By Maxine Albert
Probably the world’s most famous hotel, Raffles Singapore is an oasis of colonial style, calm and charm in the heart of modern Singapore – exclusive, historic and one of a kind.
First opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore epitomizes the romance of the Far East, an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and colonial ambiance that no other hotel can match. Immortalized by writers including Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock, Raffles is the perfect place from which to explore Singapore.
Liveried Sikh doormen usher guests through an ornate wrought-iron portico into a lobby that seems unaltered from the turn of the century. Stroll the polished teak verandas past tropical gardens to suites with an elegant parlor, period furnishings, a bedroom that leads to a dressing room and en suite bathroom. Luxuriate in the history, in the scent of frangipani in the evening, in the Raffles Spa, or order room service from the legendary Raffles butlers.
Fifteen restaurants and bars wait. From the famous Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling, to the Bar & Billiard Room, Raffles is alive with history, infused with atmosphere, and open to the moment.
Raffles is conveniently close to Singapore’s financial hub, making business a pleasure, and any visit an indelible memory.
The 14-foot ceilings and generous proportions of the suites create a sense of calm and space. The Presidential and Grand Hotel suites are within the main building while courtyards house further suites, close to the lush flora of the hotel. All have unmatched ambience.
The two largest suites in the Main Building are known as the Presidential Suites. They are distinguished by their premier location in the hotel, their spaciousness, elegant appointments and the quality of the antiques and artwork displayed. The Sarkies and Sir Stamford Raffles Suites each have a parlor, dining room, two bedrooms, pantry and private balcony with elegant period furnishings including Oriental carpets and teakwood flooring.
The five Grand Hotel Suites in the main building feature a parlor, two bedrooms, pantry and a private balcony, elegant period furnishings including antiques, artwork, Oriental carpets, teakwood flooring and a large working desk. Spacious marble bathrooms have separate walk in showers and bathtubs and twin washbasins.
The Palm Court Suites border one side of the hotel’s main building. With walkways of crushed pebbles and rows of tall palm trees lining the sides of the garden, the Palm Court’s large expanse of greenery sets the mood for all of the hotel’s facilities. The Courtyard and Palm Court one-bedroom suites have a parlor and dining area, dressing area and en-suite bathroom.
Twelve of the 103 one-bedroom suites at Raffles Singapore have been named after personalities who were associated with the hotel in its glorious past. The Personality Suites are named after Andre Malraux, Ava Gardner, Charlie Chaplin, Gavin Young, James Michener, John Thomson, John Wayne, Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward, Pablo Neruda, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham.
Raffles Inc State-room Suites, outfitted with a separate bedroom and office, are designed for the corporate executive on the move. The office serves dual purposes: it may be used for small meetings or converted to a workstation. All suites have two separate entrances, one from the room and the other from the parlor.
Combining the best of the local culture and cuisine with dishes from around the world, each of the restaurants and bars at Raffles Singapore has its own unique atmosphere and setting: