What is Like Staying In SG's Oldest Hotel, and It's 130years Old!

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Raffles Hotel is more than a legendary institution in Singapore. Named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of the state of Singapore in 1819 and designed by architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell, the hotel opened to the public in 1887.

It was originally part of the Sarkies brothers' hotel empire, which included the Eastern and Oriental in Penang and the Majapahit in Surabaya. Famous guests, when it opened, included Joseph Conrad in 1888 and Rudyard Kipling who is famously quoted as saying, "when in Singapore, feed at Raffles."


Raffles Hotel Singapore


Today the lobby's 'Writers' Bar' and the 12 author-suites pay homage to these intellectuals. In 1921 Somerset Maugham stayed at the hotel and he returned in 1926 and 1959, always staying in Suite 12, where on of his original letters is on display.

Over the years, the hotel caught the public's imagination for more than its legendary hospitality. Not many current guests are aware that a tiger was once shot at the hotel. In 1902 the animal escaped from a nearby circus and next-door neighbour and hunter Charles McGoven was called to avoid a potential drama. It was late at night and he had reportedly had quite a few drinks that night so it took him a few shots before he actually hit the animal under what is now the Bar & Billiard Room.


Raffles Hotel Singapore


Another claim to fame is the invention of the iconic cocktail, the Singapore Sling, which was created by barman Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915. Made with gin, Peter Heering, Cointreau, grenadine, angostura bitters, pineapple & lime juice, this sweet concoction was first invented to allow women to drink alcohol without arousing the suspicion of disapproving eyes. These days, a thousand Singapore Slings are said to be sold every day at the hotel. Over the years, the hotel has hosted a long line of celebrities and VIP guests. Michael Jackson, Jackie Chan, William & Kate, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Buck, Jean Harlow, John Wayne and even the Queen of England - all have enjoyed Raffles hospitality. Today, you can join their ranks by treating yourself to a stay in one of the 103 colonial-style suites, including the unique Courtyard or Palm Suites and even the Presidential Suite.


Raffles Hotel Singapore

Raffles also boasts a luxury spa with a long list of tempting signature treatments, including body massages and therapies, body scrubs and wraps and facial treatments, to enjoy after a few laps in the beautifully secluded rooftop pool.


Raffles Hotel Singapore

Once you've worked up an appetite, enjoy an exquisite Indian buffet feast at the Tiffin Room. Other dining highlights include the Long Bar Steakhouse for meat lovers and the Raffles Grill for unique French-inspired delicacies by talented young Chef Michael Le Calvez. The Halia, located in the hotel's grounds, is another dining highlight, especially for those who appreciate communal dining. The signature crabmeat spaghetti and oven-baked halibut are definitely dishes to try here, as is the amazing Javanese spiced lamb rump and the stunning desserts - I recommend the beautiful ginger nougat parfait and delicious milk chocolate cloud. And if your stay happens to take place over the weekend, treat yourself to the city's most amazing brunch at the Bar and Billiard room.


Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Hotel Singapore circa 1887


Raffles Hotel Singapore



Last but not least, don't forget to enjoy a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar or under the stars in the Courtyard, adding your own chapter to the hotel's long history.

Raffles Hotel might be undergoing a three-part restoration at the moment, which began in February this year, but some of its rooms are still open to visitors till the end of the year, where it'll close completely before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018.

My suggestion? Book in now for your next staycation, because it's probably the last time you'll get to view the hotel in its pre-restoration glory.




Raffles Hotel
#1 Beach Road
Tel. No.: 6337 1886







105 LOVES AND COMMENTS:

  1. Wow, you would never know how old it is looking at these photos. I'd love to stay here and rest by the pool.

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  2. This hotel looks stunning. Wow, it's so classy. I looove it. I would love to stay here. The pool is incredible and the room is absolutely amazing. Can't wait for the grand reopening.

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    1. It will be more exciting. I feel like staying here is like travelling back in the past.

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  3. The Raffles Hotel looks like an absolutely amazing place to stay. I sadly have yet to get outside the US. I would love to stay here!

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    1. When you decided to visit Asia someday, please consider adding Raffles Hotel to you itinerary.

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  4. 130 years old?! Woah!! Quite an experience.. the place looks lovely. Cheers!! :)

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    1. Yeah, I guess this is the 3rd renovation and it was fantastic that they have managed to retain its original features.

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  5. This hotel looks absolutely fantastic! So luxurious! Must have been so great to stay there! OMG, I am envious! xx corinne

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    1. Staying here is like going back in time. It survive with wars and conflicts and rich with cultures.

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  6. Old hotels are best to stay in,you get to see city culture, old method of preparing dishes, architecture..and so much more. You really had a great time.

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  7. The hotel look so stunning now. It has those grand feelings, I would love to stay there once. Maybe I'll keep that in mind the next time I visit Singapore.

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    1. You should stay here after during its grand reopening. It will be more exciting.

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  8. Omg are these photos real? It must be quite an experience staying in a place with such history. I'd love to try the cocktail too!

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    1. Of course it is real :) Raffles Hotels are one of the finest hotels in Asia.

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  9. I've never been to Singapore and this looks very luxurious! I've only ever stopped there at the airport. I like the idea of the writer's bar and paying homage to authors, especially the letters on display!

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    1. Yeah even in Chiangi Airport, it feels like you are not in the airport. It feels like you are in a separate country.

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  10. After googling this topic, I came upon your post. This is just what I needed; thank you for sharing about this beautiful hotel . If I wasn't convinced to stay before I definitely am now after reading your article in seeing your gorgeous photos

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    1. Thank you very much! Raffles Hotel will wait for your visit :)

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  11. Oh wow, this hotel is so beautiful! It reminds me of an antique tale location or something similar, I love it!

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    1. Exactly right! This hotel is always been features in some historical movies. Many known celebrities and rich people stayed here.

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  12. Oh my word! Raffles Hotel is absolutely amazing. Such pure luxury and elegance. I hope someday to visit Singapore. And when I do, I'll keep this iconic hotel in mind. Thanks so much for sharing this unique travel experience.

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    1. You are always welcome, never miss this hotel - it's the best!

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  13. Oh my God it looks like a Palace!! I'm amazed!! It'd be a dream to stay here from some nights an taste a good Singapore Sling ;)

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    1. You will experience the life of aristocratic people when you stayed here.

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  14. Oh my, that is just gorgeous. My daughter was just talking about traveling to Singapore someday -- I'd like to go with her!

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    1. Hello Helene,

      That's great! You ladies will love Singapore. Add Raffles Hotel to your list.

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  15. WOW! This place is stunning! Hard to imagine it being 130 years old since it is so well kept!

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    1. They spend a lot of money to keep it right for many years.

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  16. Wow what an absolutely stunning hotel, it looks amazing for it's 135 year life. I adore getting to find historical buildings and staying in them.

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    1. This hotel will makes you connected to its previous life. There is a place here were you can see the old photos and newspaper clipping of Raffles Hotel. It's like staying in a luxurious museum, actually.

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  17. Love these photos! I heard so many great things about this hotel and looking at how amazing the interior design were - I wish to stay there the next time I'm in Singapore.

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    1. Hello Sharon,

      Oh please have your staycation here because you deserve it.

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  18. That hotel has some awesome character. It still looks awesome for that old.

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    1. Exactly! Even the infamous Trump Tower will never beat the personality of Raffles Hotel.

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  19. Omg this place is STUNNING. I love all white hotels its so clean and timeless. I will have to check this hotel out whe i am in town.

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    1. Just think about the daily check of their staff just to make sure there is no stain on its white walls.

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  20. What a beautiful hotel! I just love the history and architecture of the building. I'll add it to my list of places to stay at in Singapore.

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    1. That's great Shannon! Please tell your friends too.

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  21. Wow, reading this makes me want to visit this inspirational site. I can just imagine waking up to that view and dining among-st History. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. raffles Hotel might help you to dream even more.

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  22. 130 year old hotel? Wow! I love the whole set up!
    The chandeliers and curtains and high palm trees are just stunning!

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    1. You will love it here my dear. Build your memories here.

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  23. Your pictures look amazing. I would love to visit there.

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  24. Wow, 130 years old? Amazing. It looks gorgeous. That pool looks like a fantastic place to relax. I'd love to stay here.

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    1. Totally worth your time spending here. Bring your kids too!

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  25. Gorgeous. I was there many, many years ago. Thx for sharing and reminding us all how beautiful it is.

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    1. You are welcome Peter. When is your last stay at Raffles?

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  26. Oh my! That place is so stunning I could never leave. I live in a snow white/black styled home and live for interiors like that. Just wish I had the ceiling height for a chandelier like that. A girl can dream...

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    1. I know right! And dreaming has no limits!

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  27. What amazing architecture! Such luxurious interior, you must feel like a king while staying there. Probably after the restoration works it will be even more glamorous. Wish I could stay there for a weekend :)

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    1. They will keep the same design and just adding some foundation to make it more strong.

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  28. Raffles is my dream hotel in Singapore. However, I can hardly afford it, no thanks in part for the weaker Ringgit. I hope one day I get a taste of it. By then, it would probably be 140 or 150 years old. LOL

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    1. LOL well that will be amazing Emily! Celebrating 150th year of Raffles will be awesome.

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  29. I will be in Singapore Next week but staying in Carlton. Maybe next business trip should try Raffles Hotel.

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    1. Hey Betty,

      Tell us more of your Carlton stay soon!

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  30. Such a beautiful hotel! Would love to stay there one day!

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    1. That's cool Cassie and hope you will also tour around Singapore. You will love it.

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  31. omg! i love places like this!!! it's not only beautiful but is rich in history.. Love it!

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    1. Yeah, and I would be so happy spending another moment here, with my Amore.

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  32. OMG! Its like a castle, it was so beautiful and mesmerizing. I love every detail of it.

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    1. Wait until you experience their excellent services, the butler walking wearing their tux, impression interior and the foods are oh lala.

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  33. wow. the hotel looks so amazing. I bet it must be expensive

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    1. Yes it is expensive! But worth every moment of your stay.

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  34. Raffles Hotel is so grand and beautiful. Hard to believe it's 130 years old.

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    1. I know right! Sometimes I am thinking what is her secret of staying young and beautiful? LOL we should get advice from her then!!!

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  35. I love this hotel. I visit Singapore a few times and I always wanted to stay here. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

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    1. Hello Ophelia,

      On your next visit, you can pay her a visit :)

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  36. What an incredible hotel! I can't get over how elegant it is with the old world architecture, high ceilings, and attention to every detail. Not to mention it's 130 years old! Can you imagine the stories the walls would tell if they could only talk? x

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    1. Oh dear, if only Raffles can speak, she will be the best storyteller ever.

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  37. What an absolutely stunning place to stay! So much history!

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  38. This hotel looks like a complete destination in itself! I wonder how it will look like after his three-part restoration!

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  39. WOW, the exterior is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like a straight up palace. I'm so impressed, I love it!

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    1. Thank you Nicole! When you are in Singapore please have a visit here.

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  40. Those amenities look great and to think of the history that hotel must have. I would love to see it one day.

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  41. It looks absolutely gorgeous! I would love to stay there!

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    1. Tell us more of your experience when you arrive in Raffles! We love to hear it.

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  42. Oh my! This place looks absolutely gorgeous. I love staying in historical hotels.

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    1. It is like this Raffles will tell you a lot of story in a non-creepy way. Hahaha

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  43. 130 Years Old building!! The design and structure has been really well taken care =) I love their interior so classy and vintage!!

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    1. So true! I wonder how much they guarded this building to gain no stains.

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  44. The building inside and out is amazing! Someone could get lost in there! I love the rooms, very cozy and spacious.

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  45. Wow..this place looks so royal! I think I know where I would want to stay when I visit Singapore the next time...Imagine doing a wedding shoot here..heavenly!

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  46. I love this look inside Raffles Hotel! I went there once to try a singapore sling (unfortunately they're all premade, lol) but didn't get a chance to see how elegant it is inside!

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    1. Oh next time Chantae, you need to stay here and explore this white palace like hotel. It will be your luxurious playground.

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  48. Raffles Hotel is absolutely exquisite! So elegant and beautiful, you almost can't tell it's that old!

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  49. I have meeting in that hotel before but did not stay there, such a lovely place.

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    1. Oh next time, you will be the hotel resident!

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  50. What a magnificent hotel with an old world air and fantastic luxury and stories to enjoy! Your photos are amazing.

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  51. Somehow this hotel reminds me of the movie Annie. The large hallways I suppose. It is so classy and beautiful. Loved your pics.

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    1. Thank you Ami. Yeah I saw that movie too. I love it :)

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  52. We admired Raffles from afar, but didn't get a chance to go inside. Next time, hope to catch a meal at this legendary hotel. Its gorgeous!

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    1. Hello Punita,

      Raffles is waving and asking to visit her. You will like it!

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  53. So much vintage feeling at the hotel. Wish i can visit there someday maybe after they have the renovation. haha

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    1. I bet after the renovation, it will be more magical to your eyes.

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