Why A Stay At This Luxurious National Monument Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

3 min read
Raffles Hotel Singapore

Raffles Singapore infuses luxury into a historic hotel, offering an experience you will be discussing long after the jet lag has passed

In 1887, the Sarkies Brothers opened a 10-room beachfront bungalow for the elite. Fast forward 135 years and the Raffles Singapore maintains its reputation as one of Asia’s most prestigious stays. After an extensive renovation in 2019 the national monument is reinvigorated and has incorporated luxury traveller-approved flair into its century-old digs without compromising on character. Every corner whispers tales of the past (which are also gleefully recounted by the resident historian) that have not only shaped the hotel but the city around it. From the Grand Lobby’s equally grand chandelier which illuminates the hotel’s colonial architecture —original teakwood flooring, structural beams and its iconic white façade remain unchanged save for a new lick of paint — and antique furnishings to breezy walkways surrounding pristine lawns, Raffles Singapore evokes a personal mansion filled with antique collectables – including a piano played by Michael Jackson and original furnishings from the 1800s – rather than a city hotel.

Nostalgia flows into ‘personality suites’ that pay tribute to its famous guests including Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and Rudyard Kipling, whose extremely rare editions can be found on the shelves of the sprawling presidential suite — the late Queen Elizabeth II’s room of choice upon her visit. Each room is as peaceful as the next, surrounded by plush greenery and so serene that you could forget Raffles Singapore is nestled in the centre of a metropolis. Traditional colonial-style architecture is balanced with state-of-the-art comforts sought after by luxury travellers: a tablet controls the technology in the suite, allowing guests to flick lights on and off, manage curtains and call the butler at the tap of the screen; artefacts honouring famous guests are framed throughout the room; iconic white shutters separate spaces in the suites. Adding to the personal touches, pamphlets regaling tales of Raffles’ past are placed on beds during turndown service should you have forgotten your reading material, and luxurious bath bombs are dropped of by the butler come evening to help you unwind.

Not only a haven for the stars, Raffles Singapore boasts restaurants by Michelin-star chefs, too. Dining like a queen is par for the course — “Feed at Raffles,” wrote Rudyard Kipling — and menus by Dame Anne-Sophie Pic and Jereme Leung as well as the famed Long Bar more than satisfy. Yì by Jereme Leung serves phenomenal Chinese comforts reinterpreted through a Michelin lens; refined French fare at Le Dame de Pic reminds guests why Dame Anne-Sophie Pic is the most decorated female chef in the world; and Butcher’s Block is a carnivore’s heaven with hearty, quality meats kissed by a wood-fired oven.

Le Dame de Pic

In a landscape that’s ever-evolving, Raffles Singapore stands as a reminder of the city’s rich heritage. It wears its history as a badge of honour, standing proud in the knowledge that, although in the shadow of skyscrapers, it retains the most striking silhouette of all. Book now

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  • Words by Savanna Smith