“You have never really been to Singapore unless you have stayed a night at the Raffles Hotel”
Offering the upmost of refined colonial opulence, the Raffles Hotel (click here)is Singapore’s oldest and arguably most iconic hotel. Fully restored in 1991, Raffles has been pristinely preserved upholding its title of a National Monument by the Singaporean Government and locals alike.
Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world, giving it an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design. The famous hotel really is located in the heart of Singapore’s city. To one side is Singapore’s thriving business and civic district, while also being within walking distance to Singapore’s International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec, The Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay and a short 2 mintue cab to the Marina Bay Sands promenade and the renowned orchard shopping district.
Ironically, when the Serkies Brothers first opened Raffles in 1887, this imposing building was touted as a public 10-room hotel beachfront bungalow with uninterrupted views of the beach and South-China Sea. After Singapore’s independence there has been vast development over the years, everything to the east of Raffles is built on reclaimed land, causing the historical building to lose it’s uninterrupted water views of the sea but in doing so it has made Raffles the centrepiece of the entire city.
As we pulled up to the building, we were greeted by several butlers dressed in traditional sikh 19th century uniform*. From here we entered into the grand four-story lobby to check in, the first time you walk thorough the wrought-iron portico you instantly feel you have been transported back in time to the early 1900’s. While we took a seat and relaxed during check-in, the friendly concierge easily persuaded us to indulge in a few Singapore Slings**.
*These guys are the most photographed hotel staff in the world.
**The Singapore Sling, widely regarded as the national drink of the country, was first created in 1915 at Raffles Singapore by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.
After our delicious cocktails we were escorted to our Palm Cove Suite, which was on the first floor, in a wing just off the main building. Within Raffles walls there are 103 expansive suites, framed by polished teak verandas and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens.
Our suite overlooked one of these magnificent manicured garden areas (These gardens occupy more than a quarter of the entire estate). The suite was rich in timeless elegance, with soaring ceilings and bespoke original antique furnishings. The serenity and tranquillity of the surrounding green oasis makes the frantic buzz of the modern day Singapore just slip away.
Food & Beverage:
Built in architectural harmony with the hotel, the adjoining land parcel is known as the “Raffles Hotel Arcade”. Raffles Hotel Arcade is an integral part of the hotel, with a plethora of bars and restaurants (12 within the raffle compound including Long Bar where the famous Singapore Sling was created). It also houses a multitude of high class shopping with 40 regional and specialty shops and has numerous indoor and outdoor event & function areas such as The Ballroom and The Lawn. There is no doubt Raffles has plenty to offer at your fingertips.
We dined at the Tiffin Room, which is adjacent to the lobby and is the hotel’s main dining area for the buffet breakfast. The elegant restaurant also offers a sumptuous buffet of authentic North Indian specialities and curries during lunch and dinner, and the well-loved classic English afternoon tea.
We also ate at Raffles Grill for lunch (see our review here) both meals were extremely pleasant, but lunch was the stand out.
Pool & Gym:
The hotel also offers a rooftop swimming pool and bar to relax at and the amenities are world class.
- Dedicated 24 hr personal butler
- Great Dining options
- The Buffet Breakfast
- Multitude of Shopping
- Several Bars
- Turn down service
- Hot pressure water in shower was temperamental
- Gym was small and had limited hours
Our stay at Raffles was second to none. The effortless elegance of the restored building and staff service allowed for us to have a complete and seamless stay.