A NEW CHAPTER
Restoration of the 130-year-old Raffles Hotel Singapore is set to add new features, giving the storied establishment a stylish update while retaining its age-old charm
more than a year after it embarked on a detailed three-phase restoration, the Raffles Hotel Singapore is slated to reopen at the end of 2018. The hotel will debut new amenities and the latest technology, while preserving the inimitable colonial ambience it has been famous for since 1887.
“We are pleased to share these updates, designed to keep Raffles Hotel Singapore relevant and distinctive to our guests while providing a new level of excitement with sublime experiences,” says General Manager Christian Westbeld. “At the same time, careful consideration has been taken to ensure we retain the ambience and what is unique to Raffles Hotel Singapore.”
Supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, the restoration is now in its final phase. Every stage of the entire process — especially in fortifying the structures against the ravages of time — has been approached with sensitivity, retaining every aspect of the Raffles experience. Walls of the suites in the Palm Court wing were treated to counter the effects of salinisation, a result of the hotel’s proximity to the original coastline. More than a hundred pieces of antique furniture — including the Steinway grand piano, gramophone and grandfather clock in the Grand Lobby — were painstakingly restored. And each of the compound’s roof, floor and wall tiles was manually checked and refreshed.
The updated Raffles Hotel Singapore will debut three suite categories — Residence, Promenade, Studio — bringing the total number of suites from 103 to 115. The five one- or two-bedroom Residence Suites (Odeon, Alhambra, Diamond, Marlborough and Theatre Royal) are named after famous cinemas in the vicinity in the early- to mid-20th century. The two Promenade Suites overlook Beach Road, and are named after Lady Sophia, wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, and Lady Mountbatten, wife of Earl of Burma, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The reopened Raffles Arcade features a new Raffles Spa and a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop. The latter will house a history gallery to exhibit the hotel’s heritage and highlight the role the hotel has played as a landmark in the country and the region. The Long Bar, Tiffin Room and Writers Bar will unveil rejuvenated interiors while still serving the classic Singapore Sling, North Indian cuisine and bespoke cocktails they’ve been known to for decades.
Jubilee Hall will be renamed Jubilee Ballroom and converted to a 300-guest event space, dressed in cream and gold and augmented with an airconditioned pre-event foyer. The previous ballroom will be rechristened Palm Ballroom in a tribute to the traveller’s palm, the emblem of the hotel. All event spaces — including the East India Room, Casuarina Suite, Palm Garden, The Lawn and Gazebo — will be updated with the latest technology.
And for those who can’t wait to be back, the Raffles Gift Shop and a pop-up Long Bar remain open throughout the restoration to welcome guests eager for a slice of the Raffles experience.