A Travellerspoint blog

Raffles Hotel

An island of colonial history...

Today we dropped in at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore’s most famous and most photographed landmark. If you are looking for quality, as well as history and authentic charm, go for this property. It has a great location and is within walking distance from the subway and a lot of other things, which makes it really easy to get around. Even if you are not a resident of the hotel, you still can enjoy the cool, calm refuges of its courtyards, gardens, and covered walkways.


Legendary since its establishment in 1887 the Sarkies brothers and named after Singapore's first British colonial administrator, Sir Stamford Raffles, this posh hotel is one of the most recognizable names in Southeast Asian hospitality. Originally it was a bungalow, but by the 1920s and 1930s it had expanded to become a mecca for celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and various kings, sultans, and politicians. Always at the center of Singapore's colonial high life, the Raffles hosted balls, tea dances, and jazz functions, and during World War II was the last rallying point for the British in the face of Japanese occupation and the first place for refugee prisoners of war released from concentration camps. In 1987, the hotel was declared a national monument and restored to its early-20th-century splendor, with grand arches, molded ceilings with spinning fans, tiled teak and marble floors, Oriental carpets, and period furnishings.


Today the hotel also houses the Raffles Hotel Museum where we saw a lot of historical artifacts and archival documents, which are telling the story of the hotel. It also houses a shopping arcade and the Jubilee Hall Theatre. We especially liked Seah Street Deli that specializes in New York-style delicatessen food. The portions are authentic, large, and reasonably priced.


• The admission to the Raffles Hotel and its Museum is free; Museum is open daily 10am – 6pm.
• Hotel room prices start from S$1,000 (US$640/£330) per suite.


Posted by 3ingapore 10:50

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