Our Raffles Hotel Singapore Review gives you a glimpse inside this world famous luxury hotel.
The name Raffles Hotel Singapore has long been synonymous with luxury and colonial elegance.
Renowned as one of the top hotels in the world, spending a night in Raffles Hotel often features on people’s bucket lists. Or if that falls outside the budget, then at least stopping in for a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar.
Recently benefitting from another multi-million dollar renovation, this grand dame of Singapore hotels is looking as majestic as ever, her little nip and tuck ensuring she continues to outshine all other pretenders to her throne.
Having frequented the Raffles Hotel restaurants, bars and shops for many years, we finally fulfilled the dream of checking into the hotel as bona fide guests.
Here we give you an inside peek into the world of a Raffles Hotel guest. You can see more photos in our Instagram Story Highlight.
Table of Contents
Raffles Hotel Lobby
Your first glimpse into the opulence of Raffles Hotel is as you enter the Grand Lobby. Floor to ceiling Victorian pillars frame a magnificent sparkling chandelier.
Check in is discreetly tucked away behind the grand staircase at the back of the lobby, and your luggage is whisked away by a doorman as soon as you arrive at the front door so as not to litter the lobby with unnecessary clutter.
Exquisite floral displays form the centrepiece to the softly lit surroundings and comfortable seating allows you to simply sit and soak in the elegant atmosphere.
If you arrive in the afternoon, your arrival will be accompanied by the sound of a live harpist.
Raffles Hotel Rooms
Former guest Rudyard Kipling described the hotel in his travel memoirs Letters of Travel 1892-1913 as “a place called Raffles Hotel, where the food is excellent and the rooms are bad”.
Thankfully times have changed and there is very little chance of anybody describing the Raffles Hotel suites as ‘bad’ these days.
There is a range of 9 categories of suite available amongst the 115 Raffles Hotel suites, from the Studio Suites and Courtyard Suites to the Residential Suites and the Presidential Suites. Each suite is serviced by a legendary Raffles butler.
Unique to Raffles Hotel are the 12 Personality Suites, named in tribute of famous guests who have stayed at Raffles. These include suites named after Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Rudyard Kipling and Charlie Chaplin. Each is adorned with memorabilia and décor reflecting its famous namesake.
Our suite for our 4-night stay at Raffles was a Palm Court Suite. At 70 square meters, this large suite had plenty of room for the whole family, with two queen beds perfect for this family of four.
Arranged along polished teak verandahs and overlooking the tropical gardens of the sprawling palm court, these rooms are elegantly decorated with colonial charm, while not scrimping on modern comfort.
A separate living area with sofa, coffee table, dining table and TV allowed for more space to spread out.
The bathrooms are sensational with their standalone baths, Peranakan tiles and colonial details.
Despite the historic charm of the rooms, no expense has been spared on mod-cons and our favourite feature is the iPad that controls everything in the room – from the electric blinds and lights to the TV and air conditioning. How handy not to have to get out of bed to switch off the bathroom light!
Note: we originally booked a Studio Suite. However, these are not large enough to accommodate a rollaway bed and are therefore not really suitable for families.
Click here to read more of our favourite Family Hotels in Singapore.
Long Bar Raffles and the Raffles Singapore Sling
Fitting in with the colonial ambience of the hotel, this two storey Raffles Hotel bar décor is inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s, with high ceilings, dark wood and rattan furniture.
Most importantly, it is home to the Singapore Sling. Created by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, tourists in the thousands now flock to the Long Bar for their chance to try a Raffles Hotel Singapore Sling.
You may have to queue for a seat at the Raffles Hotel Long Bar, but once inside you can sit beneath creaking fans, and sip on your cocktail while nibbling peanuts and famously throwing the empty shells on the floor.
Top Tip: If you don’t like the idea of a Singapore Sling, check out the half-yard of Tiger Beer. Just as novel and fun!
Raffles Singapore High Tea
Another iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore experience is partaking in the Raffles afternoon tea in the Grand Lobby.
Here well-heeled hotel guests and locals partake in elegant sandwiches and sumptuous cakes and desserts to the accompaniment of a live harpist.
A comprehensive tea list, intricate pastries, scones with clotted cream and jam, and the option to add on a glass of champagne make for a very special afternoon.
My kids LOVED it and asked to go back again the next day (they had to settle for a cupcake!). You can see more details in our Instagram Story Highlight.
Other Raffles Hotel Dining Options
There are plenty of other Raffles Hotel Singapore restaurants to choose from, many new since the latest renovation, with many celebrity chefs now heading up restaurants here, including Alain Ducasse, Ann-Sophie Pic and Master Chef Jereme Leung.
· BBR by Alain Ducasse
The former Bar & Billiard Room has been spruced up and is now under the guidance of Alain Ducasse, one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career. The focus is on a Mediterranean sharing and grill concept.
· Tiffin Room
Part of the Raffles Hotel history since 1892, the Tiffin Room continues to celebrate the flavours of North Indian cuisine. The Raffles Hotel breakfast is also served in the Tiffin Room. (Keep a look out for the photo of Charlie Chaplin and his brother, taken in 1933).
· Yi by Jereme Leung
Yi by Jereme Leung brings contemporary Chinese dishes from celebrity MasterChef Jereme Leung, renowned as one of the world leaders in modern Chinese cuisine.
· Writers Bar
Opened in recognition of the legendary greats who have stayed at Raffles (including Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward), the Writers Bar reflects timeless elegance of a forgotten era and is the perfect spot for an evening cocktail.
· La Dame de Pic
This elegant restaurant sees the Asian debut of seven-time Michelin starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Expect innovative contemporary Western cuisine.
· Raffles Courtyard
Surrounded by the white marble colonnades of the hotel and enjoying an alfresco setting, the Raffles Courtyard is a favourite spot for an evening gin and tonic.
Other Raffles Hotel Facilities
Within the hotel you will also find a fully equipped gym, spa and swimming pool. Unfortunately the hotel swimming pool was closed for maintenance during our stay.
The Raffles Hotel Arcade has a selection of around 65 boutiques, specialty shops and further F&B options, including Burger & Lobster and Singapore Tea.
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