Back in Lim Ho Puah’s time, the banks along Singapore River quivered with sinister activities of underground Chinese and Fujianese secret syndicates. Gambling and prostitution prevailed and the flourishing opium trade reliably accounted for half of the revenue thriving businesses along the Strait of Malacca route generated. Since most smokers were hopelessly addicted and the trade was supported by the colonial government, profits stayed at a long-time high. In the very midst of this illustrious district right by the river lay Lim Ho Puah’s „godown“, the warehouse he had built in 1895.
Lim Ho’s new edifice had received a handsome peaked roof and windows adorned with protective shutters. The structure surely stood out among the other buildings lining „Spirits Shed Street“ (Chiu Long Lo): in dark corners and alleyways they sheltered many an illicit distillery producing alluring alcoholic substances such as arrack, tuak or toddy form rice, palm or coconut sap.
The Warehouse Hotel
Today, the former godown fulfils a different purpose: the spacious warehouse on Robertson Quay has been preserved and converted into the chic premises now accommodating The Warehouse Hotel, a modern 37-room boutique hotel focussing on heritage and local culture. Open since January 2017, The Warehouse delivers hospitality in historically detailed rooms. Set within a vibrant neighbourhood both residential and commercial, its lively riverside location renders it a veritable diner’s hub. The Central Business District and the Orchard Road shopping district are within walking distance.
Eating and drinking
Po, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, offers an abundance of local classics and Singaporean fare on the upper scale. The beverage list holds a choice of tipple keeping The Warehouse Hotel’s heritage alive, along with Asian spirits and a selection of fine wines.
All images courtesy of and copyright by www.thewarehousehotel.com