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The Grand Hotel, Ipoh
This photograph courtesy of Malcolm Wade, shows the Grand Hotel, formerly Datoh Panglima Kinta Wahab's residence.
In 1909, Armenian, Pierre Z Creet started the Grand Hotel, and was then joined by his two brothers, Mackertich and Simon. The house was converted into a forty-room hotel. It was advertised as the high life hostelry in the heart of Ipoh, incorporating all the facilities of a Sarkies hotel, plus concessions to Ipoh; a planters' and miners' lounge and smoking rooms, and a large motor garage.
The Grand Hotel closed down in June 1918, amidst the economic stagnation of World War I.
The next role for the building was as premises for the Anglo-Chinese Girls' School (later MGS). However, on 6th December 1927 the old Grand Hotel was rejuvenated and became again The Grand Hotel, Ipoh. It is then recorded that on 29th December 1928 the Grand Hotel new Dance Hall and Lounge were opened on a Saturday night by Mrs E A Dickson, wife of District Officer Kinta.
But again the success was short-lived and on 1st May 1936 the hotel went into Voluntary liquidation. It was then bought over by a wealthy Chinese syndicate, who appointed Mr Lim Hee Jee as manager. Some 6 months later on 16th December 1937 it is recorded that the Dance Hall re-opened at the Grand Hotel. However the Japanese occupation brought closure of the establishment which after the war became the Majestic Hotel.
During the Japanese Ocupation the hotel building was taken over bt the Japanese. It was known as the Heitan Ryokan Ipoh Hotel, or, simply, the Ipoh Hotel. The (Japanese) Governor of Perak officiated at the opening ceremony in late 1942; also present were the Sultan and a visiting Japanese parliamentarian. Over the course of its three-year run, Chinese, specifically, were hired as receptionists and waitresses, as you might infer from this advertisement:
Waitresses and girls for office work between the ages of 15 and 20 of Chinese nationality only. Must have slight knowledge of Nippon-go. Wages will be decided on interview. Apply personally during office hours at The Heitan Ryokan Ipoh Hotel, Silibin Road, Ipoh.
The advertisement ran on the back page of the Perak Shimbun (for example, on May 26, 2605 - 1945).
To read about Datoh Panglima Kinta Wahab's House, click here.
To see an internal view of Datoh Panglima Kinta Wahab's House, click here.
To see the building when it was the Anglo-Chinese Girls' School, click here.
To read about Pierre Z Creet, click here.
To read more about the book 'Kinta Valley', click here.
To see Two Baggage Labels from Ipoh's Grand Hotel, click here.