Although we love many of our Turquoise hotels for their service, style, delicious food and welcoming people, the varied history of a few really make these places stand out from the rest! From cocktails to chocolate, celebrities to authors, wars to Lords and music to mountains, here’s four of our favourite facts about these hotels steeped in history…
This elegant icon of a hotel was built in 1887 by the Sarkies brothers and named after the founder of Modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. Raffles has seen a lot over the years: from an original beach house the property turned into a high-end hotel with exceptional service, in 1931 the Great Depression caused bankruptcy for the Sarkies brothers, in 1942 the Japanese occupied Singapore, and in 1987 at 100 years old, the hotel was declared a National monument. The hotel itself has faced a lot of history, but for the fun part, the Singapore Sling cocktail was created in Raffles Long Bar (and you can learn how to make it here today!) and some of its most famous guests include Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner, Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward.
There’s something rather magical about a hotel being built from the ideas of a book’s pages. Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris founded the Hotel Chocolat company in 2004 and one of their customers Michele Clare sent them a beautiful 1920’s copy of Cocoa & Chocolate: Their History from Plantation to Consumer. This sparked the idea in Angus that Hotel Chocolat should grow their own cocoa and the perfect opportunity arose at the Rabot Estate in St Lucia. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat was born out of the programme, so that a boutique retreat and cocoa growers in St Lucia could merge together to create the very delicious experience of the real Hotel Chocolat.
The name’s Bond. James Bond. Goldeneye boasts the beating heart of Ian Fleming’s 007 books, and with its secret cove location on Jamaica’s north coast, it’s easy to understand why the James Bond author chose to set up base in this gorgeous Caribbean destination. You can now stay in the Fleming Villa built in 1946 for your inner author, or if you’re feeling more musical make the most of the alternative reggae history of Goldeneye which was bought in 1976 by Chris Blackwell. To this day, Blackwell is known for being the founder of Island Records in Jamaica- taking care of stars from Bob Marley, Grace Jones and U2.
The Pink Palace of Cape Town is a colonial sanctuary from the bustling city. Mr William Maude was let the property in 1806 and he named it after our very own Lord Admiral Nelson who had died the year before, and the dramatic Table Mountain of Cape Town. The building opened as a luxurious hotel for passengers travelling to Cape Town with shipping lines in 1899 and then shortly became British headquarters in the South African Second Boer War. In the 1900s through to today, the beautiful garden estate surrounding the picture-perfect hotel has drawn the likes of Winston Churchill, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and John Lennon.