Raffles Hotel Singapore reopens with new suites, celebrity restaurants, and the all-new Raffles Arcade including bespoke retail brands
Home of the founding father
It's been 200 years since Sir Stamford Raffles set foot on our shores – we should know, because our city has been abuzz with preparing for our big bicentennial this coming National Day. In that time, the Raffles name has been imbued with a sort of rustic charm to it, becoming a symbolic icon synonymous with Singapore's rich history and heritage. It is only derivative then that Raffles Hotel Singapore and its 19th century premises have become a precious treasure displaying a signature hospitality, and promising unbridled luxury.
Alas, this iconic landmark, dated as it is, had its last restoration all the way back in 1989 – so the time had come for another overhaul for the hotel. We did our waiting (two years of it), and their reopening on August 1 is bound to be the start of a new and improved era, featuring classic top-of-the-line services coupled with new experiences all within the distinctive walls of this National Monument. Indeed, the reinvented and reimagined Raffles Hotel offers both the old and the new – the architectural foundations have not been altered in any way (given that the building is protected), allowing the place to retain its colonial charisma; and yet unparalleled luxury also awaits in new suite types and indulgent dining experiences, among other deluxe features.
The space in Raffles Hotel Singapore has always been magnificent – but now, under the meticulous eye of interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud and international design firm Aedas, stepping into the property would be proof enough that an oasis of extravagance can in fact be achieved with the right mix of beauty and comfort. Each of the nine suite categories come in various shapes and forms, and a quick tour of the rooms (which count to 115 in total) easily displayed ample options for travelers with different goals and preferences. For instance, guests looking for serene scenery can opt for a Studio Suite (with a view from the in-room verandah overlooking the Palm Garden), or the Palm Court Suite (which, as its name suggests, overlooks the Palm Court, a peaceful open space accessible only to guests); otherwise, one of the two Presidential Suites would be suitable for those who enjoy the utmost exorbitance, in which the well-decorated interiors of the living room, dining room, bedrooms, a personal pantry, and yes, a walk-in wardrobe, are all yours to be immersed in. And if you're more of a homebody, the Raffles Butlers would be happy to show off their world-class service, Raffles-style.
Speaking of immersive experiences: The Raffles Arcade, where you can expect diverse shopping, dining and lifestyle options. Notably, the Raffles Spa was previously only open to hotel guests – but now, their treatments and techniques to attain ultimate relaxation are available to members of the public too. Also, bespoke retail brands await – boasting an impressive portfolio of tenants, the Raffles Boutique (formerly the Raffles Gift Shop) is the shop to visit for take-home souvenirs and gifts from this storied hotel. Plus, your shopping can be accompanied by the freshly-brewed cuppas offered by Ah Teng's Café, who also offer heavenly bites of homemade pastries if you need further refreshments.
Wining and dining have never been so compelling – or convenient – with world-class restaurants built within walking distance from with each other, affording guests the best that cuisine has to offer. Esteemed Chef Anne-Sophie Pic has already made waves with her new French restaurant La Dame de Pic as a gastronomic powerhouse, bringing her feminine style infused in aromatic dishes into Asia for the first time. Renowned chefs Alain Ducasse and Jereme Leung are also among those who grace the location with their culinary expertise – it's only a matter of deciding which delight you wish to ingest, because such delights are simply unbounding in this place. And where better to drink the original Singapore Sling than at the Long Bar (now refreshed, of course), where it was first invented over a hundred years ago? What a time to be alive.
To reserve a suite at the newly-reopened Raffles Hotel Singapore, visit their website.