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Summer Staycation at Raffles Hotel Singapore – Part 1 of 2

Summer Staycation at Raffles Hotel Singapore – Part 1 of 2

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

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

Rachel and Asher with the iconic Raffles Hotel doorman

Check-in counter in the lobby

Check-in counter in the lobby

A large antique standing clock

A large antique standing clock

The hotel lobby

The hotel lobby

From the ground floor looking up

From the ground floor looking up

Staircases leading up to the rooms

Staircases leading up to the rooms

Old switches that are still working

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

Separate dining and lounge area from the bedroom

Plate of welcome fruits

Plate of welcome fruits

A mandarin duck decorative piece in the room. Asher wanted to play with it...

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

The hotel folks prepared a Raffles doorman as a welcome gift for Asher

Rachel and Asher as we checked into our suite

Rachel and Asher as we checked into our suite

View of the room from the other direction

View of the room from the other direction

Asher sharing his apple with the doorman

Asher sharing his apple with the doorman

Rachel by the dressing table

Rachel by the dressing table

Asher inspecting all the large wardrobes in our suite

Asher inspecting all the large wardrobes in our suite

The television is hidden in the middle wardrobe

The television is hidden in the middle wardrobe

Bathroom wash area and mirrors

Bathroom wash area and mirrors

Nice old faucets

Nice old faucets

Asher getting very excited on seeing the large bathtub

Asher getting very excited on seeing the large bathtub

Love this vintage faucet

Love this vintage faucet

Even the bathroom scale is antique

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?

Fancy a little shopping?

Locked gate for hotel residents only to access the second floor and above

Locked gate for hotel residents only to access the second floor and above

Staircase leading up to our room on the second floor

Staircase leading up to our room on the second floor

Lounge area for guests to do some reading

Lounge area for guests to do some reading

Rachel enjoying reading the newspaper in the quaint surrounding.

Rachel enjoying reading the newspaper in the quaint surrounding.

Internet and computer access

Internet and computer access

There is always the lift if you do not want to walk up and down the stairs

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

Rachel slowly strolling down the wall of fame in Raffles Hotel

Our current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching

Our current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Layout of the Raffles Hotel Singapore at the very beginning

Layout of the Raffles Hotel Singapore at the very beginning

An old poster

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

Interior of Raffles Grill restaurant

The chandeliers caught my eyes

The chandeliers caught my eyes

The wine cellar

The wine cellar

Raffles grill is named after this silver grill, dug up after the Japanese occupation

Raffles grill is named after this silver grill, dug up after the Japanese occupation

Every corner in this hotel is beautiful

Every corner in this hotel is beautiful

Bar near the lobby

Bar near the lobby

Vintage stained glasses

Vintage stained glasses

Area to sit around and drink tea

Area to sit around and drink tea

Bar & Billard Room. We are standing around the antique billard table.

Bar & Billard Room. We are standing around the antique billard table.

Antique billard table and set-up

Antique billard table and set-up

Old billard score table

Old billard score table

Dining area in the converted Bar & Billard Room

Dining area in the converted Bar & Billard Room

An outdoor fountain

An outdoor fountain

Jubilee Theatre

Jubilee Theatre

It is dark in the theatre.

It is dark in the theatre.

An interesting wall mural. I am not too sure durians grow this way...

An interesting wall mural. I am not too sure durians grow this way…

Another wall mural - there are many of these

Another wall mural – there are many of these

Entering the ballroom where many wedding ceremonies are held

Entering the ballroom where many wedding ceremonies are held

Inside the ballroom

Inside the ballroom

A bar on the ground floor

A bar on the ground floor

A bust of Sir Stamford Raffles

A bust of Sir Stamford Raffles

Here is another venue in the hotel for weddings and other events

Here is another venue in the hotel for weddings and other events

I like walking down these rows after rows of white columns

I like walking down these rows after rows of white columns

At the third floor of the hotel

At the third floor of the hotel

View from third floor down

View from third floor down

Lounge area on the third floor, just outside the presidential suites

Lounge area on the third floor, just outside the presidential suites

An old piano

An old piano

A closer look at the piano

A closer look at the piano

I could get used to this

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

The walkway leading to the presidential suites on the third floor

Ready to step into the suite?

Ready to step into the suite?

The sofa area

The sofa area

One happy little boy spotted

One happy little boy spotted

I like this lounge chair

I like this lounge chair

Camel motif

Camel motif

Me in the Sir Stamford Raffles Presidential Suite

Me in the Sir Stamford Raffles Presidential Suite

Everything in the room seems to be antique furniture

Everything in the room seems to be antique furniture

One of the toilets

One of the toilets

Dining area

Dining area

Dining table

Dining table

It is so huge there is a corridor

It is so huge there is a corridor

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1

Vintage wardrobe, bookshelf and such

Vintage wardrobe, bookshelf and such

View of the first bedroom from another angle

View of the first bedroom from another angle

Posing by the study table

Posing by the study table

The room is really huge

The room is really huge

Attached bathroom in bedroom 1

Attached bathroom in bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Me laying back to relax

Me laying back to relax

Wash basins in the bathroom

Wash basins in the bathroom

Functioning vintage switches

Functioning vintage switches

Kitchen area

Kitchen area

Giant fridge tucked in a corner as it's modern appearance do not gel so well with the overall interior design

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 Amrita Spa

The bathroom in Raffles Spa

Spa products

Spa products

The masseur

The masseur

The spa and massage room

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

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

Raffles Hotel rooftop swimming pool

Asher and I

Asher and I

There was a full moon that night

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:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8fuz0CgwLus”]

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.

About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

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