I write this review with mixed feelings. I visited Raffles as a child, enjoyed a Singapore sling in the Peanut Bar and fell in love with the hotel. Twenty years later I was able to stay here with my husband and my son on our way home from London - a dream come true ...... almost.
We were picked up from the airport in a brand new Bentley (it even had little flags on the front) - my husband was in seventh heaven. The driver was superb, interested, interesting and charming. We arrived at the hotel, our bags were taken, our butler was standing at the car door and check in was conducted within our suite (all of two minutes).
Our butler ( a lovely young woman) checked us in - within our room and our bags arrived.
Amazing, old fashioned - exquisite bathroom, huge bed, gorgeous linen, great robes, full bar, fresh fruit (I never eat hotel fruit) and huge high ceilings - definitely felt you stepped into a grand past. A cot set up for our son and a full complement of every possible baby toiletry known to man (together with loads for us). What was interesting is that I love nice hotels and have stayed in a lot across Europe and Asia - if you're looking for a swanky, gadget filled, horrificly wallpapered boutique hotel - move along. This is old fashioned elegance and taste at its best - some of it will seem tired within the room as it's been copied and done better elsewhere - but this is where a lot of great hotel design came from and it still holds its own with ease. She's a grand dame.
Astonishing - the buildings, the gardens, the detail I spent hours just wandered the halls and floors - looking at the views (a wee bit of shopping) and just enjoying the amazing architecture.
Now this was a bit hit and miss. Breakfast was on the terrace outside our room - was not quite what we ordered but very nice, the following day it was exactly what we ordered and quite nice. We ate dinner at The Grill (oh my god nearly passed out at the prices) but it's Raffles - so that's what you get. Great meal, great wine - gobsmacking bill. But what was really weird was that at breakfast they brought out a high chair (that's not the weird bit) - the chair was absolutely filthy. Dried hard food on the legs, on the food tray, across the seating and padding. It is clearly well used and hasn't been cleaned. I found this incredibly odd and was stunned when it was returned to our room in the filthy state and left against a wall for breakfast the following day. So at odds with the rest of the place. All this was done by our butlers - it was just terribly odd - and I was to English to complain (dammit). We also had dinner in our room one night and again huge prices but this time only mediocre food (fillet steak medium rather than rare as was requested).
Now this isnt' a butler service as you'd imagine - it seems to simply be that staff are allocated to sections of the hotel and are at your beck and call. We saw three different butlers while we stayed, all were women and all were charming. On one night we used the Raffles babysitting service and one of our butler's from earlier in the day turned up - which was nice - and she also bought a children's book for our son (who's one) to read with him as a gift. I thought this a lovely touch.
All the staff were superb with our son, very touchy and feely and wanting loads of cuddles - I felt very comfortable with the butler service (every time any of them visited they wanted a cuddle) and didn't get that impression you often get from nice hotels that I was a criminal for bringing a child into their sanctuary.
My husband and I spent an evening drinking and playing snooker in the Billiard Room. We had the whole room to ourselves apart from a few waiting staff - it was brilliant - we were dressed formally from dinner and it felt fantastic - a great way to finish a brilliant evening.
Again conducted in our room and the butler organised for a busboy to take our luggage to our ar
Overall I loved Raffles and plan to return there in the future, it is a monument to the past and filled with the most beautiful and thoughtful designs. Apart from a dirty high chair and odd breakfast moments - we had a wonderful time.
Oh and the pool is great too!
Overall I loved Raffles.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Raffles Singapore will be closed for renovation on 13 December 2017 with a planned reopening in the second half of 2018. Raffles Hotel is one of Singapore's most graceful landmarks. More legend than hotel, this luxury Singapore hotel celebrates a tradition of unwavering service excellence spanning more than 125 years.Immortalized in the novels of Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, Raffles Hotel, Singapore’s colonial-styled architecture and lush tropical gardens exude an atmosphere of timeless elegance. 5 restaurants and bars beckon, including the Bar & Billiard Room - new temporary home to the world renowned Singapore Sling; Tiffin Room, which continues the tradition of Afternoon Tea at Raffles and Raffles Grill, serving up the best Sunday Brunch in town. This luxurious Singapore hotel lies in the heart of the city, in close proximity to the banking and financial districts, Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SICEC), as well as leisure attractions including the casino at Marina Bay; the cultural sights of Arab Street and Chinatown and shopping at Raffles City shopping mall and Orchard Road shopping belt. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Singapore Raffles Hotel
- Raffles Singapore
- Raffles Hotel Singapore