Here in Asia, there are few hotels as famous as Raffles Hotel Singapore and I could not pass up the opportunity to spend a night there on my recent visit.
Named after the British “founder” of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the hotel, originally a simple 10 room beachside villa, was founded by the Armenian Sarkies brothers in 1887 and has been winning accolades ever since.
I stayed in a “Raffles Inc. Stateroom Suite” in the Bras Brasah Wing, added to the hotel in 1904, which at 67sqm was larger than my flat here in Siem Reap!
The suite was absolutely stunning, I really liked the use of space and the fact you could close off the study to the bedroom as well as having heavy black out curtains between the hallway and the bedroom and I slept remarkably well as a result.
Breakfast is served in the famous “Tiffin Room” just to the left of the hotel lobby with a nice selection of cheese, charcuterie, salads, fresh fruits, homemade breads, pastries, yoghurts and jams available on the buffet with hot dishes being ordered fresh from the kitchen via an a la carte menu presented to all guests on seating.
I had heard a lot about their signature Raffles Omelette, made with chopped onion, red cut chilli, fresh coriander leaf, grilled tomato, mozzarella and Masala, but in the end I decided to have a single Egg Florentine as that is my benchmark for a really great hotel breakfast and they certainly did not disappoint! The egg was perfectly poached and the rich, thick hollandaise was the best I remember ever having eaten.
I had a small plate of cheese and a bowl of raspberries and blueberries with yoghurt and pistachios to finish as I was not sure I would manage to squeeze in lunch, a wise decision as the “toasted sandwich” I had on my Jetstar flight back left much to be desired!
I couldn’t leave the hotel without a quick dip and with the exception of a sole sunbather I had the 3rd floor pool to myself for a nice 30 minute swim in a futile attempt to burn off some of that ridiculously decadent breakfast and could easily have spent the rest of the morning there had I not got to dash across town on a few errands before I left.
Although they closed the Raffles museum some years ago ( I was pleased to have visited whilst I was still living in Singapore) the hotel does have a rather impressive “hall of fame” with some incredible historical photographs of the hotel as well as photos with some of their more celebrated guests over the years, from Elizabeth Taylor to Noel Coward via Charlie Chaplin and Johnny Depp, not to mention all the various head of state and royalty whom have briefly called Raffles Singapore home.
I was still living in Singapore when Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge visited back in 2012 and a friend and I went to catch a glimpse of them as they left the hotel -safe to say they managed to do so without posing for selfies with the famous liveried doorman like I did 😉
I had an incredible stay at Raffles, the hotel just oozes history and old school elegance and it was great to be able to cross something else off the bucket list! *I stayed at Raffles Singapore on a reduced F&F rate