Iconic Raffles Singapore to embark on restoration programme
Raffles Singapore, the iconic luxury property managed under the award-winning international hospitality group, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, has announced that it will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme. The restoration of this acclaimed heritage hotel, owned by Katara Hospitality, a globally recognised hospitality owner, developer and operator, will be conducted over three phases to ensure every detail of the programme is approached with careful consideration.
Phase One of the programme will begin in January 2017 and see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade is an integral part of this landmark building, offering a broad range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. It houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the iconic Singapore Sling. The Singapore Sling will continue to be served at the hotel’s Bar & Billiard Room during the first and second phases of restoration.
Phase Two will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and Lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018.
“Raffles Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today’s traveller. We have a rich and colourful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value,” said Ms. Diana Banks, Vice President, Raffles Brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts.
The restoration project will be led by Aedas Singapore, a leading global architecture and design firm who was behind restoration projects including the London Coliseum and the revitalised Mallory Street/Burrows Street in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The interiors of the project will be handled by award-winning designer Alexandra Champalimaud who has worked with many high profile luxury hotels around the world including New York’s The Plaza, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Dorchester in London and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
“This restoration is designed to ensure that we retain what is so special about Raffles Singapore – the ambiance, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. We have always changed and evolved to keep in step with the needs and expectations of our guests – this has been one of the secrets of our success for more than a century. This extraordinary undertaking will also reimagine the facilities, spaces and experiences within the hotel to delight the well-travelled and the community. By introducing new experiences for our guests while respecting the history and heritage of the hotel, we want to ensure that this hotel continues to be at the epicenter of Singapore’s social and cultural scene,” added Mr. Simon Hirst, General Manager, Raffles Hotel Singapore.
Declared a National Monument by the Singapore Government in 1987, Raffles Singapore has through the years, gained both local and international recognition as an oasis for the well-travelled with its unique blend of classical architecture and tropical garden setting. Raffles Singapore is considered a national treasure among Singaporeans who deeply value its historical significance and unique heritage.
The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years. The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites – 84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites.
“We are pleased to embark on the meticulous restoration of Raffles Singapore, a distinctive hotel that is emblematic of Katara Hospitality’s commitment to creating extraordinary experiences on the backdrop of iconic heritage hotels and unsurpassed service to our esteemed guests,” said Mr. Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality.
“Since opening its doors in 1887, Raffles Singapore has maintained a lasting legacy as a landmark hotel, hosting some of the world’s most famous and elite personalities. As a National Monument of Singapore and one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world, the hotel’s restoration is a testament to our continued pursuit in preserving portraits of historic charm, while growing Katara Hospitality’s portfolio of iconic properties in key travel destinations. Raffles Singapore is no exception, with its carefully implemented restoration programme that is poised to unveil contemporary charm and elegance; reminiscent of the luxurious splendour of Katara Hospitality hotels,” added Mr. Al-Mulla.
Opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world. Till today, its architecture is perfectly preserved both inside and out, giving it an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design. Within its walls are 103 expansive suites, framed by polished teak verandas and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens. Each is serviced by the legendary Raffles butlers and offers every modern convenience necessary.
Distinctive restaurants and bars dot the Raffles, recalling the atmosphere of an elegant age. Among the most well-loved include the elegant Raffles Grill; Long Bar, where the famous Singapore Sling was created; and Writers Bar, a tribute to the novelists and travel writers, the likes of Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling and James Michener just to name a few, who have become part of the hotel’s legend.
Adjoining the hotel is the Raffles Hotel Arcade, which offers a broad range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. These include 40 specialty boutiques, indoor and outdoor private event spaces – The Ballroom and The Lawn – and 388-seat theatre venue Jubilee Hall. For more information or reservations, please visit raffles.com/singapore.