When Raffles Singapore closed in 2020 for an entire renovation, its dedicated guests were worried. Would your accommodation retain its colonial charm? Maybe it was possible to respect its heritage and compete with the slate of new-build hotels that tower around it?
Two years later, Raffles emerged transformed and renewed, prepared to delight repeat guests with its historic sense of place and enchant new visitors using its unique location and ambience, now along with incredible dining and all of the modern amenities expected in a high-tech hub like Singapore.
Each from the 115 suites feels lighter and more spacious, with a contemporary feel after the renovation, while still maintaining the old-world magic its repeat visitors demand. There are 12 new suites in the main building, some that permit traveling staff to stay nearer to the crown jewels from the hotel: the two Presidential Suites.
Located on the second and third floors from the main building, the Sarkies and Sir Stamford Raffles Suites are named in honor of the most important people in the hotel's history: the hotel's founding family and also the founder of modern Singapore.
Each is 2,798 sq ft and has two bedrooms with a separate parlor, dining room, family room, all-marble bathroom and pantry, as well as a stunning private veranda overlooking the Palm Court. A stay here has a private butler on call 24 hours a day, access to the hotel's Mercedes-Benz fleet and versatile check in/out times. Both of them are perfect for entertaining, and the hotel's chefs or bartenders can execute customized in-suite evenings.
It's difficult to imagine, but when it opened in 1887, Raffles was just a 10-bedroom, beachfront bungalow. It quickly gained international acclaim and expanded with two wings, which remain the property's oldest buildings, as well as in 1889 architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell designed the long-lasting main building, which transformed Raffles into one of the world's most recognizable hotels.
As you meander with the expansive grounds, the stately neo-Renaissance facade and verandas will transport you back in its history. The white buildings and Carrara marble floors are offset by black wood, incredibly lush tropical foliage and also the signature gray, cast-iron porte-cochère. Through the years, the home has expanded and reimagined itself many times. The easiest method to learn about its history is with a tour from the resident historian, Leslie Danker, who has worked at the hotel for 47 years.
With five restaurants and 6 bars, visitors and locals alike have lots to select from. The beloved Long Bar still serves Singapore Slings, but they have been refreshed for modern palates – they are less sweet and feature some artisanal ingredients, together with a special grenadine produced from pomegranate juice. The Writers Bar honors the property's illustrious literary guests, and Raffles Courtyard is an ideal spot for an al fresco aperitivo.
For dining, the Tiffin Room's decor continues to be reimagined, but it still serves incredible North Indian cuisine within the charming lunch boxes used throughout India, in addition to a dreamy breakfast buffet. Anne-Sophie Pic, whose restaurant Maison Pic in France holds three Michelin stars, opened her first restaurant in Asia here, La Dame de Pic. Expect cuisine that wouldn't be out of place in France, however with local ingredients ingeniously woven into the dishes.
Alain Ducasse loosens up from fine dining with BBR by Alain Ducasse, where he reimagines the historic Bar and Billiard Room having a Mediterranean-inspired menu inside a fun, casual space. The legendary Raffles Sunday brunch is going to be held here. Yì by Jereme Leung, who is very well-known in his native China, will showcase contemporary regional Chinese cuisine.
Head towards the serene rooftop pool for any languid afternoon under Singapore's hot sun. Order an easy lunch along with a cocktail in the Pool Bar as you relax hearing the sounds of trees blowing within the wind (it's certainly the only real rooftop pool within the city where one can hear trees!). Revive tired muscles at Raffles Spa, which offers plenty of decadent options, including the Traveler's Interlude, a 180-minute treatment combining dry brushing, a deep-tissue massage and a pressure-point facial.
Presidential Suite from $8,680 per night
+65 6337 1886