Raffles Singapore announces its up-coming reopening that is planned for the second half of 2018. Since February 2017, the iconic heritage hotel has embarked on a careful and sensitive phased restoration. Its reopening will see the introduction of exquisite new suite categories, vibrant lifestyle experiences and refreshed dining concepts.
New suite categories
For more than a century, Raffles Singapore has offered its well-travelled guests luxurious all-suite accommodations. The restoration will update its distinctive suites with new amenities and technology while maintaining the sense of space and colonial ambience.
When Raffles Singapore reopens, it will have three new suite categories: Residence Suites, Promenade Suites and Studio Suites. The total suite count increases from its existing 103 suites to 115 suites.
The new Residence Suites, comprising four 1-bedroom and one 2-bedroom suites, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and are named after famous local cinemas during the early to mid-1900s. This is in homage to the days when the neighbourhood was known as “The Place of Cinemas”. Suites names are Alhambra Suite, Diamond Suite, Marlborough Suite, Odeon Suite and Theatre Royal Suite.
Intimately nestled in the front-most corner of the Main Building are two new Promenade Suites that overlook Beach Road. A tribute to the late 1800s era when Raffles Singapore faced the beachfront, the suites will be named Lady Mountbatten Suite and Lady Sophia Suite, which were converted from existing boardrooms.
- Lady Mountbatten was the Countess of Burma and wife of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was the Earl of Burma, last Viceroy of India and also Southeast Asia’s Supreme Allied Commander during the Second World War. In September 1945, Lord Mountbatten was in Singapore to witness the surrender of the Japanese Forces.
- Lady Sophia was the wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Modern Singapore, and for whom Raffles Hotel Singapore is named after.
The new Studio Suites that are being added aim to complement the array of suites in the Main Building, enveloped by the colonial charm of the Grand Lobby.
Raffles Singapore will continue to provide existing suite categories including:
- Presidential Suites
- Grand Hotel Suites
- Palm Court Suites
- Courtyard Suites
- State Room Suites, formerly known as Raffles Inc. State Room Suites. The renaming reflects the conversion of the workspace into a parlour as well as the spaciousness of the suite.
Raffles Arcade: A lifestyle destination for the community and Singapore
Once reopened, the Raffles Arcade will showcase social spaces and a variety of lifestyle experiences. This includes a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop that will house a History Gallery to illustrate the heritage of Raffles Singapore. The Arcade will also be home to a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community to escape the bustle of the city.
“The History Gallery exhibits the hotel’s heritage over the past 130 years, and highlights the role Raffles Singapore played as a landmark in the country, and also in the region,” explained Christian Westbeld, General Manager, Raffles Singapore. “We are confident the local community will enjoy the refreshed facilities within the arcade that would rejuvenate the experiences within our neighbourhood.”
Signature dining experiences at Raffles
Signature restaurants and bars since the 1900s, Long Bar, Tiffin Room and Writers Bar, will continue to be a distinct part of Raffles Singapore dining experiences when the hotel reopens.
Home of the Singapore Sling for over a hundred years, the Long Bar’s plantation-inspired décor will be refreshed, and the famous Long Bar counter restored. Visitors and guests will be welcomed to continue the tradition of throwing peanuts on the floor as they sip on a chilled glass of hand-shaken Singapore Sling.
A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, Tiffin Room will continue to serve up delectable North Indian cuisine. Offering authentic specialties served in Tiffin boxes, it will also present an interactive dining experience with tableside service by chefs, complete with freshly ground spices to enhance the occasion. The restored interior décor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in Tiffin Room to bring back features from the early 1900s based on research by our heritage consultants.
Furthermore, the signature Afternoon Tea will now be served at the new lounge in the Grand Lobby, allowing guests to enjoy a quintessential Raffles dining experience amidst the soft daylight streaming in from the skylight.
Established as a tribute to famous writers that have come through the doors of Raffles Singapore over the years, Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar and be the place for bespoke cocktails, discreet elegance and intimate conversations.
New event spaces for weddings and social gatherings
Jubilee Hall has been converted into a new 300-guest ballroom, named Jubilee Ballroom as a tribute to the Jubilee Theatre, originally a cinema in the 1930s at the same location. Elegant and sophisticated in hues of cream and gold, complimented with an air-conditioned pre-event foyer, the Jubilee Ballroom will be the ideal venue for weddings and social galas.
All other event spaces will be refreshed, including the East India Room, Casuarina Suite as well as outdoor venues Palm Garden, The Lawn and Gazebo. The previous ballroom has been renamed Palm Ballroom as a nod to the Travellers Palm, the emblem of Raffles. All event spaces will also have striking lighting elements and the latest audio-visual technology, to be relevant for today’s social galas and events.
The restoration of Raffles Singapore is supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who has worked on numerous restoration projects around the world.
In reference to the new Jubilee Ballroom, Alexandra said, “We have included sophisticated Victorian details whispering to the heritage of the space along with nods to Singapore’s culture. In order to tell the legacy story of the theatre, we added finely curated motifs and techniques that speak to its history, along with iconic lighting elements to provide an added layer of luxury. Stunning chandeliers and signature gold Venetian light fixtures with elegant coffers, which light the room beautifully, can be found within the space along with custom upholstered wall panels that speak to Singapore’s culture.”
“We are pleased to share these updates, designed to keep Raffles Singapore relevant and distinctive to our guests while providing a new level of excitement with sublime experiences. At the same time, careful consideration has been taken to ensure we retain the ambience and what is unique to Raffles Singapore,” Christian added. “In the meantime, we are committed to deliver a level of service and comfort that is expected of us for areas of the hotel that remain open.”
Phase Three of the restoration will commence on 13 December 2017, when the hotel will be fully closed. Raffles Gift Shop will move to a temporary location along Seah Street and remain open throughout.