Situated near the mouth of the Singapore River is a historical building known as the Fullerton Hotel. Before its current incarnation, it was known as the Fullerton Building, taking its name after Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits Settlements (1826–1829). Most Singaporeans would know that the Fullerton Building housed the General Post Office from 1928 (the year it was built) ’til 1996. In 1997, the Fullerton Building was gazetted as a conservation building by the Singapore Government.
The Fullerton Hotel features Neo-classical architectural designs which include fluted Doric colonnades on their heavy base. In its short but illustrious history, many government departments and commercial entities besides the Singapore Post occupied its hallowed grounds. The list includes the Exchange, Singapore Club (now Singapore Town Club), the Marine Department, and the Import and Export Department (later the Ministry of Trade and Industry). It also housed the Chamber of Commerce, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Economic Development Board. Perhaps the most feared occupants would be that of the Japanese Military Administration during World War II. It was also in Fullerton Building where General Percival discussed with Governor Sir Shenton Thomas the possibility of surrendering Singapore to the Japanese.
Fast forward to the present, Fullerton Hotel is currently a 5-star, 400-room luxury hotel. These 400 rooms and suites either overlook the atrium courtyard, or face downtown Singapore’s skyline, the Singapore River promenade or the Marina Bay. Fullerton Hotel is linked by an underpass to One Fullerton, which is a low-rise building facing the sea front that boasts of many food and beverage outlets. Next to One Fullerton is another famous landmark, the Merlion Park, which houses the iconic Merlion statue. From the Merlion Park, one has a panoramic view of the Marina Bay, which also boasts of famous buildings such as the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, and the Marina Bay Sands.
Every September since September 2008, guests and visitors of the Fullerton Hotel has been rocked by the deafening sounds of the ultimate racing machines, 22 Formula1 cars roaring down the tarmac next to the hotel. This is because Fullerton Hotel is strategically located next to Turn 13 of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix
circuit. Expect to see the rich and famous mingling in the historical Fullerton Hotel if you happen to be in Singapore during that period!