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“Astonishingly Beautiful Buildings - Almost Perfect ...”

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Raffles Hotel Singapore
Ranked #4 of 317 Hotels in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 May 2009

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.

Arrival
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).

Check In
Our butler ( a lovely young woman) checked us in - within our room and our bags arrived.

The Suite
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.

Building
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.

Food
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).

Butler Service
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.

Children
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.

Billiard Room
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.

Check Out
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.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank DiscerningTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 May 2009

Since watching an old movie as a kid I wanted to go to Raffles to have the famous Singapore Sling, so on this trip we were headed for Thailand and we took the opportunity of a cheap flight out of Bangkok to visit Singapore for two days. We didn't stay at Raffles but we did go there for a very boozy afternoon sipping the drink that made it famous.
Stepping into the place was like stepping back in time, we could almost see the ghosts of staff and guests past walking through the lobby.
The sling was exactly it should be,delicious and we even bought the glass it came in as a souveneer. This is a must do on any trip to this city.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank aussieandersons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

My husband and I stayed at Raffles last September for a couple of nights, as it had always been one of our lifes ambitions, and yes it did live up to our expections. When we arrived we were warmly greeted and were taken into the lobby area whilst tea was ordered for us. Within a quarter of an hour we were shown to our suite, which was more like a mini apartment, it was beautiful, and just along from the Ava Gardener suite!! The front part was a living area complete with dining table, sofa and tv, you then go through to the large bedroom area where there are also a couple of armchairs. The bathroom was divided into two rooms, one with basins and dressing area and the other with bath, shower etc., all beautifully furnished. The first afternoon we went to the Long Bar, which we had already done on our first visit to Singapore, but just felt that we had to start with the Singapore Slings again! The hotel is very large and there is alot to see if you haven't been before, like the museum shop upstairs, and then it's just so nice to wander around soaking up the atmosphere. When you go in through the front door and into the lobby area it is really stunning, I really felt transported back in time. In the evening we were so confused as to which restaurant to choose as there are quite a few, so in the end went for Doc Chengs upstairs - it was very nice and certainly different with superb food. The next morning we decided to have breakfast by the pool (as recommended by a previous trip advisor) and it was wonderful as we were the only 2 eating there! The second evening we decided to eat in the Deli Restaurant on the ground floor, which was more American diner type food - we chose this as we had just spent 2 weeks in Bali eating a lot of very rich food! It made a nice change and there was a good buzzy atmosphere. Our last morning we opted for room service for breakfast.....wow, there was everything you could have wished for: porridge with banana on top, cereal, croissants, toast, fresh fruit, full English breakfast, a nice pot of tea and freshly made coffee! And our butlers who brought it in laid up our table beautifully and were so friendly. What utter luxury - we loved it! As we weren't leaving until late that day we were offered the health suite and pool to use in the afternoon which was a nice way to end our stay there, as we weren't pushed out. I feel it certainly is a wonderful experience to stay there, yes I know there are more modern luxury hotels in Singapore.....but if you want to taste a little bit of a bygone era, in perhaps the most beautiful building in Singapore then it has to be Raffles! You must also remember that you are staying in one of the top tourist sites so when you come out of the sanctuary of your apartment, you are in with all the tourists, so obviously the staff aren't always going to remember you, but when they realise that you are guests, then we were treated with the utmost courtesy. My only regret is that we did not do the afternoon tea in the tiffin room, oh well I guess it's an excuse to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank DorsetCrab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2009

I decided to stay at Raffles Singapore because of its reputation versus other 5-star hotels in Singapore. Everyone told me how great the hotel was and I would be pampered. However, I was extremely disappointed and upset with the service. Let me list out my underwhelming experience:

1) We called the hotel in advance about our late check-in around 11:30pm. When we arrived there, nobody helped us get off the taxi, nobody carried our bags, nobody opened the doors. In fact we couldn't find a staff to help us check-in. We did manage to check-in after 10min of wandering

2) Next morning we ordered breakfast in our room, they didn't give us what we ordered and frankly the staff seemed pretty unfamiliar with the menu

3) Every time we pressed the "butler button" in our room, front desk called and asked what we needed. I said I would like to see my butler then the butler showed up after 15min. If the front desk called every time I pressed the button then what's the point of having the "butler button" in the room? I was told there were three shifts of butlers to serve us but I kept seeing different people in each shift. Butler didn't leave us he/she contact so when we were out we couldn't get him/her to make arrangements for us. These things totally defeated the purpose of a butler

4) We wanted to check out the hotel facilities and entered through the main lobby. A hotel manager stopped us because we didn't have proper dress code unless we were hotel guests. That's fine so I told him I was their hotel guest. He just shrugged his shoulders and did not apologize or at least say "good morning, sir". Completely rude!

5) We left a note on the fruit plate about what fruits we wanted for that evening. When we got back at night, fruit plate was not replenished and the note was still there.

6) Drinking glass was broken on my bed side table

7) Toilet supplies were not refilled

8) It finally went beyond my tolerance and I told the butler what happened and demanded an apology from the hotel manager when we check-out next morning

9) When we were carrying our bags to the lobby to check-out, a staff was moving furniture and we were both trying to get through a tight corner from opposite directions. The staff didn't give way and I actually got hit by the furniture he's moving

10) Hotel manager sounded very nice and apologetic and wrote down everything I was not happy with like 1) - 9) mentioned above. He said he would follow up with me shortly. We traveled on the Mar 21 weekend and I really thought it was a one-off and didn't want to publicize my poor experience. Three weeks have gone by and they haven't followed up. I guess they don't care...

To be fair, the building, facilities and decoration are absolutely gorgeous. It was really one of the best in the region. Some of the events above may be one-off's and I can accept that but some of them are very substandard as a 5-star hotel and a combination of errors is really not acceptable. I booked through a discount hotel website may be that's why I didn't get the best out of them.

People have different travel preferences, I enjoy more on personal experience and hotel service with attention to details really makes a difference. If you have traveled enough, service is really the key to differentiate from other 5-star competitors.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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20  Thank jskwu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2009

There is nothing negative that I can say about Raffles. This was the 3rd stay over the past few years and whilst some suggest that its character has changed since it was refurbished, it is still a wonderful place to stop over.

The suites are comfortable, the location is central, and the service always impresses without being too formal and stuffy.

Whenever I travel via Singapore Raffles will always be my first choice.

Enjoy

Stayed: May 2008, travelled on business
4  Thank davidjoanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Raffles Hotel Singapore

Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Singapore
Phone Number:
Region: Singapore > Singapore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Singapore
#2 Romantic Hotel in Singapore
#3 Business Hotel in Singapore
#4 Luxury Hotel in Singapore
Price Range: €861 - €965 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Raffles Hotel Singapore 5*
Number of rooms: 103
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

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