Singapore has joined one of the world's most exclusive clubs, with the historic Duxton Hotel having been selected as a member of the Relais & Chateaux Association. The 49-room boutique hotel is not only the first in Singapore but the first in Southeast Asia to be listed by the group. The Duxton was included for the first time in this year's Relais & Chateaux guide and managing director Esther Su said: 'We are extremely proud the Duxton and Singapore represent the Southeast Asia debut in this exclusive association. 'The Duxton upholds the Relais & Chateaux principles of quality and service and recognises that today's traveller increasingly seeks the smaller-scale, customised service and comfort of a boutique hotel which also echoes a sense of history and tradition.' When it opened in 1991, the Duxton introduced a new concept in hospitality in Singapore, blending the service and amenities of a five-star hotel in an historic showcase. Located in the colourful Tanjong Pagar (Chinatown) district, the hotel in Duxton Road was converted from a row of eight 100-year-old shophouses once occupied by Straits Chinese traders. It retains wooden shutters and louvred doors. The neighbourhood, within walking distance of the Boat Quay nightlife centre, is now a conservation area housing fashionable shops, restaurants and galleries. Mrs Su said: 'Restoration has recreated something of the atmosphere of this bustling and thriving community of days gone by and gives the visitor a unique taste of Singapore's past, right on the doorstep of the hotel.' Relais & Chateaux distinguished the Duxton for its elegant, colonial-style ambience - along with its exquisite French dining room, L'Aigle d'Or, regarded as one of Singapore's finest restaurants. The hotel's achievement illustrated the memorable and world-class experiences that Singapore wanted to offer visitors, said Tan Chin Nam, chief executive of the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. 'No matter what size or how new a player you are, the possibilities are unlimited for individuals and companies with the vision and drive to deliver excellent service and quality products to an increasingly discerning and sophisticated travelling market.'