Sea View Hotel – Old, New & Gone

I’ve only seen the ‘New’ Sea View Hotel at 26 Amber Close. Most of us are familiar with this Sea View Hotel logo at the top of the hotel building;

Surprisingly I find it more difficult to find photos of this ‘New’ Sea View hotel building than the Old Sea View hotel at Meyer Road. Below is the only photo I can find on internet;

For those not sure where exactly is Amber Close, here is the map;

See the * on the building next to the Sea View hotel. That’s where I usually hang out in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The old Katong Yaohan there with Ikea on the second floor…then we have the old Cold Storage taking over the place there too. Shopping seems so easy and close to my house at Haig Road.

Thinking back, I wonder why I liked to go shopping at Katong Yaohan and Cold Storage there even though I don’t have much to buy? Maybe just to enjoy the aircon haha. As for the hotel, I had been to the restaurant a couple of times only with my clients. In the 70s, this Sea View Hotel must be a luxury hotel too. But in it’s last decade, it’s just a 2 or 3 star hotel.

So they are going to build some condos on this same site and named it ‘The Sea View’. There will be 6 blocks of 23 storeys condos. You will be surprised how fast the progress is;

Photo Credit : Aaron Chong

When I started to shift in together with my parents in the 70s (around 1976 when I was in Sec.2) at Haig Road, the Sea View Hotel was already there near the Amber Close. So I’ve not seen the ‘Old Sea View Hotel’ at Meyer Road. I’m sure Peter has seen it as I remember he mentioned something like ‘dome’ shaped building at Meyer Road when I posted the topic on Haw Par Villa previously.

1. Sea View Hotel in the 70s;

Credit : Singapore Government, Chief Surveyor

Though the Marine Parade Road and ECP still not built, the ‘New Sea View Hotel’ had already been built at the Amber Close in the 70s. So when exactly is the ‘New Sea View Hotel’ built? Let’s take a look below;

- 1906 : Established Sea View Hotel at Meyer Road and owned by Reuben Manasseh Meyer

- 1909 : Grove Hotel became one of its 2 annexes

- 1912 to 1923 : Leased to Eleazar Johannes

- 1923 to 1931 : Leased to Sarkies Brothers (operated is as Sea View Hotel and Sanatoruium, and from 1926 as Sea View Hotel)

- 1931 to 1962 : Taken over by the executors of the estate of late Manasseh Meyer. Sea View Hotel Ltd became the proprietors and operated till 1962. The Peach Garden condo replaced the site occupied by the Old Sea View Hotel in 1976.

- 1969 to 2003 : The New Sea View Hotel began operations at Amber Close and ceased in 2003
2. Sea View Hotel (before the major land reclamation along East Coast in Mid 70s onwards);

Credit : Shell, Singapore Government Survey Department.

Note the location of the Sea View Hotel in the 50s. Also a number of roads like Marine Parade and East Coast Parkway were not built before the land reclamation. Of course the shoreline was immediately after the Amber Road and Sea View Hotel really means sea view.

Read more about the Old Sea View Hotel.

Read about how Grove Hotel became one of the 2 annexes of Old Sea View Hotel.

So the Old Sea View Hotel started off as a large colonial bungalow situated at the sea front surrounded by coconut trees.

This one shows the Old Sea View Hotel circa 1900. I wonder if that was how it looked like before becoming a hotel;

Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Below shows the living quarters of the Old Sea View Hotel at Meyer Road;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

In 1910;

Photo credit : Singapore Philatelic Museum

In 1926;

Photo credit : Singapore Philatelic Museum

In around 1937;

Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

The dome-shape building of the Old Sea View Hotel;

Photo Credit : Joo Chiat, A living legacy by Lily Kong and TC Chang

The site of Old Sea View Hotel at Meyer Road is now occupied by Peach Garden condo;

Now both the old and new Sea View Hotels are gone…and both sites are replaced by condos. Should have taken some photos of the new Sea View Hotel before it was demolished.

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49 Responses to “Sea View Hotel – Old, New & Gone”


  1. 1 profkingsfield2004 Friday, March 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Actually it began life as a private apartment, so u see the hotel is the only one in Singapore with balcony.

    What I can remember?

    1. The ground floor bar (on the left when u enter the main entrance). back in early 1980s we used to come here for drinks because there was live music by a Filipino band. Many Katong girls hanged out in this place besides Honky Tong Lounge over at Tay Buan Guan Bdlg. Then many call-girls invaded the place and customers took them across the road to Amber Hotel or Kin Sun Hotel because these 2 hotels offered hourly charges l=not like Seaview which had daily room rates. Finally anti-vice closed down the lounge.

    2. The coffee house on the right side of the main entrance because they offered Pernakan buffet at $15/++. Best was ice kachang and laksa.

    3. The green and off-white mosaic floor on the ground floor and in the hotel rooms. Never carpet the hotel rooms.

    4. Carpark was worth it. $1 can park the whole day, then they changed the policy for limited time parking. If u shop at Cold Storage supermarket, can redeem carpark charges. Only carpark (before the auto barrier system installed) where u can negotiate with the carpark attendant for free parking (up to 15 mins).

  2. 2 profkingsfield2004 Friday, March 7, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Lao I got a question.

    The Haig Road food court behind the former Hollywood; what happened to the famous wanton noodle and the char kway teow stalls?

  3. 3 Victor Koo Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Yes I remember the new Seaview Hotel in Amber Close. However, I didn’t know there was an older Seaview Hotel until I read your post. I personally know someone losing a lot of money on Seaview Hotel’s shares in the 1960s though.

  4. 4 daddyto3 Monday, March 10, 2008 at 8:56 am

    What a wonderful post! Thanks for triggering off many fond childhood memories. I remember that there was a Thai Sharksfin Restaurant in the “new” Sea View Hotel. My boss treated me to a good dinner there once in 2002 or 2003. If not for your post, I would have forgotten all about it. Of course, the Ikea there was so tiny, compared to the mega stores in Alexandra and Tampine now. I remember that the Ikea cafe was almost always deserted; unlike the very-popular Friends Cafe at the 2 Ikeas now. How times have past, and how things have changed. Once again, thanks for the post!

  5. 5 laokokok Monday, March 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Hi Peter,
    Replied to your email. Yes, the best is still the $1 parking charges. But then, parking then at Parkway was not so difficult as now and cheaper.

    There isn’t any foodcourt behind Hollywood. Only the very small coffeeshop or hawker centre. The Hawker centre and wet market is undergoing renovation now and will be ready in April.

    The 2 stalls you mentioned still at the small coffeeshop last year (Jun) when I was there. But taste not the same..

  6. 6 laokokok Monday, March 10, 2008 at 9:14 am

    HI Victor,
    Same as you I wasn’t aware of it until I came across some old postcards. I was surprised that the old one wasn’t at the same location but at Meyer Road.

  7. 7 laokokok Monday, March 10, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Hi Daddyto3,
    Even when I drove past that Amber Close now, I’ve totally forgotten about the Sea View Hotel. Though that few old housing blocks still there (about to go too) and the florist shop also still standing, the rest of it have changed. Really missed that place.

  8. 8 Robert Monday, March 10, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Hi LKK

    I vaguely remember the building marked ‘X’ i your map as you enter from Amber Close.

    If I am not wrong, it was a block of apartments that was for some airline’s crew I think – either ANA or JAL.

    Robert

  9. 9 profkingsfield2004 Monday, March 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    The block of apartments was for a Taiwanese airline – EVA AIR. UNiform was green colour for the stewardess.

  10. 10 profkingsfield2004 Monday, March 10, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    If i am correct and my memory did not fail me, the EVA AIR white colored apartment to the 4 storey block of private flats opposite Amber Hotel was once a part of Datin Lee Chee San’s villa called “Katong Villa” or something to that effect. When I was about maybe 5+ or 6 years old my father brought me to swim in the sea of Chinese Swiming Club. Back in 1959 or 1960, there was no EVA AIR apartment but a huge bungalow property.

    To get into that club, must enter by Amber Road from Rose Garden side. The other way was to enter by Tg Katong Road which lead to Meyer Road where the former Eastern Mansion stood. At that time Meyer Road was joined to Amber Road; the present Tg Katong South to the ECP was Kg. Amber inhabited by the Malays. The present Tg Kaotng South to ECP never existed in those days. U can still see the old Tg katong Road to Meyer Road bcos it is next to the row of semi-D houses.

    So two prominent buildings still stick in my head. First Amber Hotel facing Datin Lee’s huge bungalow and second the old SEAVIEW Hotel (bcos it had a crescent-shaped building as one of the hotel wings).

  11. 11 profkingsfield2004 Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    My mistake. The villa was called “Mandalay Villa” owned by a Lee Choon Guan.

  12. 12 Jack Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    My family used to park beside Seaview hotel. There’s a lane between Sea view and some terrace houses. We will park in that lane, then walk over to Katong Shopping Center to buy pirated games and then to Parkway Yaohan to shop and to MPH for books and mags.

    When we needed furnitures, we will go to Ikea which was just above cold storage and beside Seaview hotel.

    In the mid 90s, a bunch of guys from the local BBS hosted Singapore’s one and only Demo (some graphics showcase on the PC) competition at Seaview hotel.

    Everything’s gone now…

    Soon the whole Katong area will change. So many buildings in that area is up for enbloc.

    I don’t know…. why do we call this place home when everything that brings back fond memories has to be demolished to make way for things we have no feelings for. When we make changes like this, what is it at the expense of?

  13. 13 Jack Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Oh yes. Google for “Seaview Hotel” and “Singapore”.

    A number of hotel websites still have Seaview hotel in their list of hotels. :) Can find a couple of images.

  14. 14 Robert Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Anyone got memories of Grand Hotel?

    It’s hidden along Still Road, in 2-halves, one on each side.

  15. 15 profkingsfield2004 Friday, March 14, 2008 at 8:38 am

    The Bali look-alike condo in front of the former Grand hotel (facing Marine Parade Road) was once a part of the hotel property. The old seawall (granite) with the concrete steps to the beach are still there (there is a pair). This should give an idea of the original sea-level and the beach. The concrete steps lea dinto the present drain.

    There was a WW2 pill-box where the bus-stop stands in front of the former Katong Convent School.

    Old name for Grand Hotel = Hotel Karikal.

    Present Still Road to ECP was the original road leading into the hotel property. There was a fountain at the end of this road (I think opposite to the present bus stop). Fountain reminded me of the same design at Elizabeth Walk but smaller in size.

    I came here to swim around 1960.

  16. 16 laokokok Friday, March 14, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Good info Peter on the Grand Hotel.

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  18. 18 ease Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Tt really bring back fond memories of this area, my mum used to bring me to Yaohan in the 80s’…and I notice there is a 2 storey building next to Yaohan, tuck at a dark corner, nearer to marine parade rd. The building has tinted color glass as window, wonder anybody notice it and was it still there since the whole place revamped.

    • 19 Elaine Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 12:47 am

      I too would really like to know more about the history of this stained glass building. I lived in Singapore between 1975 to 1995, and have fond memories of Katong. This building, however, has always haunted my thoughts.

  19. 20 olofinsky,michael Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Hi ,just about to visit in December,last time i was there couldnt find the place no wonder,My father was the manager of the Old hotel in 51-59 he passed away when i was 12,so didnt get much history,your old photos brought fond memories of playing on the garden area out the front.like to hear if anybody has any old stories

    • 21 K Preston Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:16 am

      hi, i was just looking for photos of the Sea View hotel I stayed in as a child – must have been sometime between 1954 and 1958. The photo above that triggered memories was the one that says “around 1937″. But I do remember the arcade – it leads to the restaurant as I remember.

      There was some sort of festive dinner and my tiny sister and I crept from our lovely room to see what was going on. The arcade was festooned with brilliantly coloured flowers and masses of hanging greenery, and lots of Chinese lanterns, and lights I think – it was magical.

      Our family were living in Brunei, Borneo, where my father was working, and I think we came to Singapore, and to the Sea View on a holiday.

      Our parents were at the dinner. Someone – can’t remember if it was another guest, or one of the hotel staff, saw my sister and I gazing in delighted awe at the arcade and took us back to our room.

      The rooms were lovely. There were lots all on the ground floor long and narrow, with huge ceiling fans, and mosquito nets around the beds. Each room had it’s own long narrow courtyard, and we sat outside to eat our breakfast. At the end of the courtyard was a gate – and through there was, Yes, some sort of concrete barrier and then the sea.

      My general memory of the hotel is that of wonderful rustic charm – our stay there is certainly one of my very happy childhood memories.

  20. 22 foo_c_m@hotmail.com Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    There is a lot of photos of the old Mitre Hotel on http://www.flickr.com

  21. 23 foo_c_m@hotmail.com Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Hey I think I found some old personal photos of Seaview Hotel. Any interested?

  22. 24 wie bali Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Nice review…!
    Thanks for sharing …!

  23. 26 Kimology Friday, November 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of those breezy seaside places and the nice slow pace. Also of the old Katong Park and the Ambassador Hotel across the road.

  24. 27 berlinbaba Monday, February 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Does anyone know if the Old Sea View Hotel was open at all during WWII? and if so, only for Japanese or for anyone who could afford to dine/stay there?

  25. 28 Doug Mein Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Stayed at the old Seaview in the 1950s & 60s. Very nice hotel. Does anyone remember the swinging ‘saloon’ type doors? Also the restaurant over the water?

    I think the old Seaview must have closed down rather suddenly as we were booked there (January 1963?)and told on arrival at Singapore airport that the hotel had closed ‘temporarily’. As far as I know it never re-opened

    Stayed at the new Seaview Hotel once in the mid 70s, not so good.

  26. 30 sanjana Friday, July 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

    wow.your site has helped me in a lot of my history and geography work.thanks!!do upload more…

  27. 32 diana saltoon Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 4:39 am

    I used to go to the old Seaview Hotel for dinner but it was so long ago – back in the mid-fifties. Can’t even remember the food that was served then (though I know it was delicious). Does anyone know more about the restaurant and food then? Was there also a live band and dancing? Anyone has any photos to share?

    Thanks for posting all comments about the hotel. It brings many fond memories of a Singapore no longer present, diana

  28. 33 Sabrina Monday, May 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Hi,

    I used to work in Sea View hotel as reservation dept in late 90’s, it was my first job. I am trying to find my ex collg who used to work with me. I remember every single thing in hotel. At that time, there were renovation for all rooms. Thank you for showing the old pictures of hotel.

  29. 34 Sheila Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I stayed at the new Seaview Hotel in the 70’s on a 2 daystop over from Australia to UK. I remember being on the top floor restaurant enjoying a meal and the entertainment from a live band, when the building started to sway quite heavily, enough for glassware to fall from tables. Everyone started to scream and vacate the building. We found the stairs and were nearly trampled by folk desperate to get out and away from the building. Needless to say, many people stopped on the road to see what would happen but fortunately nothing did but we didn’t go back in for many hours and I was pleased to leave for UK next morning.

  30. 35 ron burgess Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

    i am looking for a nice photo of singer sally chia singing in the lounge at seaview in 1986 if not maybe a advertising poster from there or the strawberry theatre lounge , and plaza hotel in 86,87 having trouble finding information.

  31. 36 onawhimseyPat Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I remember staying on holiday at the old seaview hotel and playing on the grass/sand infront of the rooms which always seemed grand. The front room was open plan and magic to a five year old. My parents sed to enjoy a good curry on a Sunday.

    It always amazed me to be able to look over the sea wall at the waves crashing against it.

    Thanks for posting a picture of the domed restaurant.. Happy days!

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  34. 39 VILMA Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

    soon after WW2 ended in the late 40’s we used to go to the Seaview for lunch, and listen to a live band by a “Julian Forman”, and also the kids used to watch a snake-charmer perform by the front entrance. Those were memorable days…Soon to re-visit Singapore and sad I won’t see the Old Seaview anymore…

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  37. 43 MGR Roop Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12:42 am

    A Tamil movie “Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban” was shot in Sea View Hotel 1970. Picture from the same blogger.

  38. 44 MGR Roop Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12:43 am

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  39. 45 Tom Meijer Friday, November 8, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I wonder if I can leave a picture somewhere here. It’s of the “old” Seaview Garden, 1946 to be precise. Our family next to the statue which you see in the photo above, marked: “The dome-shape building….” Anybody interested?

    • 46 Saskia Auriel Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Dear Sir,
      I would very much like to see your picture of the old Seaview garden.
      I stayed there with my family for a couple of days in February 1946 before we left for Europe. I just have descriptions (of the statue in the garden) but seen no pictures other than the one in the above article. Greetings,
      Saskia Auriel

  40. 47 Garry Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I remember staying at the sea view hotel in the mid 70s when working for shell tankers when you left a ship or joined one you were always put into the sea view before and after your flight.

  41. 48 Tony Wright (UK) Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I have 2 photos taken of the old Sea View Hotel by my grandfather back in approx. 1910. One of them is almost identical to the 1910 one, with the tide in. He was probably there on r n r from his work in railway construction on the East Coast Line, or on his way home to GB on leave.

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