Raffles Hotel is arguably the most iconic and historic hotel in Singapore. It was opened in 1887 by the Sarkies Brothers from Armenia.
The hotel has gone through many changes and renovations over the years. It has also survived the Japanese occupation during Word War II. As a result, the Singapore Government declared the Raffles Hotel a National Monument in 1987, a century after it was opened. Today, I’m going to take you through a brief tour of this luxury establishment.
A Walk to the Past
It may not be surprising for a lot of people familiar with the Beach Road district to know that the Raffles Hotel was originally a beach side hotel.
The Sarkies Brothers first opened Raffles Hotel as a 10-room luxury seaside hotel. It then underwent expansion and renovation and changed ownership various times.
The hotel now boasts more than 100 suites and high-end boutiques in the Arcade. Visitors are able to roam around the arcade, shop for souvenirs, dine at the hotel’s restaurants or just relax in the lush courtyards.
A Step inside the Presidential Suite
The two presidential suites in the hotel are the Sarkies Suite on the second floor and the Sir Stamford Raffles Suite on the third floor. These are the two grandest rooms of the hotel. Both rooms come with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a drawing room, a dining room and a private veranda.
Enter Sarkies Suite – The suite is named after the Hotel’s founders. It is decorated in vintage colonial style furniture and fittings that gives the room a luxurious air. With its high ceiling, large dining and working areas plus all the amenities, the room exudes the old charm of the past yet provides all the luxury necessity of modern day.
Apparently, despite the name ‘Presidential Suite’, the President of the United States has never stayed here before. And that’s because of major security issues. When you walk out of the room to the veranda, you will understand why.
The Origin of Singapore Sling
Raffles Hotel is where the famous Singapore Sling cocktail was originated. The bartender Ngiam Tong Boon first concocted this national and iconic drink for ladies.
During that era, the very idea of women drinking alcohol was frowned upon. Hence, Singapore Sling was made to resemble fruit punch or juice.
Unfortunately, Long Bar, where the drink is generally served is undergoing the renovation now. If you visit the Hotel and want to try this refreshing cocktail, head over to the Bar & Billiard Room.
Last Glimpse before Another Facelift
The Raffles Hotel is going through yet another renovation now. The second phase will commence in August 2017 and the final phase will take place at the end of this year. The hotel will be expected to be closed for 6 months and the revamped Raffles Hotel will then re-open in the middle of 2018.
It’s a rare opportunity to be guided through the hotel’s properties and visit the suites unless you are a hotel guest. If you are interested in experience the hotel before it undergoes the renovation, check out the Raffles Walk of Fame – Hotel History Tours here.
The tour will be conducted from 1 – 12 August 2017 and cost just 12 dollars per person. Better yet, the ticket will come with a souvenir from the hotel for you to bring back home. Hurry up because the tickets can be sold out very fast!
If you have any place that you will like us to check out, do let us know in the comments section. We hope you enjoy reading about the Raffles Hotel!