Up the accommodation ante on your next trip to The Lion City and stay at the legendary Raffles Singapore.
Synonymous with Singapore, and of course, the Singapore Sling, there is no other place in this beautiful city that generates such adoration and admiration by locals and visitors alike. And, for a good reason, as we can attest to following our short weekend break away.
Having taken advantage of special airfares from the Gold Coast on Scoot, we considered a splurge on accommodation was a fitting idea. After all, it’s not often we get to take advantage of four kid-free nights.
Located on Beach Road (Raffles was once upon a time a beachfront hotel but is well removed from the water now!) the hotel is ideally positioned to offer guests the best of Singapore with most of the city’s attractions within easy walking distance, or a short taxi ride away. The hotel commands a whole city block, and the magnificence of the colonial architecture – with its white marble colonnades, tropical gardens, and ornate wrought-iron portico – is an oasis of calm in a bustling metropolitan city.
For the lucky few, being able to walk past the infamous and dutiful uniformed Sikh doorman and beyond the ‘Hotel Guests Only’ sign is indeed a special feeling – especially when you consider the countless tourists that make a daily pilgrimage around the hotel exterior – and you just know they’re all dying to step foot inside!
Spacious is not a word that springs to mind when thinking of Singapore hotel rooms, yet spacious is what you get when staying in one of Raffles’ 103 suites which are accessed via breezy verandah walkways and come complete with their own quaint parlour and period furnishings.
Over its long years, Raffles has played host to a revolving door of the world’s most rich and famous including Charlie Chaplin, James A Michener, Maurice Chevalier, Frank Buck and Jean Harlow and countless kings, queens, and presidents. The Personality Suites honor 12 such clientele – complete with unique memorabilia displayed within each room. We stayed in a Palm Court Suite overlooking the lovely tropical gardens and open courtyard space below – and complete with a 24-hour Raffles Butler – talk about spoilt!
While, if you’re looking to totally luxe out, you’ll love the Stateroom, Grand Hotel or Presidential Suites which indeed take luxury and comfort to a new level with their multi-room setup and grand decor to boot.
EAT & DRINK
It’s no secret that Singaporeans love their food – and it is obvious that dining and drinking have played a major role in the history of Raffles, and continues to do so with 14 onsite restaurants (yes, that’s not a typo, there are 14 restaurants!).
The Tiffin Room is the heart and soul of the hotel and plays host to a large clientele of patrons who come to sample a traditional high tea on weekday afternoons. This popular experience affords non-hotel guests the opportunity to savour an interior sneak peek of the hotel while enjoying 3-tiers of tasty morsels including ribbon sandwiches and trays of onsite baked pastries. This is also the place where Raffles’ famous North Indian Buffet is served for lunch and dinner which has been a tradition since 1899!
Of course, the most ordered item on the Raffles menu is the infamous Singapore Sling, and why not? Concocted of gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice, lime juice, Cointreau, Dom Benedictine, Grenadine, Angostura bitters, you only need to try one to understand its popularity. Created by Ngiam Tong Boon, the head barman at the time in 1915, this is a drink of legendary proportions and was in fact designed to look like a sherbet so that women could imbibe without being frowned upon – thank goodness those days are long gone!
COUPLES WILL LOVE
Oh, where to begin? …
Of course, no luxury hotel is complete without a grand dining room, and Raffles Grill certainly sets the standard for elegant dining. Resplendent with its crystal chandeliers and period decor, and overlooking the palmed courtyard, it was the perfect spot for us to while away a lazy Monday while enjoying a two-course Executive Lunch, complemented by exquisite Billecart-Salmon Champagne. Delicious is an understatement and at least one visit to Raffles Grill is a must.
Food aside, we also loved our cooling afternoon dips in the rooftop pool – it’s an absolutely perfect way to cap off a day of sightseeing.
For further information on staying at this iconic hotel, visit Raffles Hotel Singapore.
It was in 1887 that The Sarkies brothers (Armenian luxury hoteliers) took over what was once a privately owned beach house and opened a 10-bedroom hotel catering to the wealthy. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, today the hotel takes pride of place as one of Singapore’s most historic buildings and is, in fact, one of the world’s few remaining nineteenth-century hotels in operation.
RENOVATION NOTICE: Raffles Hotel Singapore is the flagship property of Raffles Hotels & Resorts and this hotel is now undertaking the biggest renovation project of its time. While this will unfold in stages – with the first stage concentrating on the Long Bar and Courtyard – it is expected that the hotel will completely close at the end of 2017 and will not officially reopen until mid-2018. Check for the latest updates on http://www.raffles.com/singapore/