By Lim Wei Chean
IT IS not the best of times, but the first of 10 new hotels to come up in Singapore this year threw open its doors in a grand official opening ceremony yesterday.
Hundreds of guests turned up for The Ibis on Bencoolen's launch event, and were feted with champagne and local delicacies such as chilli crab, bak kut teh and char kway teow before a ceremony in which the hotel's main signpost was turned on.
The 538-room, three-star hotel - and the other nine which will open here this year - were planned for in better times, when Singapore was setting tourism arrival records at breakneck pace, and fears were looming of a room crunch.
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