Hotel Telegraph launches exclusive heritage tours in the CBD; here’s our review

Singapore residents are probably familiar with the bustling Central Business District (CBD), where we work, drink with colleagues, or perhaps attend fitness classes at. But when was the last time we look deeper into the history of the landmarks there and how they impact on the Singaporean identity?

To commemorate its inaugural anniversary in September, Hotel Telegraph has crafted a series of activities, inviting guests to deeply engage with Singapore’s rich heritage and culture.

These include heritage tours in the CBD, where it’s located at, to reintroduce both locals and tourists to the often-overlooked narratives that have shaped Singapore.

Hotel Telegraph: Review of my stay

hotel telegraph facade

From the moment I arrive at Hotel Telegraph, it’s immediately apparent that the building is a relic from Singapore’s colonial past. This neoclassical beauty is constructed in 1927 by local architects Swan and Maclaren and remains as breath-taking as before.

Since its listing as a historical landmark in 2000, the building’s original design, painstakingly restored, has retained its timeless allure, unaffected by the passage of time.

I found it extremely charming, as I entered through its revolving door, knowing I’ve stepped into a piece of Singapore’s history. After all, the building has transformed gracefully over the years, serving as a telegraph office (hence, its namesake) in the past, till today, a luxury boutique hotel.

hotel telegraph playful interior
Design elements are modern and quirky.

But don’t for a moment think that Hotel Telegraph is just a mere replica of the past. Despite its preserved facade, you can look forward to features that are modern and even playful in its interior.

hotel telegraph deluxe room
The room I stayed in
hotel telegraph bathroom
The bathroom is tastefully designed.
penhaligon's amenities
Toiletries are from British luxury perfume house Penhaligon’s.

The room I stayed in was cosy and comfortable. It was easy to call it a home away from home almost instantly. I felt absolutely at ease during my 3D2N stay, working, binge-watching TV shows, taking long baths, and even ordered in dinner to have it in my room one night.

For breakfast, you can choose to have it at The Dining Room, an elegant all-day café, restaurant, and bar that offers local and European fare.

hotel telegraph the dining room breakfast

While other hotels’ restaurants may impress you with an overwhelming amount of food options, The Dining Room has a small but high quality selection. Look forward to fine wines, premium cold cuts and cheeses, as well as local Bak Kut Teh served with charcoal youtiao.

Weekends Grill & Roast is also available every Saturday and Sunday at The Dining Room.

This is a delightful dining experience for meat-lovers, and you’ll get to take your pick from succulent Butcher Cuts such as Beef Tenderloin, Black Angus Ribeye, USA Pork Tomahawk, and Duck Leg Confit.

Seafood-lovers get to choose from delectable options including Sambal Skate Wing with Cincalok, Whole Sea Bass Bakar Balado, and Baked Cheesy Boston Lobster.

You can complement your mains with your preferred sides and sauces, while receiving a complimentary access to the healthy salad bar.

Finally, conclude the meal sweetly with exquisite desserts such as Baked Kueh Bingka, Deconstructed Tiramisu, and Apple Crumble Cake.

Weekends Grill & Roast
I had the Baked Cheese Boston Lobster and Deconstructed Tiramisu combo

I went with the Baked Cheese Boston Lobster and Deconstructed Tiramisu combo and I have to say that I was very satisfied. The Tiramisu, in particular, was a decadent treat, perfect for an indulgent weekend.

1927 rooftop
1927 Rooftop Bar

1927 rooftop bar food and drinks

At night, head up to the 1927 Rooftop Bar that opens onto the pool deck. It has a chill vibe that sets you on a holiday mood immediately and serves delicious bar food along with a solid selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

If you want to head out, its convenient location is a highlight whether you’re a local on a staycation or a tourist.

lau pa sat
Lau Pa Sat is open 24/7. (Credit: Depositphotos)

Situated right at the heart of the CBD, it is well-connected to the local public transportation network and right next to the iconic Lau Pa Sat that opens for 24 hours, tempting you with the aroma of satays and other local foods any time of the day; it is the perfect spot for late-night suppers.

Heritage tours at Hotel Telegraph

In collaboration with a local historian, Hotel Telegraph is pioneering heritage tours that pay tribute to Singapore’s historical roots.

the asian civilisation museum
Did you know there are names of donors on the walls of the Asian Civilisation Museum? These were people who contributed to the renovation of the Empress Place Building (now the ACM).
cavenagh bridge
Cavenagh Bridge (Credit: Depositphotos)

The tour commences at the hotel’s 1927 edifice, which endured World War II bombings, and continues through iconic sites like the Lau Pa Sat, Cavenagh Bridge, and the rest of the Civic District.

Yueh Hai Ching Temple
The 128-year-old Yueh Hai Ching Temple stands out as a beautiful juxtaposition against the tall and modern buildings in the CBD.

For those eager to delve deeper, alternative routes to nearby Chinatown, replete with historical gems such as the 1903 Jinrikisha Station and the venerable Yueh Hai Ching Temple —Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple, dating back 128 years, are available.

Jinrikisha Station
Jinrikisha Station (Credit: Elisa.rolle / Creative Commons)

The guide is a natural storyteller and I learnt a lot about Singapore’s history from the tour, even though I spent all my life here. The stories made the walk fun, even under Singapore’s hot sun.

Besides delving into local history, Hotel Telegraph is introducing its guests to the burgeoning craft beer scene in the city.

thirty six brewlab and smokehouse

Collaborating with Lion Brewery Co, the hotel offers heritage tour participants an enlightening microbrewery excursion at the brewlab, housed in a heritage building dating back to 1928.

lion brewery co brewlab (1)
I had a glimpse into the process of brewery.
craft beer tasting
I tasted six refreshing craft beers that were perfect on a hot and humid day.

At the tour, I was introduced to the process of brewery and got to savour six refreshing craft beers, expertly brewed to suit the Southeast Asian climate.

In the coming days, Hotel Telegraph plans to host a Singapore Sling masterclass, allowing guests to learn the art of mixing and shaking their own cocktails using locally-sourced ingredients. This is certainly another exciting activity that guests can look forward to.

Hotel Telegraph is located at 35 Robinson Road, Singapore 068876. Make your booking through its website.