Once In A Life-Time Opportunity To Visit The Presidential Suite At Legendary Raffles Hotel In Singapore
What a happy weekend! I had an intimate experience of the rooms and corridor of the historical Raffles Hotel in Singapore and a rare chance to check out the presidential suite. The suite is distinguished by it’s amazing spaciousness and elegant appointments, it’s magnificence amplified with soaring high ceilings. There’s a remarkable quality of antiques and artwork displayed, ultra lush period furnishings, grand chandeliers including Oriental carpets arranged on teakwood flooring.
I love the old school glamour of the place. The whole place is such an elegant hotel, feels like a throwback to a more elegant genteel time. I was fortunate enough to go behind the "veil" and experience this historic hotel up close and personal. It was like walking into colonial Singapore. The hotel is rich in history and every nook and cranny is filled with nostalgia. Many important people, heads of state, royalty and rockstars have stayed here over the years – from Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Princess Kate (Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) to Michael Jackson.
Declared a National Monument in 1987, Raffles remains the jewel in the crown of Singapore hotels. Established in 1887, the hotel is managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. The hotel itself and the grounds, which include a tropical garden courtyard, museum and Victorian-style theater, are lovely and evocative of an era long gone.
Raffles has somehow kept the best from the past and incorporated what sophisticated guests want in the present. The liveried Sikh doormen still wear white turbans, gold braids and sashes, and guide guests through the ornate wrought-iron portico into the three-story lobby.
I had the privilege to visit the Sir Stamford Raffles Suites, one of the two Presidential Suites in the hotel. Each of these two suites comprise a parlour, dining room, two bedrooms, pantry and private balcony. The cost is from S$10,000 a night!
It's a thrill to see the "inside" of the presidential suite - Sir Stamford Raffles Suite!
Old school bells for service. Keeping the old brass knobs for switches add to the rustic touch.
The rooms are gorgeous as are the dinning areas.
The presidential suite opens to the Palm Court.
Warm splendour of the first bedroom.
In 1993, the king of pop, Michael Jackson’s first and only performance in Singapore stayed in the this presidential suite for his 'Dangerous World Tour' concert!
The presidential suite has a several doors and deceptively placed exits that guests (or their staff) can discreetly move in and out of secretly!
The lobbies at Raffles Hotel are breathtaking.
The rest of the hotel also exudes timeless colonial style.
While walking around the hotel and for a while, I felt like English aristocrats, reliving colonial Singapore. Many famous writers like Somerset Maugham liked to stay at Raffles Hotel while writing their books. I can understand why. The hotel is located in the city centre of modern Singapore, but yet seems to be in a different time zone of its own.
The gorgeous Raffles Grill.
Beautifully restored to its former glory, with French windows overlooking the courtyard, Raffles Grill captures the true essence of traditional fine dining.
The chandeliers caught my eyes.
The three tiers of colonnaded terraces and balconies, framed by towering livingstonia palms, glowed in soft lights.
Antique billard table and set-up.
One of the most infamous stories from the history of the Raffles Hotel is that of the time that a tiger came for tea. In 1902, a wild tiger managed to find its way into the billiard room of the hotel, where it hid underneath one of the billiard tables. According to local legend, this wild animal was the last tiger to be shot in Singapore, after a local man from the nearby Raffles Institution was called upon to remove the tiger. After firing 5 shots into the darkened room, he managed to hit the tiger square between the eyes. (It’s worth noting that the hotel disputes that the animal was wholly wild, and instead maintains that the tiger has escaped from a nearby travelling circus – either way, it must have been a big surprise for the hotel guests enjoying afternoon tea!
Old billard score table.
In a place where new means already ageing, and the present is just a turnstile to the future, how does Raffles survive? Only, I suspect, because old is now such a novelty that it counts as new. Raffles will be 250 years old in 2137 and it will still be there.
I certainly enjoyed this little glimpse inside the storied Raffles Hotel. It is a "must visit" in Singapore, whether you decide to stay there or not. Thank you to Raffles for keeping this historic hotel as it always has been - it is a true treasure of Singapore. It's a gorgeous ambience coupled with that nostalgic touch elevates the experience to a truly special one. You are magically transported back in time to that golden era of “Old Singapore”!
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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