If you are looking for somewhere for a staycation in the later part of this year, why not consider the grand-daddy of Singapore luxury hotels, Raffles Hotel?
Raffles Hotel was gazetted by the Singapore government as a national monument in 1987
Rachel, Asher and I stayed for 3D2N over a weekend in May. It was like walking into colonial Singapore. The hotel is rich in history and every nook and cranny is filled with nostalgia. Many important people have stayed here over the years – from Queen Elizabeth II to Michael Jackson.
From now till September 2013, Raffles Hotel Singapore will be having a special suite package, available from S$550++ per suite per night for any day in the week. From September onwards, it will only be available over the weekend. The suite package is specially tailored for locals and includes a host of relaxing and tempting benefits:
- Children below the age of 12 stay (using existing bedding) and dine for free with their parents at hotel-operated restaurants (adults must dine at the restaurant)
- Welcome Singapore Slings and fruit upon arrival, while children will enjoy fruit smoothies and cookies
- Complimentary breakfast at Tiffin Room on the first morning
- Complimentary Buffet Dinner at Bar & Billard Room or Tiffin Room (once during the stay)
- Complimentary in-suite internet access
- 24-hour Butler Service
- Complimentary S$500 Raffles Hotel Arcade Shopping Discount Vouchers
- Complimentary late check-out until 6pm
- Complimentary parking
This special rate is extended to residents in Singapore, including Singapore Citizens, PRs and work pass holders. The Suite Package will be valid only during the weekend from 1 Septemember 2013 onwards.
It is a pretty attractive deal. Every Singaporean should stay at least one night at Raffles Hotel to find out why this historical icon encapsulates the epitome of hospitality. Do consider it after checking out my photos and review.
In this two-part staycation series, I will share my views on the accommodation, facilities and architecture of Raffles Hotel Singapore in this first part and dedicate the second part to food – a topic which never fails to excite Singaporeans.
Upon arriving at the hotel, checking in was a breeze with the friendly hotel staff. The hotel lobby is not sprawling, but it exudes a grandeur old world charm. The tall Sikh doorman completes the look.
Rachel and Asher with the iconic Raffles Hotel doorman
Check-in counter in the lobby
A large antique standing clock
The hotel lobby
From the ground floor looking up
Staircases leading up to the rooms
Old switches that are still working
Rachel and I had fun inspecting all the furniture and fixtures in our room, marveling at the many remnants from colonial time like the switches and the faucets:
Separate dining and lounge area from the bedroom
Plate of welcome fruits
A mandarin duck decorative piece in the room. Asher wanted to play with it…
The hotel folks prepared a Raffles doorman as a welcome gift for Asher
Rachel and Asher as we checked into our suite
View of the room from the other direction
Asher sharing his apple with the doorman
Rachel by the dressing table
Asher inspecting all the large wardrobes in our suite
The television is hidden in the middle wardrobe
Bathroom wash area and mirrors
Nice old faucets
Asher getting very excited on seeing the large bathtub
Love this vintage faucet
Even the bathroom scale is antique
We did a quick tour on our own around the hotel and for a while, we felt like English aristocrats, reliving colonial Singapore. Many famous writers like Somerset Maugham like to stay at Raffles Hotel while writing their books. We can understand why. The hotel is located in the city centre of modern Singapore, but yet seems to be in a different time zone of its own.
Fancy a little shopping?
Locked gate for hotel residents only to access the second floor and above
Staircase leading up to our room on the second floor
Lounge area for guests to do some reading
Rachel enjoying reading the newspaper in the quaint surrounding.
Internet and computer access
There is always the lift if you do not want to walk up and down the stairs
Rachel slowly strolling down the wall of fame in Raffles Hotel
Our current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching
Blast from the past
Layout of the Raffles Hotel Singapore at the very beginning
An old poster
Here are some shots I took on a tour around the hotel with the hotel’s historian:
Interior of Raffles Grill restaurant
The chandeliers caught my eyes
The wine cellar
Raffles grill is named after this silver grill, dug up after the Japanese occupation
Every corner in this hotel is beautiful
Bar near the lobby
Vintage stained glasses
Area to sit around and drink tea
Bar & Billard Room. We are standing around the antique billard table.
Antique billard table and set-up
Old billard score table
Dining area in the converted Bar & Billard Room
An outdoor fountain
It is dark in the theatre.
An interesting wall mural. I am not too sure durians grow this way…
Another wall mural – there are many of these
Entering the ballroom where many wedding ceremonies are held
Inside the ballroom
A bar on the ground floor
A bust of Sir Stamford Raffles
Here is another venue in the hotel for weddings and other events
I like walking down these rows after rows of white columns
At the third floor of the hotel
View from third floor down
Lounge area on the third floor, just outside the presidential suites
An old piano
A closer look at the piano
I could get used to this
We had the privilege to visit the Sir Stamford Raffles Suites, one of the two Presidential Suites in the hotel. Each of these two suites comprise a parlour, dining room, two bedrooms, pantry and private balcony. The cost is from S$10,000 a night:
The walkway leading to the presidential suites on the third floor
Ready to step into the suite?
The sofa area
One happy little boy spotted
I like this lounge chair
Me in the Sir Stamford Raffles Presidential Suite
Everything in the room seems to be antique furniture
One of the toilets
It is so huge there is a corridor
Vintage wardrobe, bookshelf and such
View of the first bedroom from another angle
Posing by the study table
The room is really huge
Attached bathroom in bedroom 1
Me laying back to relax
Wash basins in the bathroom
Functioning vintage switches
Giant fridge tucked in a corner as it’s modern appearance do not gel so well with the overall interior design
Rachel also tried out a Swedish massage at its Raffles Spa on the last day. The spa has customised its version of the relaxing massage by offering three combinations of aromatherapy oils to go with it. There’s a lavender one, which is supposed to be relaxing, a bergamot one, which is invigorating, and a cypress one, which is detoxifying. She went with the last one and fell asleep during the massage.
The bathroom in Raffles Spa
The spa and massage room
The spa is luxurious without being overtly opulent and there is a row of deck chairs on the verandah facing the Swissotel Stamford Hotel. Just the spot to curl up with a magazine on a sleepy, rainy day.
Place to sit and laze after the spa
I brought Asher to the open-air rooftop swimming pool for a swim:
Raffles Hotel rooftop swimming pool
Asher and I
There was a full moon that night
Initially, we thought we will probably wander off the hotel to do some shopping nearby. In the end, we spent most of our time exploring the hotel itself!
I am ending this post with a video from the Ninja Girls, a group of Japanese bloggers who also stayed at Raffles Hotel during the same period when I was staying there with my family:
To see more photos taken during my Raffles Hotel Summer Staycation, visit my public facebook album here.
To read all my blog posts on Raffles Hotel, click here.
About Raffles Hotel Singapore
There are a few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located – and none more so than Raffles in Singapore.
Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, Raffles Hotel opened in 1887 and soon became the haunt of intrepid travellers from around the world. Regular guests included Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham, who describe the hotel as embodying “all the fables of the exotic East.” Through their stories, The Long Bar, the Palm Court and the Bar & Billiard Room with its tiger, became familiar to people who had never even been to Singapore.
While preserving its atmospheric teak verandahs, gleaming white colonial facade and magnificent Gieves & Hawkes-clad doormen, Raffles is very much part of the modern, vibrant city of Singapore. It is now the proud flagship of the nine strong Raffles Hotel & Resorts.