The 12-storey, 3-star Cockpit Hotel, our home during our 3 night stay in Singapore, stands on the grounds of a colonial mansion that used to function as a hotel called Hotel De L’Europe (it used to be owned by a Dutchman).
Designed by Architect Yang Tai Tye, it was built in 1972 by Indonesian businessman Hoo Liong Thing as an extension to the old one, which had been around since 1947. The Cockpit name became official in 1960. The old mansion was pulled down a decade later.
This classic-looking hotel, overlooking the Le Meridien (now Concorde) shopping center, has 230 guest rooms, a nightclub, offices and restaurants. Luxton Hall was demolished in 1982 to make way for a new extension at the rear, adding another 168 guestrooms, swimming pool, restaurant, recreational facilities, function rooms and car parking.
It has a white exterior, distinctive fan-shaped windows, arches and protruding wrought-iron balconies.In 1980, Hongkong jeweller Kevin Hsu bought the hotel for $45 million.
In 1983, he, in turn, sold it to hotelier Teo Lay Swee for $62 million. When the Raffles Hotel was closed for renovations in 1989, about 60 long-serving staff moved over to the Cockpit, as did the recipe for the Singapore Sling. The hotel is close to many attraction and landmarks such as Church of St Peter & St Paul, Armenian Church and Cathedral of the Good Shepherd..
In 1997, the Cockpit Hotel was bought by a Wing Tai-led group and was demolished sometime in 2000 to make way for a residential and commercial project. The Hotel Grand Central is still around, the only 3-star hotel remaining along Orchard Rd.
Cockpit Hotel: 115 Penang Road cor. Oxley Rise, 238460 Singapore.