Time Machine: Singapore Raffles Hotel

Anyone have a time machine?

Until someone invents a time machine, Singapore has Raffles Hotel.

Since it’s reopening on September 16, 1991, Raffles Hotel has continued to be a top destination in Singapore. This continues even after the opening of more modern spots such as Universal Studios and Sands Hotel and Casino.

Upon entering the main lobby , you see the old world charm of the place. Seems that Rudyard Kipling could walk through the door at any moment, and in fact he did in the distant past. The place is full of stories of past visitors, including a story about the last tiger in Singapore being shot under one of Raffles billiards tables.

A one-night stay at Raffles Hotel will cost around $500 US for a State-room, which you will find to be a good room for sure. The rate includes the services of a resident historian, should you have any history questions. You can spend far more then $500 US if you like, and get a Personality Suite or Presidential Suite.

Plenty of well-known people have stayed at the hotel. From a historical perspective, you’ll hear of Charlie Chaplin, Rudyard Kipling, and Somerset Maugham staying at the hotel. Recently, folks such as Charles Branson, and Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge have stayed here. You’ll hear stories of these famous folks, and how they held celebrations, press conferences, and video events in the Palm Courtyard at the center of the hotel grounds.

Outside of celebrity stories, you can stop at the second floor Long Bar, and meet ordinary travelers with stories of their own. If you sit at the bar, chances are you’ll be sitting next to someone from someplace you’ve never been. Pilots from Ouagadougou. Architects from Germany. You name it. The bar itself is a melting pot. It is also the birthplace of the Singapore Sling – a drink that tastes very much like cherry kool-aid.

The Long Bar claims to have the longest bar in the world. In other words, more bar stools at which to sit across from a bartender. It seems that this ranking came from people sitting too long at the Long Bar, as it seats less than 20 people. There’s longer bars out there.   But with the nighttime live music and great company, who’s counting?

Underneath the Long Bar, you’ll find the Raffles Hotel Gift Shop. It sells plenty of things to take you back in time: luggage stickers, old paintings of Singapore, copies of original promotional posters, and more. It also has a great collection of travel journals and writing accessories for anyone that wants to write down their experiences. Don’t forget the postcards – many of them are already pre-stamped for mailing around the globe.

You don’t have to book a room at Raffles Singapore to enjoy the place. The casual visitor can tour the grounds, visit the bars and restaurants and shops, and eavesdrop on lavish events going on at Raffles. If you are doing a quick tour, be sure to check out the Long Bar, the Palm Courtyard, the hotel museum, and visit a few shops.   The Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade has some amazing (and expensive) retail and custom shopping.

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One thought on “Time Machine: Singapore Raffles Hotel

  1. The Raffles is a hotel I’ll definitely step-by when visiting Singapore one day. I love the classic and colonial charme of the place. It looks so amazing judging from photos. Thanks for the nice review!

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