Straits Times, 3 August 1960, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
19. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage, 116–7.
20. “Old Landmark,” Straits Times, 30 July 1963, 11; Old Singapore Landmark.”
21. Fabian Koh, “Goodwood Park Hotel: Playing Host to History,” Straits Times, 27 October 2016, 9. (From NewspaperSG)
22. “Hotel’s Tower Block Now a National Monument,” Straits Times, 25 March 1989, 17. (From NewspaperSG)
23. “A New Hotel Milestone,” Straits Times, 30 July 1963, 9. (From NewspaperSG)
24. “The Long, Long Bar,” Straits Times, 30 July 1963, 15. (From NewspaperSG)
25. “Banking Group to Pay $7 Mil. for Goodwood Park Hotel,” Straits Times, 11 September 1963, 1. (From NewspaperSG)
26. Goodwood Park Hotel, “Our Heritage.”
27. “Goodwood Studies Plan to Redevelop Scotts Site,” Straits Times, 16 March 1983, 17; “Hint of Big Expansion Plan by Goodwood,” Straits Times, 18 March 1980, 19; Lilian Ang, “Goodwood Gets Approval to Redevelop Part of Hotel Site,” Business Times, 11 May 1994, 1. (From NewspaperSG)
28. Liu, Granite and Chunam, 224; Tyers and Siow, Ray Tyers’ Singapore, 174–5.
29. Goodwood Park Hotel, “Our Heritage”; “Goodwood Park Names New Head,” Straits Times, 2 March 2004, 13 (From NewspaperSG); “Goodwood Park Exit Offer,” Straits Times, 15 October 2016. (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)

Further resources
A $22Mil. Tower to Replace That Tourist Landmark at Goodwood Hotel,” Straits Times, 9 July 1969, 6. (From NewspaperSG)

Goodwood: Unique in Service and Efficiency,” Straits Times, 4 January 1965, 9. (From NewspaperSG)

Hotel’s Unusual Wartime Past,” Straits Times, 4 March 2006, H6. (From NewspaperSG)

Licensing Justices Meet,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 19 June 1919, 6. (From NewspaperSG)

The Goodwood Heritage 1900–1990 (Singapore: Goodwood Park Hotel, 1990). (Call no. RSING 647.94595701 GOO)

The New Teutonia Club,” Straits Times, 21 August 1900, 10. (From NewspaperSG)

The Teutonia Club,” Straits Times, 14 September 1900, 2. (From NewspaperSG)

The Teutonia Club,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 22 September 1900, 3. (From NewspaperSG)

The information in this article is valid as of 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. 

Commercial buildings
Commercial buildings--Singapore