AMOY: A Distinctive Blend of Past and Present
In a discreet row of shophouses within the Central Business District, AMOY sits hidden from plain sight. Built in homage to the first Chinese immigrants who landed in Singapore back in the 1800s, the hotel is today a landmark, reminding us of our country’s humble beginnings.
Travel through time with us when you stay at AMOY, a heritage boutique hotel under the Far East Hospitality hotel collection and read on to find out the tales embedded within its Chinese design and artefacts.
What’s in a Name?
Known today as the city of Xiamen, Amoy lay on the southeastern coast of China’s Fujian province. The first Chinese junk that arrived in Singapore set sail from Amoy, paving the way for settlers from neighbouring regions to migrate here in search of a better life.
A Warm Welcome
The voyage across sea was a long and arduous one for the early settlers, who had to endure less-than-ideal living conditions while battling the difficult waters. Just like how loved ones would pick up these arriving migrants once they landed on Singapore’s shores, AMOY makes it a point to receive all guests warmly from the moment they touch down in Singapore, beginning with a complimentary limo service, followed by welcome drinks at check-in.
Some Traditions Remain
Back in the day, these settlers would head to the Fuk Tak Chi Temple on Telok Ayer Street shortly after their arrival to thank the gods for their safe voyage to Nanyang (as Singapore was then known). The temple itself no longer exists, but the name lives on through the Fuk Tak Chi Museum, which doubles as the main entrance of AMOY. Walk through the museum and admire miniature representations of Nanyang’s bustling harbour, and just imagine the anticipation seafaring migrants must have felt as their boats finally docked.
No Two Alike
AMOY rooms are named after common Chinese surnames and come in two types – cosy singles and deluxe doubles.
True to the nature of shophouse structures, no two rooms are exactly alike in layout. What they all have in common, though, are statement pieces such as porcelain wash basins and traditional Chinese stools. Carefully selected, these pieces embody the rich heritage of the area in which the hotel stands. At first glance, these rooms may seem spacious, but unlike AMOY, shophouses had no maximum capacity – immigrants would pack themselves by the tens into each room.
Outside each room, the narrow hallways and short flights of stairs from days past remain. Beneath the plush carpeting and fresh coat of paint, these are the same hallways that early immigrants walked, 200 years ago.
A Nod to the Past
If you’ve ever wanted to know what opium beds are, just step into AMOY’s single rooms. Early immigrants, in the face of countless adversity, sought refuge in opium, never expecting a seemingly harmless habit to evolve into the scourge of Chinese society. Reproduced in remembrance of their hardships, these custom-made pieces fortunately exist today purely for a good night’s rest.
With Love, from Singapore
Unlike the early Chinese immigrants from Amoy, today’s travellers do not have to wait months for their letters to reach family and friends back home. Loved ones are just a video chat or email away, with the hotel’s free broadband internet access and WiFi.
Bridging the past and the present, the story of AMOY continues to write itself each day. Pay tribute to the early Chinese settlers of Singapore without compromising on comfort when you stay at AMOY.