Built as early as 1898, this waterfront bungalow has been the Choa family’s resort-like home for generations. Currently located between Marine Parade Road and East Coast Road, it was hard to believe this impressive villa was only 5m from the seaside before the land reclamation in the seventies.
Choa Kim Keat (undetermined-1907) was a well-known Malacca-born businessman who came to Singapore in 1886 and made his fortune in tin trading business. He had built several bungalows in Balestier, Pasir Panjang and Katong, but the only one left standing was this 113-year-old villa at Marine Parade, frequently used as a weekend resort by the tycoon.
Kim Keat Road was named after him.
The bungalow, designed with a mixture of colonial and Peranakan flavours, is also known by a rather romantic name called Sea Breeze Lodge.
Another seaside bungalow found in the northern part of Singapore is the Punggol Matilda House, previously owned by the wealthy Cashin family.
During the Second World War, the Japanese occupied the bungalow by force, but the residence was returned to the Choa family after the war, who had lived there since then. Eric Choa, Kim Keat’s grandson, owned the house and lived in it until his death in 2009, at a ripe old age of 93.
In June 2011, the Choa family decided to sell their property to Far East Organisation for S$104 million. A high-end condominium is expected to be built on this plot of land, which is about the size of half a football field. The house, given the conservation status in 2009, may be renovated to become a clubhouse.
Published: 22 June 2011
Updated: 08 August 2016
I was born at Paglar maternity hospital and lived at my father shop TAN CHIN MOH at 111 EAST coast road till I was 7 years old and then moved to ST Patricks road. Used to go to the beach every evening and remembered SEA breeze very well. Remembered, too, the kachina puteh Indian man by the big drain.
Dear Pat Tan,
I would love to know more about the late Dr Paglar’s maternity hospital please, as I believed my late grandmother was also born there and the staff there were somehow also involved in her adoption process. She grew up at No 20 Woo Mun Chew Road. Please send me a line at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks & Regards,
Sea Breeze Lodge is beautiful. It is too bad that most conservation houses of this sort end up being clubhouses in private condominiums. They will only be enjoyed by a small group of residents and soon the general public will forget about them.
Too many high rise condo in the area~ please… not another one.. sigh 😦 the resident cats at the house will have no where to go… The white one will without fail sit on the white lion entrance stone every night. The other one will enjoy the morning sun at the door every day. I dare not say anything, but the late Mr Choa Kim Keat may be watching (I walk past the house at least twice a day). *creeps huh*
Does anyone know what is currently happening with Sea Breeze Lodge? We are a Musical Artiste Development Society looking for a new venue and wondered if it was available, even if only temporarily/ thank you.
My husband and i were very fortunate to have visited this extraordinary residence on our recent trip to Singapore. Just so very beautiful still. xo
Does anyone know what the current status of the property is? Some family members visited the site exactly 4 years ago. We have some historical cum sentimental interests in the place. 🙂
The bungalow is still there and left abandoned as of 17 August 2020. It is right opposite Parkway Parade. I hope they don’t demolish it as I live in the area for over 20 years and it is the only land that is not two levels and above
My aunt’s family (employees of the Choa’s) used to live there.