That most iconic and elegant of Singapore’s luxury hotels, Raffles, is once again welcoming guests after an extensive two-year restoration to bring the historic property back to the grandeur of its golden days.
Everything about the Raffles Singapore experience transports guests back to the 19th century, except of course for the modern touches you’d expect from this flagship Accor hotel.
The meticulous restoration of Raffles Singapore retains the hotel’s ambience, charm and heritage, harking back to its opening in 1887, when it was named for Singapore's founder Sir Stamford Raffles.
Those were, however the humblest of beginnings: a ten-room hotel in an old bungalow at the corner of Beach and Bras Basah Roads.
It wasn’t until 1899 that the highly-recognisable main building – a masterpiece of elegant white-clad neo‑Renaissance architecture – was opened, featuring Singapore's first electric lights and fans, plus a French chef whose exotic culinary creations helped the hotel become a drawcard for travellers and Singapore residents alike.
That magnetic pull hasn’t waned. The cricket stumps of the Marina Bay Sands may arguably be more recognisable, and certainly have overtaken the Merlion statue as the island-nation’s postcard hero, but Raffles remains the original definition of luxury, elegance and class.
Each of the hotel’s 115 suites are framed by polished teak verandahs and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens, with Raffles butlers on hand to provide an unforgettable experience.
While the restoration saw all suites fitted with new amenities and technology, they maintain a sense of space and colonial ambience framed by the original 4-metre ceilings, lofty double-glazed windows and smile-inducing nods to the past, such as mechanical light switches.
The ensuite bathrooms have been redesigned with beautiful Victorian details and Peranakan tiles in homage to Singapore’s rich culture.
Restaurants collaborations at Raffles Singapore include Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, of the three-Michelin star Maison Pic in Valence, France; French Master Chef Alain Ducasse; and Chef Jereme Leung, known for his innovative Chinese cooking.
Of course, Raffles wouldn’t be Raffles without the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was born in 1915, or the option to indulge in high tea.
“There are few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located,” remarks Christian Westbeld, General Manager of Raffles Singapore, “and none more so than the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.”
"One of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world, its restoration has been carefully designed to preserve its unique historic charm.”