Sarkies Brothers

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Clockwise from top: Arshak, Tigran and Aviet Sarkies

The Sarkies Brothers were a group of brothers of Armenian ethnicity, best known for founding a chain of luxury hotels throughout Southeast Asia. Born in Isfahan, Iran,[1] the brothers were:

  • Martin Sarkies (1852–1912)
  • Tigran Sarkies (1861–1912)
  • Aviet Sarkies (1862–1923)
  • Arshak Sarkies (1868–1931)

In chronological order, the hotels founded or run by the brothers were:[2]

It was 23-year-old Tigran who took the first step into the hotel industry, seeing it as more profitable than his fledgling auctioneering business. Taking over the lease of a large compound house at 1A Light Street, he named it the Eastern Hotel, announcing on 15 April 1884 that the hotel was open to receive boarders.[6]

In addition, the brothers' cousin Arathoon Sarkies (1882–1932) managed the Adelphi Hotel in Singapore from 1903 to 1908,[7] and Hotel Majapahit (as Hotel Oranje) in Surabaya, Indonesia was founded in 1910 by Martin's cousin Lucas Martin Sarkies (1876–?) and his brother John.[8][9] Kartika Wijaya in Batu, Java, Indonesia was originally built as a vacation villa for the Sarkies, and was only later turned into a hotel.[10]

Arshak, the last of the brothers, died on January 9, 1931. On June 10 of the same year, a bankruptcy case was filed against the Raffles Hotel, eventually resulting in the Sarkies family losing control of their hotels in Singapore and Penang.[2] The hotel in Surabaya, however, stayed in the hands of the Sarkies' descendants until 1969.[11]

Another Sarkies hotel still operating is The Niagara Hotel, Lawang, East Java.

The Sarkies name still lives on in Singapore through the namesake Sarkies Road[12] and Arathoon's descendants.[13]


  1. ^ a b The History of Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  2. ^ a b Sarkies Brothers. Famous Hotels. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  3. ^ Old Sea View Hotel. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  4. ^ The Straits Times, 28 July 1905, Page 6 NL300
  5. ^ Chong, Debra. (2010-05-26) Main – Malaysia – Penang opens tender to restore Crag Hotel @ Wed May 26 2010. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  6. ^
  7. ^ July « Preservation Of Monuments Board. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  8. ^
  9. ^ A. Mirzaian, Armenians in Australia and New Zealand.216
  10. ^ Kartika Wijaya Hotel. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  11. ^ Hotel Majapahit. Hotel Majapahit (1945-11-10). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  12. ^ Wright, Nadia H. (2003). Respected citizens: the history of Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia. Amassia Publishing. 
  13. ^ "Proud of the legendary Sarkies name". The Straits Times. September 17, 2015. 

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