If you have the budget for just one indulgence, make it a stay at Raffles Singapore. This 103-suite heritage hotel at Beach Road was declared a national monument by the Singapore government in 1987. It’s a 126-year-old colonial masterpiece that was subject to a massive restoration project completed in 1991.
Opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore sits on the original plot of 10-bungalow land at Beach Road that once overlooked the sea. Land reclamation has, however, robbed the heritage property of shimmering sea views, and towering skyscrapers now dwarf the low-rise hotel. Yet her palm and frangipani tree-fringed setting in the heart of town remains the envy of many – it takes three minutes to walk to both City Hall MRT and Raffles City Shopping Centre; the financial district is just one train stop away and Marina Bay Sands is five to 10 minutes by taxi.
Address: 1 Beach Road, 189673, Singapore.
Style & character
“Raffles Hotel stands for all the fables of the exotic East,” the playwright Somerset Maugham once wrote. How true. Almost everything – from the antique grandfather clock that stands majestically in the lobby to the ornate wrought-iron portico to the neo-Renaissance architecture – harks back to the 1920s and 1930s heydays when the grand hotel hosted the society’s elite. The hotel houses two wings: Palm Court and Bras Basah – the former was completed in 1894 and the latter in 1904, but their architecture and interior are uniformly old-world. Raffles Hotel is perfect for history buffs who want to soak in Singapore’s colonial past without sacrificing comfort and opulence.
Service & facilities
Upon arrival, all guests are welcomed with a glass of Singapore Sling – the iconic pineapple juice cocktail that was developed by a Long Bar bartender before 1915. Thereafter, your butler – one of the privileged few who have dutifully served the crème-de-la-crème of the world’s elite, such as Bill Clinton and the late Michael Jackson – will see to your every whim, including packing, unpacking, pressing and shoe shining.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
Book the Palm Court suites for the outdoor veranda with rattan seats that face the tranquil Palm Court; corporate guests who need bigger working desks may prefer the Bras Basah suites that face the Raffles City Shopping Centre. All suites, which come with separate living and sleeping quarters, feature high ceilings, whirling ceiling fans and charming, old-world furnishings, such as antique dressers and CRT television sets as well as Fragonard bath amenities. Wi-Fi is on the house, as is coffee and tea prepared to order by your butler; but not breakfast.
Food & drink
You can dine magnificently without leaving the property. First-rate sushi is available at one Michelin-starred Shinji by Kanesaka by chef Oishino Koichiro. A nine-piece sushi lunch is available from S$75 (£43) but for the ultimate dining experience, splurge on the Omakase Shin (from S$450/£258) at dinner where the chef will offer up the day’s freshest catch like otoro (tuna belly) degustation-style.
Within the property, refined Chinese cuisine is also available at Royal China; prime beef cuts at Long Bar Steakhouse; and French contemporary fine dining at Raffles Grill. The Bar & Billiard Room – where a Bengal tiger was spotted and shot dead in 1902 – also serves up a lovely champagne brunch every Sunday. Despite the cliché of sipping a Singapore Sling at the peanut shell-littered Long Bar, it remains a must-do ritual for new and returning tourists.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Butlers are at the disposal of guests with disabilities but there are no rooms built for the disabled.
Yes. The hotel provides amenities such as bathrobes and toothbrushes for children-in-residence. Kids are also issued a Kid’s Passport that offers activities to keep the little ones busy during their stay.
If you concern about other hotels and resorts, please feel free to contact us for more information.