Opened on 1 January 2001, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore heralded a new chapter for refined hospitality in Singapore. The ‘Grande Dame’ makes her home in the former Fullerton Building, a magnificent neoclassical landmark completed in 1928 that was gazetted in December 2015 as Singapore’s 71st National Monument, the highest form of national recognition. The building’s storied history includes uses as the General Post Office, the prestigious Singapore Club and various government departments.
Making its mark on Singapore’s history for close to a century, the building stands at the estuary of the Singapore River, its five frontages and colossal two-storey Doric colonnade forming an impressive façade adorned with ornate classical decorations by Swiss sculptor Rudolf Wening and Italian sculptor Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli. At the time of its completion, modern facilities within the building included 14 lifts and automated mail-sorting equipment for the post office, which occupied the basement and the first two floors of the building. The upper floors were reserved for the Singapore Club’s facilities, and included a vaulted coffered ceiling. Reputed to be the only one of its kind in Singapore, this unique feature can still be seen today in The Straits Room.
In 1996, the Singapore Government announced plans to turn the building into a hotel. The building and its adjacent waterfront plots were acquired by Sino Group, and a collection of heritage landmarks — The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Waterboat House, Clifford Pier and Customs House — forms the world-class The Fullerton Heritage, with new developments, namely The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, One Fullerton and The Fullerton Pavilion, added to the enchanting precinct by Marina Bay.
The beautifully presented 400-room The Fullerton Hotel Singapore was the first of the restored icons to open, following a thorough revitalisation and careful redesign by international architecture firm HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates. The hotel’s launch also inaugurated the Fullerton brand, expanded to include The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney, and soon The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong, set to open in 2022.
Heritage preservation is a hallmark of the properties, and the building received an architectural heritage award from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. ‘Not only was attention paid to the built elements, but the history and memories are preserved through elements such as archive displays and complimentary heritage tours,’ says Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale, General Manager of The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts.
The past 20 years have seen the hotel morphing into a brand synonymous with refined hospitality for discerning travellers. ‘Part of what makes the Fullerton brand unique is that we believe in hospitality from the heart,’ says Cavaliere Giovanni. ‘Every guest who walks through the doors of The Fullerton Hotel will experience The Fullerton Hotel’s welcome and feel at home. We provide luxury hospitality that comes from the heart, and genuinely warm services as our guests create their own fond memories and stories while staying with us.’
Cavaliere Giovanni is glad to have experienced, both in the hotel’s evolution and in the hotel industry more generally, a renewed focus on providing ‘new luxury and authentic experiences’. Guests, he says, look for ‘unique, authentic local experiences instead of the usual bed-and-breakfast experience. When staying in a city, they want to get up close to learn about the local culture, cuisine, heritage, arts, crafts and people.’ With their unique combination of heritage and service, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and its sister properties continue to provide refined bases from which to begin this wondrous journey.