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Amazing Stay Because of YOU
Amidst the slew of bad news on COVID-19... just when it seems the light at the end of the tunnel is no where near, an incidental stay at the Raffles Hotel cast a magical spell that reminded us of our glorious heritage, invigorated us and gave us a new lease of hope to stand by each other through good times and bad. A DESTINATION MEANT TO BE As the pandemic unfolds, it disrupted our business trips, work schedules and careers. Determined not to relent to the waves of pessimism, we decided to took book a staycation locally - in part to support the badly-hit hospitality industry, and also to rekindle our much-loved travel ritual that we missed. When the newly renovated Raffles Hotel announced a special staycation package, we knew there wasn’t a second option, it was meant to be ... Raffles. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT Check-in was graciously granted early at 11 am. One knows he has arrived the moment he sets foot on Raffles Hotel. The white colonial-influenced main building, crescent-shaped gravel driveway lined with traveller’s palm and frangipanni tress, paint a charming image that is distinctively Raffles Hotel. Being seasoned travellers, we are very particular about two guest encounters that quintessentially defines a luxury hotel - one of which is a signature warm welcome. First to greet us was the Sikh doorman at the entrance. Dressed in his turban standing smart and tall in his traditional uniform - he eludes a reassuring sense of security as the gatekeeper to the property. He ushered us onto the red carpet, through the hotel’s doors. Magic happened... As we stepped into the main lobby, pompous classical music filled the air. Bustling traffic and skyscrapers faded off, giving way to a charming old world set somewhere in Singapore’s colonial past. Our eyes were greeted by a vast three-storey high lobby atrium, flanked by beautiful white pillars beautifully carved and adorned with palm leaf motifs. Natural sunlight sieved through the glass windows on the roof, illuminating the entire lobby and casting shiny reflections on the polished marble floors . At the end of the hall stood the grand staircase crafted out of dark solid wood and draped in luxurious carpets. Steps of the staircase resembled folds of an accordion that extended from the lobby to the top floor. The focal point that is hard to miss is a gorgeous crystal-studded chandelier suspended exactly 9 meters above floor from the roof. First impressions? We both agree it was love at first sight. Next, we were met by Amy, the Sales Manager, whom confirmed our upgrade to a Palm Court Suite - a privilege and gesture that we treasured. It was made even more special when we realised our suite was next to one once housed the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. WORLD OF MANY DIMENSIONS - A SURPRISE AT EVERY TURN We were swiftly ushered by the leading concierge through the lush green lawn and corridors. At our designated floor, we were greeted by our butler, Ancy. “Welcome home”, she said, as she unlocked the doors to suite 206. All decked out in tropical colonial style, the spacious and thoughtfully placement of furniture pieces, amenities made us feel most welcomed and comfortable... just like home! The suite was divided into a few spaces - the parlour, bedroom., wardrobe and bathroom. Each has individually controlled lighting, temperature and ambience. Just like a lady with different personas and temperament, staying within the suite offers an interesting experience in itself. A BREAKFAST FOR GENTLEMEN AND LADIES When one speaks of Raffles Hotel, the names “Long Bar” and the “Tiffin Room” comes to mind. During usual days, the signature bar and dinning room each draw long lines of visitors and tourists alike. Breakfast or tea at the Tiffin Room is an experience to savour. Situated at the main lobby’s left wing, The Tiffin Room has two seating areas - the main dining hall is seemingly true to the original interior style and was decorated in warm colours, rattan chairs, beautifully beveled glass and brass fixtures. Outside the main hall is an open area with a more contemporary look and feel. Each dish was generously portioned and beautifully plated. We were fortunate to have been joined by the Chief Historian - thank you for the warm hospitality and for filling us in on the hotel’s poignant history. AT EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY, A TALE TO BE DISCOVERED We rounded up our stay by taking a tour of the hotel’s main building. Armed with our mobile phones, we gave due focus and attention to it’s architecture and design. The vast atrium has so many exquisite interior design elements that offer varied perspectives depending on which floor you are and where you look. Special appreciation to Roslan - butler and epic story teller. He brought life to every significant piece of furniture and decoration. We truly enjoyed the stories, each told so vividly told that I could almost picture the scenes in my mind. I had a goosebump moment when he told the story of how the Sarkies Brothers discovered a house on Beach Road that they later redeveloped into the legendary Raffles Hotel. At one moment, the grandfather clock chimed, the song “A Fond Farewell” played on your phone and I experienced a goosebump moment. There and then, a priceless connection. Every journey and stay has to come to an end. The second guest moment that I particularly cherish is the “Fond Farewell”. As we walked the passage out of the hotel, we fondly took our final photos with the Doorman an around the courtyard. As we passed the hotel staff in the lobby, each of them said their appreciation and farewells. What originally planned as just a relaxing staycation turned out to be a epic trip down memory lane. We rekindled fond childhood memories of visits to the Raffles, and were pleasantly surprised to discover the rich beauty and kindness that Raffles had to offer. We left feeling immensely awed, proud to be Singaporean and to have experienced the Raffles hospitality. Rejuvenated, refreshed, revitalised, we are more than ready now to fight whatever adversity that comes along. As they always say about fond farewells... “Good bye for we will meet again”... sooner than you think... very very soon... this time, for us to return you a favour. Stanley
La Grande Dame of Singapore is back and she is at the best she has been. Long gone are the creaky wooden floors. The dimly lit areas. It’s refurbishment puts it in the spot from which it was deposed. The staff and managers will keep her running as she should be. They are passionate about their work and where they work. Their attention to patrons is second to none. Their attention to detail to which they adhere is beyond a job. They are French courtiers in a French court replete with all the pomp and circumstance one would expect from such an haute place.
Beautiful historic hotel with wonderful service and fantastic food
My husband and I recently stayed at the Raffles Hotel and had an absolutely fantastic experience. Right from making my booking I was impressed with the service, as reservation staff were usually quick to reply to my emails and always very helpful in answering my questions or making bookings for us. We were able to easily make reservations in advance for the pool, gym, afternoon tea and massages at the spa, and were presented with a summary of our bookings both by email prior to our arrival and again in printed form in our room after checking in. The rate we were able to book was a great value too, and included breakfast, afternoon tea for two in the Grand Lobby, welcome Singapore Slings and 15% off dining and the spa. We started our stay by arriving at noon the day of our check in to enjoy the spa. We did a pre-registration online a couple of days before our arrival so didn't have to go through a check-in process when we arrived. The concierge kept our bags for us while we went to the spa, where we were able to use the vitality pool and then have our 90 minute aromatherapy relaxation massages. I was impressed with the front desk staff at the spa, who took the initiative to allow us to use the vitality pool in the men's area together, as there were no other male guests that day, rather than have to go to separate pools, which allowed us to enjoy the experience even more. The massage therapists were also fantastic, and the massages some of the best we've had, managing to be both relaxing and also work on our areas of tension without being painful. The spa was beautiful, well maintained and exceptionally clean, and the facilities (vitality pool, sauna and steam room) were excellent. We were equally impressed with the other hotel facilities during our stay, including the lovely rooftop pool surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs and the large, well-equipped and very clean gym. When we finished at the spa we were informed that our suite was ready (half an hour early) and that our bags had already been brought to the room for us. We collected our keys and were walked to our suite, then a butler was called to give us a thorough orientation to the room, including how to use the incredibly convenient iPad to control everything in the room, and how to contact butler service for anything we required during our stay. As expected the room was beautiful, modern and stylish and with all of the classic, heritage touches retained in the new renovation, and incredibly spacious with a lovely parlour and a huge bathroom. The bed and linens were unbelievably comfortable, the huge rain shower and deep soaking tub were very enjoyable and the amenities (toiletries, coffee and tea, slippers and robs) high quality and plentiful. We also appreciated the nice touch of welcome fruit, jelly candies and pineapple cakes, all of which were delicious. The food was another highlight of our stay. Our first experience of the food was at breakfast, and we were very impressed. Tiffin Room is a gorgeous restaurant and the food was excellent. Though the menu isn't particularly extensive, it has a good mix of sweet and savoury, Western and Asian options, and we had plenty to choose from. The pastries and bread in the bread basket were obviously freshly baked and very tasty, as were all of the dishes we tried, including the signature omelette and eggs benedict, the perfectly soft scrambled eggs, the waffles and pancakes, and the dim sum, as well as the fruit platter and berries. The only letdown was the french toast, which was quite dry and bready, but the accompanying berry compote and the whipped cream provided upon request helped make up for that. Afternoon tea was even more impressive, one of the best I've had in Singapore in terms of quality of the food provided. The finger sandwiches looked simple but were delicious, with soft, fresh bread and flavourful fillings. The scones were warm and obviously freshly baked, and the accompanying rose petal jam was exceptional. The highlight though were the pastries, newly launched on the day of our visit and of the highest quality, both in appearance and taste. All were delicious, but our favourites were the rich, indulgent chocolate salted caramel tart and the tiny but flavour packed raspberry choux puff, both of which were absolutely divine. Our welcome Singapore Slings were tasty as well, as was the salted egg calamari we enjoyed with them in the Raffles Courtyard. What made our stay so fantastic overall though was the exceptional service. It was obvious from the start that the Raffles staff really are top notch. Everyone we encountered on our stay was warm, welcoming and helpful. Staff remembered us and greeted us personally, making friendly conversation and were happy to accommodate any request we had. We never felt we were being an imposition and were treated kindly and respectfully throughout our time at the hotel. It was just the sort of service you'd expect from a 5-star hotel, and easily the best we've experienced at any hotel in Singapore. Overall we had a wonderful staycation at the Raffles Hotel, and are so grateful we had the chance to experience this beautiful and historic place finally, after so many years in Singapore. We'd definitely recommend it to anyone, either from Singapore or visiting on a holiday, and plan to return ourselves again soon!
Great Staycation, an oasis within the city's core
Second time to the Raffles and this time was way better than the last time. The hotel wasn't crowded, the booking system for the pool and restaurants worked smoothly, F&B was good, service was spot on and perfect. The online check-in was a nice add-on and made the whole arrival experience much better. The check out process was also fast and smooth. All the little details and touches made the whole experience special. We will definitely go back for our next staycation.
Superb Staycation experience
Highly recommended if you are looking to "get away" but can't leave the country. After the renovations, the hotel feels modern but yet it has retained the colonial ambiance. The location is perfect, being so near eating and shopping experiences. Yet, when you step back into the hotel, you feel you are in a different world.
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