French multinational hospitality group Accor has reopened their flagship property Raffles Singapore this month, after a three-phase restoration venture. Established in 1887, the heritage property is a national monument under the Government of Singapore, and one of the few remaining 19th-century hotels in the world. Keen drinkers may also know this property as the birthplace of the Singapore Sling Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon had whipped up this gin-based cocktail at the now-iconic Long Bar over 100 years ago.
&ldquoIt is our wish and desire that our guests will continue to create treasured memories at the hotel, while rediscovering what makes it so special&mdashthe distinctive architecture, heritage and legendary service,&rdquo said Christian Westbeld, General Manager, Raffles Singapore.
Raffles Singapore had last undergone a facelift in 1991. The latest iteration has been led by interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud in association with architecture-design firm Aedas. Together, the designers have retained the Raffles&rsquo historic charm with a revitalised mix of &lsquoculture, beauty and gentility&rsquo. Post the makeover, the 132-year-old property offers all-suite accommodations across nine categories, with new Residence, Promenade and Studio suites bringing the count up from 103 to 115. There's also a new spa. Smaller elements across operations add a quirky yet comfortable touch&mdashthere are no more check-in counters at the lobby (guests can do it from their suites), and leather-embossed key cards depict former celebrity guests. Think Elizabeth Taylor, Joseph Conrad and Pablo Neruda. Over 2,500 sq m of event spaces have been developed, including the 300-seater Jubilee Ballroom.
The luxury hotel has also introduced the Raffles Boutique and several retail brands. New eateries include restaurant collaborations with Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic (of Maison Pic in Valence, France) Monégasque masterchef Alain Ducasse and the contemporary Chinese fare of Chef Jereme Leung. Six old bars and restaurants have returned the North Indian-styled Tiffin Room Writers Bar The Lobby Raffles Courtyard Ah Teng&rsquos Cafe and of course, The Long Bar.
&ldquoThis is where it all started,&rdquo remarked Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand and Strategic Relationships, Raffles Hotels and Resorts. &ldquo...faithful to its roots, Raffles Singapore reinvents emotional luxury. As the hotel concludes its restoration and embarks on the next chapter, the return of this flagship property to Raffles Hotels & Resorts paves the way for...unparalleled service and sublime experiences to new destinations in cities such as Udaipur, London and Boston.&rdquo