The grand dame of colonial hotels, Raffles needs no introduction
First published on . Updated on 25 Mar 2012.
Established in 1887, it still evokes an era when travel and romance went hand in hand, even if droves of tourists now flock here for a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar. Despite the clichés, the Raffles legend endures, thanks to its fusion of timeless elegance, classical architecture and tropical gardens. Buildings are linked by cool verandas, and rattan furniture and oriental rugs still dot the rooms. Refurbished in 1991, all 103 rooms are now suites; 12 are named after famous guests such as Rudyard Kipling, Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham.
The seven Grand suites are the most nostalgic, with lofty ceilings, polished wooden floors, opulent drapes and balconies overlooking the garden. Among the numerous bars and restaurants are the traditional Raffles Grill and Long Bar Steakhouse, plus Asian offerings at Royal China and Doc Cheng’s. Have you ever actually tried the Singapore Sling at its historic location? Give it a shot. Or a sip. While you’re there, take a picture of yourself in front of the famous façade – it makes for a great Christmas card/Facebook photo.