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The Original Loh Lik Peng

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The Original Loh Lik Peng

Loh Lik Peng

Loh and Behold

By placing luxury hotels and restaurants in off-the-radar neighborhoods, master of the unexpected Loh Lik Peng has had a devilish good time transforming cities and putting a new spin on how to succeed.

“For guests to choose one of my hotels they need to have a sense of curiosity—a conservative traveler might not think of staying there.” So says Loh Lik Peng of his truly one-of-a-kind properties. But it’s not just “what” he opens that commands attention, it’s “where.” Loh opened his first venture, Hotel 1929, in a former brothel in Singapore’s red-light district in 2003. With its swank design and instant buzz, 1929 became a popular destination for travelers and locals alike. 

We need to lighten up and make sure guests are having fun, because it’s not only about luxury or thread count and butlers.

LOH LIK PENG

We need to lighten up and make sure guests are having fun, because it’s not only about luxury or thread count and butlers.

LOH LIK PENG

Three years later he opened the New Majestic and upped the style quotient in Singaporean hospitality even further. New properties opened in Singapore, Shanghai, London, and Sydney, swelling Loh’s portfolio to five hotels in four cities on three continents. And not one of them is located in what your average guidebook would have considered the “right” kind of neighborhood—that is, until his properties put their once-undesirable districts on the style map. From New Majestic's Chinatown to Town Hall East London neighborhood to Wanderlust's Little India, Loh's hotels are sure to leave a memorable mark. 

"We need to lighten up and make sure guests are having fun," says Loh, "because it’s not only about luxury or thread count and butlers.” Perhaps Loh got enough of life’s formality early on. Born and raised in Ireland with the full boarding school experience and parental pressure to become a doctor, he studied law instead. Arriving in Singapore as a corporate lawyer in 1997, he was soon immersed in the financial meltdown of the Asian debt crisis. “I spent my days winding down businesses and seeing fortunes destroyed—it was very demoralizing,” he explains. And so after buying his first run-down building in Singapore that nobody wanted, "The Unlisted Collection" of hotels was born.

 

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