Raffles Hotel, Singapore

4 out of 5 stars 30 Reviews

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel- a must visit

    by lynnehamman Updated Dec 8, 2011

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Opulent Main lobby
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    Raffles Hotel is a Singaporean icon.

    "Raffles in Singapore stands for all the fables of the exotic East"
    SOMERSET MAUGHAM.

    The history of Raffles is folk-lore. Tales of visiting dignataries- movie stars, royalty, writers- abound. It was named after the father of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. There are suites named after famous dignataries. Somerset Maughm was just one of the famous writers who called Raffles home, but there were many others. Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling were fixtures. The bars- Long Bar and Writers Bar are testamant to the popularity of Raffles in the first half of the 20th century. The tradition of dropping peanut shells onto the floor in the Long Bar remains a mystery to me- but I suspect that some flippant but famous writer started the habit, and it has remained so for half a century. In fact, it is mandatory to make a mess with the shells. The peanuts come free with drinks in the Long Bar.

    There is a fable about a tiger being trapped underneath the billaird table, scaring the privilaged guests. Its true. Around the turn of the century the tiger had escaped from a nearby circus, and made its way to Raffles.......seeking some luxurious accommodation maybe? Bad mistake- the poor fellow was shot in the Billiard room (some say the Long Bar) but his escapade has become one of the many legendary Raffles tales.

    Opened in 1887 by Armenian brothers Sarkies, Raffles was popular with intrepid travellers during the early part of the 20th Century. After financial problems due to the Great Depression, the original Raffles was foreced into recievership.
    In 1933 the hotel was rehabilited after being bought by a public company, Raffles Ltd.
    The balls, dinners, high teas and genteel style of life became an intergral part of high society in Singapore. Then came the war. After the Japanese occupied Singapore, Raffles was used as a base for the Japanese Imperial Army. At the end of the war, in 1945, over 300 Japanese committed suicide inside the building. It was therafter used as a transit camp for prisoners that had been held in Changi Jail. The hotel was once again in dire straits, in bad repair and deep in debt.
    In 1950 a Dutch reporter Franz Schutzman, who had been reporting on wars in the area, was hired to manage the hotel.
    The Singapore Sling was concoted here- and the recipe was imported to the rest of the world. Approximately one thousand Singapore Slings are sold at Raffles despite the exhorbitant cost.

    Franz , recalling the popular days of opulence and gentility, began to implement rules that gradually brought back the Golden days of Raffles. Dinner dress was formal. Balls became weekend highlights, and the huge Ballroom glittered. High Teas, served on the finest china, are still the best in Singapore today. The dainty cucumber sandwiches wafer thin and cakes and pastries of the finest quality.
    The hotel was re-furbished.....again and again. The rich and famous flocked back to the hotel.
    Management changed over the years. Suites and new dining areas were added. The most recent re-furbishment was in 1989, at a cost of many millions.
    Today- even if a stay at Raffles is not within the average travellers budget, the hotel can still be visited. The bars and dining areas are open to the public, and are often frequented by visitors staying elsewhere. The courtyard is a delightful place to sit and partake of a long cool Singapore Sling or other refreshments.
    There are designer shops within the main lobby arcade, which is exquisite in design and oozes luxury and good taste.
    The museum located upstairs is filled with memorablia- priceless artifacts, photographs, letters, postcards and letters which trace the history of Raffles. I spent hours browsing around here. The museum shop sells souveniers, books , posters and pictures.
    In my opinion, no visit to Singapore is complete without a visit to Raffles Hotel.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jan 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles Hotel
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    I list this as more of a tourist attraction than a hotel as the cost of staying here is more than $400 USD a night and therefore out of reach of most Vt'rs. Built in 1887, it captures and epitomizes British Colonial life in Singapore. Walking through its halls and courtyards, you can easily imagine yourself transported back 150 years to Colonial Singapore.

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  • allikat's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel and Arcade

    by allikat Updated Jul 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles Hotel

    Raffles Hotel was established back in 1887, and since then has become known as one of the worlds grandest hotels - a century later it was actually deemed a National Monument.

    Undeniably very swish, and regularly catering for the rich and famous, it is still the kind of place where you can feel free to wander its beautiful gardens and courtyards, with garden bars, fountains and verandahs.

    Raffles Arcade consists of dozens of boutique gift shops selling everything from clothes and fragrances to jewellery and art. Be warned though, prices do not start cheap, so either bring a well-padded credit card, or be content to window shop!!

    Related to:
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  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel

    by kentishgirl Updated Oct 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles

    If like me you are not loaded! you will not be staying at the "Raffles Hotel".

    But it is a major landmark in Singapore and has to be seen to be believed.

    It is huge, and really elegant, and costs a fortune to stay there.
    Somehow, we blagged a look at some of the rooms from the reception staff (I was a travel agent at the time), and they were worth every penny that they charge to stay somewhere as beautiful as this.*

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  • Umea6's Profile Photo

    RAFFLES HOTEL

    by Umea6 Written Dec 30, 2003

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the most famous hotel in S'pore. Ever since it was build it has been visitied by many famous people. Staying at the hotel is too expensive for me, but it is worth a visit anyway to see this mastepiece of architecture.
    Since it is always hot in S'pore you can enjoy the famous Singapore Sling that was invented here by the barman.

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  • diageva's Profile Photo

    Offcourse Raffles Hotel

    by diageva Written Nov 28, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you go to Singapore, you shouldn't miss Raffles Hotel, just have a walk around, see if you want to have the buffet, and drink something at one of its bars. Choose one by of them and have a nice time.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    GO FOR A LOOK

    by DAO Updated Dec 22, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the creator of Singapore, and the place where the Singapore Sling was created. A visit is a must. Drink a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar, walk through the garden terraces or visit the excellent gift shop. This is a Top World Hotel. Hard to believe it once descended into a Backpackers Hostel and was even derelict for a while. It was opened in 1887 and has seen Royalty, actors and other celebrities stay here. It also saw the more humble stay here during its troubled years. It was restored to its current grand design and reopened to the public in 1991. It is now a National Monument ensuring its future upkeep.

    Don’t miss this out of your walking tour!

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Visiting Raffles Hotel

    by SLLiew Written Oct 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unless you have S$1,000 to spend for room and beverages, you may just want to do a day visit to this famous historic icon of Singapore, the venerable Raffles Hotel.

    Many Japanese tourists can be seen taking photos at hotel because it is a must-see sights in the travel books in Japan for Singapore.

    There are many nice shops inside to window shop. Stroll through the well maintained green courtyards. Then you can order the famous "Singapore Sling" to sip at the Gazebo bar.

    Apparently, Raffles Hotel was one of the first place in Singapore to have ice cubes made artificially with the coming of modern refrigeration.

    A nice grand hotel with a lot of history for a visit of an hour or so. Located just across City Hall MRT.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    One Raffles Link

    by SLLiew Updated Oct 14, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a popular meeting point. It is actually a pedestrian tunnel connecting Raffles City at the MRT station to Suntec City and also to the Esplanade.

    It goes up and down. Though there is wheel chair support facility, I think it is difficult to use and have never seen anyone with wheel chair using this link when I was there.

    On both sides are popular shops, cafes and eating places.

    A busy link. It is also a popular place for people watching if you are into that.

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  • bryINpoland's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel

    by bryINpoland Updated Jan 6, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles Exterior
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    The Raffles Hotel was built in 1889 and named after Singapore's founder Sir Stamford Raffles. Over the years it has become one of Singapore's most famous landmarks and it's doorman the most photographed person in the country.

    The Colonial-style hotel has an interesting history to say the least. In 1902, it was the location of the shooting of the last remaining wild tiger in Singapore. The story goes that it was chased into the hotels Bar and Billiard Room where it was caught and shot. in 1910 it became the home of the famous Singapore drink, the Singapore Sling, invented by a bartender in the hotel bar. Towards the end of World War II, the hotel was used as a transition camp for prisoners of war. Last but not least, the Raffles has been the choice accomadation for famous faces such as Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Noel Coward, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and
    Michael Jackson to name a few.

    A must see while in Singapore!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Architecture

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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    A must !!!!!

    by jlanza29 Updated Jul 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ok....when visiting certain cities around the world there is always a few stops that no matter what.... you must do as a tourist, such as in Paris...the Effiel Tower, London..Buckingham Palace....New York City....Central Park.....well the Raffles hotel is one of those stops.....No trip would be complete to Singapore without a visit to this legendary hotel !!!!! And yes to have a Singapore Sling....ok it's a expensive fruit punch but you must have one !!!!! Take some time walk around the lobby and enjoy the fact that your in one of the best hotels in the world !!!!!

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  • limledi's Profile Photo

    Raffles Hotel

    by limledi Updated Jan 28, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles Hotel
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    Restored to its 1920s' grandeur, this grand old dame is world-renowned for its charm and elegance. Singapore's oldest hotel has played host to famous celebrities and writers like Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad. Learn about the hotel at the Raffles Hotel Museum which displays the hotel's memorabilia since it first started. Try the Tiffin Curry buffet lunch or dinner at the Tiffin Room, enjoy a generous buffet spread at the Bar & Billiard Room or spoil youself with a six-course epicurean dinner at the Raffles Grill Room. Alternatively, sip on a refreshing Singapore Sling at the Long Bar - home to this cocktail drink since 1915! Make a reservation if you intend to dine at the Raffles. The Raffles Hotel Museum opens from 10am-7pm. Admission is free.

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  • MAF's Profile Photo

    Sipping a 'Sling' at the Long Bar!

    by MAF Updated Jul 27, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oil Painting behind the famous Long Bar

    The Long Bar, Raffles Hotel.

    You've got to go here, if only to say you've done it ...and of course to enjoy a genuine Singapore Sling - as invented in this bar! It's a wee bit expensive but definitely a very pleasant way to spend a cool few hours!

    Some info:

    The 'Singapore Sling' was invented by Ngiam Tong Boon for the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, sometime between 1910 and 1915. At one point the recipe actually fell into disuse and was forgotten by the bar staff!

    The recipe currently used by the hotel is as a result of recreating the original recipe based on the memories of former bartenders and some written notes that they were able to discover.

    The original recipe, which does not include club soda, is rarely used outside of the Raffles Hotel - a notable exception being all Singapore Airlines flights, where the drink is complimentary.

    When you get home try making your own. The ingredients are as follows:

    1½ ounces gin
    ¾ ounces Benedictine
    ¾ ounces cherry brandy
    ¾ ounces Cointreau or Triple sec
    1½ ounces Orange juice
    1½ ounces Pineapple juice
    ¾ ounces fresh lime juice
    ½ teaspoon grenadine

    Garnish: maraschino cherry, pineapple chunk, and orange slice

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  • Carino's Profile Photo

    Long Bar @ Raffles Hotel

    by Carino Written Jan 27, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Long Bar is know as the place where the Singapore Sling was invented. As you can read this in every single travel guide, the place is packed with tourists sipping an original Singapore Sling. Yet, we watched the barkeeper and the drink is allready premixed. He is just pouring it into the blender, adds some ice and mixes it for the purpose of the show. We also had one... shame on us... and it tasted very yucky. Not much for the whopping price of S$18! The beer comes also quite price, Carlsberg for S$14.

    But the true highlight of Long Bar are the peanuts! Peal them and just throw the peelings on the floor. Yes, there is actually this one place in Singapore where you can litter the place! Great feeling. I also liked the cracking noise, when you walk into the bar.

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    • Beer Tasting

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  • trisanna's Profile Photo

    For the colonial experience

    by trisanna Written Apr 13, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raffles hotel

    This is the top hotel in Singapore. So grand and beautiful. This should be a stop on most itinerary-just to marvel at the beautiful colonial building-also its lovely gardens. The front of the building is surrounded by lovely frangipani trees.

    The building was built over a 100 years ago. It's located on beach road-back then before Singapore land reclaimation-that road used to be the beach. Can't imagine Singapore being that small.

    There is a nice tiny museum of the hotel located on the second floor in the back section. There are great restaurants in the hotel. Also, a simple sandwich/bakery in the back.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Food and Dining
    • Luxury Travel

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