Iconic Raffles Singapore reopens after two and a half years of renovations
Presenting the newly-reopened Raffles Singapore. (Photo: Raffles)
Colonial style palace in Singapore welcomes guests for the first time since 2017.
One of the most iconic historic hotels in Singapore, Raffles Singapore, has opened to fanfare after an extensive renovation that saw the property close down completely for two and a half years.
We step inside this stunning refurbishment.
Grande Dame of Singapore is reborn
Singapore’s famed colonial palace which houses the iconic Raffles Singapore hotel has been given a new lease of life after a major refurbishment.
The hotel, nicknamed the Grande Dame in French, dates back to 1887 and had lost a lot of its charm in the intervening years.
Dated and out of style, the hotel was having trouble attracting guests, so the operators knew that an overhaul was needed.
The hotel was known for its statement finishings, such as Persian rugs and Australian-imported gravel, which spoke of a time of exploration and trade, and it was worried that these touches would be lost in the renovation.
However, the opposite seems to be true – the renovation not only captures and reclaims the historic beauty and significance of this magnificent hotel, but also brings it into the 21st century with some state-of-the-art additions and upgrades.
Clients old and new
One of the most important missions for the hotel was to be able to retain its regular guests whilst at the same time appealing to a younger generation of travelers.
The Raffles Singapore offers guests the best of both worlds – a platform from where the futuristic skyline of Singapore can be observed, and an ancient oasis from which to enjoy it.
80-year-old Leslie Danker is part employee, part resident, and gives guided tours of the hotel every morning, where guests can learn about the building’s history and the famous faces who have passed through it.
French influences in Singapore
Many of the new additions, especially among the hotel’s F&B offerings, are inspired by France.
One of the property’s highlights is the Long Bar. An incredible 800 guests pass through it every day to marvel at its opulent colonial decor, which has been restored to its full glory. Many come to sample a Singapore Sling, which was pioneered at Raffles in 1915.
The Bar & Billiard Room serves up delicious Mediterranean food, while all things French are celebrated at the Dame de Pic restaurant, run by Michelin Star chef Anne-Sophie Pic.
Raffles director Christian Westbeld brought Pic on board because he wanted to “create a surprise, not be where we expected, bring a new experience to the Singaporean culinary scene.”
“Working for the band for the last ten years, this British-looking German intends to perpetuate the legend.”