The Raffles is a big name in the international hotel business. The one here in Singapore is the very first and still the best Raffles hotel worldwide. This is a very special hotel: A visit to the Raffles will make you feel like a time traveler.
1 Beach Rd
The hotel is well known for it’s opulent colonial and authentic design, for it’s afternoon tea. And it’s also known for the Singapore Sling, the world famous cocktail that has been created here, in the bar of the Raffles Singapore.
When checking into the Raffles the first thing you will notice are the originally dressed doormen. Their uniforms are almost as famous as the Beefeaters‘ in London. They wear traditional robes of the Sikhs‘, one of the most important religions in India, and pay a tribute to the British Empire that included India at the time of the Raffle’s opening in 1897. No one really knows why, out of all the uniforms, it had to be the Sikh’s. But the Raffles‘ mascots sell very well as little puppets to thousands of tourists every year.
The doorman opened the car door for Kate Middleton, who visited the Raffles together with Prince William in 2011.
The lobby is impressive and makes you feel like in a different time …with all it’s pros and cons.
You guessed right, the Raffles is not a modern hotel.
If you are looking for comfy chic, modern design, cozy sofas and soft rugs, the Raffles is not for you. Here you get history. You will find authentic rooms, that have not been changed for 100 years and therefore might remind you a little bit of a museum rather than a hotel. I would not stay for a whole week, but definitely for a couple of days just to breathe the colonial elegance of the Raffles. Or you could always stay in the Grand Hotel Suite, which is a little more comfortable, but it will set you back a hefty 4.000 Euros per night.
After checking in, I suggest you to relax at the Writer’s Bar, on your right by the old bookshelf and order your fist Singapore Sling – you can choose from quite a few variations of the famous cocktail:
Relax and enjoy people watching. Elizabeth Taylor used to have a Singapore Sling in this very bar, as well as many famous authors of the time. They gave the author’s bar its name.
With good reason the hotel is proud of it’s famous guests.
Tiffin Room, where it is served, is one of the most beautiful breakfast rooms that I found in whole Asia. All hot dishes are prepared right in front of you. The service is all Raffles: impeccable.
Breakfast in the Tiffin Room will be an experience to remember.
Rooms and Suites
All of the rooms are marvelous, but as I said, not the most comfortable if you are a pampered luxury traveller. Wooden floors, wooden beds and an elegant but simple design are featured in most rooms. The floors are embellished with oriental rugs, that’s as cozy as it got in the year 1887, when the hotel was built.
The Grand Hotel Suites and the Palm Court Suites are the most beautiful to me. They are located right next to the palm court, which is reserved for hotel guests only. This quiet place of retreat is important considering the hotel is a tourist attraction and gets flooded by people.
One of the five „Grand Hotel Suites“, which are considered as the most beautiful suites of the hotel.
Restaurants and Bars
You get the Singapore Sling, the hotel’s proudest cocktail creation in 6 different variations and for prices that would make any European turn on his heel. But this is the Raffles after all, and there is just one place in the world where you can order the real and original Sigapore Sling (which, btw, tastes a little more sour than in most other places in Singapore).
6 Sling variations, prices in Singapore dollars
Guests and tourists can indulge in various restaurants and bars, both inside and outside. The „Raffles Grill“ is the only restaurant with culinary significance though. In this marvelous, stylish, and yet again a little bit austere place you will experience French haute cuisine on its highest level.
The Raffle gets rushed by tourists. The hotel’s staff not only have to keep the hotel guest happy at all times but also act as a barrier to prevent tourists from entering the parts of the hotel that are reserved for guests only. And I have to say the staff balance those two worlds skillfully and very elegantly.
Hotel guest find their peace and relaxation in this beautiful landmark.
Pool and Gardens
The Raffles is a gigantic building with several wings and annexes. With the hotel grew the little gardens and parks between the buildings. They now serve as great places for a quiet read or a little stroll and never get too crowded. The pool area is pretty, nothing spectacular, but it is quiet and completely isolated from the tourists. Needless to say, pool service is perfect.