Alkaff Mansion, the beauty on a hill

Alkaff Mansion was built in 1918 by a member of the prominent Alkaff family as a weekend house. It has since gone through various transformations.
Alkaff Mansion was built in 1918 by a member of the prominent Alkaff family as a weekend house. It has since gone through various transformations.PHOTO: LHN GROUP

One of the highlights of running at Telok Blangah Hill Park is the view of Alkaff Mansion.

The colonial bungalow was built in 1918 by a member of the prominent Alkaff family as a weekend house.

Located on a hill at 10 Telok Blangah Green, the two-storey Tudor- styled bungalow looked out on a 19ha park and gave a bird's-eye view of Keppel Harbour. The hill was then believed to be the highest point in Singapore to host a bungalow.

The Alkaffs, an Arab family whose ancestors arrived in Singapore from Yemen in 1852 and ran a profitable business trading in sugar, coffee and spices between India and Indonesia, socialised with many distinguished people, including British colonial officials.

In the 1930s, Alkaff Mansion became widely known as a gathering place for notable members of society. Decades later, in 1990, the building was converted into a Dutch-Indonesian restaurant after a $5million facelift.

After another $5million renovation, an Italian restaurant, Alkaff Mansion Ristorante, opened in December 2011.

As the hill the mansion sits on and nearby Mount Faber were important battle sites during World War II, the Urban Redevelopment Authority awarded the area conservation status on June 9, 2005.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Alkaff Mansion, the beauty on a hill'. Print Edition | Subscribe