Review: The Raffles Hotel in Singapore

Review: The Raffles Hotel in Singapore
June 03 08:03 2016 Print This Article




The Raffles Hotel is known for being the most fabled hotel in the Far East and hosting names such as Kipling and Hemingway. Named after Singapore’s founding father, the Raffles Hotel was built over a century ago and remains the most coveted hotel in Singapore.

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The Raffles Hotel

127 years ago, The Raffles Hotel opened for business at the edge of Singapore. Today it stands at the heart of the colonial quarter 500m from the shore- something the founding Armenian brothers could never have foreseen! The famous Singapore Sling was created in the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar, making it a tourist hotspot.

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Lobby of The Raffles Hotel

Stepping into the hotel grounds transports you instantly to the British colonial era. A Sikh butler dressed in white, gold and red greets us at the door, our first taste of the 19th century. The main lobby is extensive and elegantly decorated with dark woods and vintage pieces. Although renovations were conducted in the late 80s, many of the original fixtures remain. The hotel was declared a National Monument 100 years after its opening.

The Raffles Hotel’s was at its peak in the 10s and 20s, before the Great depression and  WWII. Did you know WWII turned our iconic hotel into a prisoner’s transit camp?

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Executive Suite at The Raffles Hotel

Filled with memorabilia on teakwood floors, the large suites exemplify timeless elegance. In the midst of rebuilt history, quirkiness can also be found. A large TV from the 80s stands huge and the four poster bed adds grandeur to the room. There is a mild sound of pipes at night which could be a reason for complaint. However, I found it pleasantly revealing of its heritage.

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Executive Suite at The Raffles Hotel

The bathrooms are lined with marble and accented with gold and turquoise. Most rooms open up to the courtyard or a personal veranda revealing a welcoming view of greenery and fresh air.


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Courtyard at The Raffles Hotel

The gorgeous grounds are an oasis in the city, I could sit in the gardens all day listening to the birds. A hint of the city can be seen but are mostly blocked by towering palm trees. The pool enjoys sunlight unobstructed by any buildings, a rare privilege on our little island!

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Butlers at The Raffles Hotel. Taken from The Raffles

Service is top notch. Your butler is truly at your beck and call, willing and ready to serve. The Afternoon tea was beautifully presented with starched tablecloths, shining silverware and embroidered napkins. What more could I ask for?

The only fly in the ointment were the many tourists pressed up against the glass doors, anxious to snap a photo. It was awkward to know that we were surely captured in few a few.

But as the hotel accurately puts it, “While at Raffles, why not visit Singapore?”

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Featured photo by Shenghung Lin

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Singapore n Beyond
Singapore n Beyond

Sharing getaway and itinerary ideas in Asia and insider knowledge of Singapore

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