Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

Infobox Historic building
name = Raffles Hotel

caption = The grand entrance of the Raffles Hotel
location_town =1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
location_country =Singapore
architect =Regent Alfred John Bidwell
client =Sarkies Brothers
engineer =
construction_start_date =
completion_date = 1899
date_demolished =
cost =
structural_system =
style =
size =

Raffles Hotel (Chinese: 莱佛士酒店) is a colonial-style hotel in Singapore, dating from 1887, and named after Singapore's founder Sir Stamford Raffles. Managed by Raffles International, it is known for its luxurious accommodation and superb restaurants. The hotel houses a tropical garden courtyard, museum, and Victorian-style theatre.


The hotel was founded by the four Armenian Sarkies Brothers (Martin, Tigran, Aviet, and Arshak Sarkies). They opened the 10-room colonial bungalow at Beach Road and Bras Basah Road owned by an arab trader,Syed Mohamad Alsagoff on December 1, 1887. The original location was by the seaside, although continued reclamation means that the site is presently some 500 m away from the shore.cite web|url=http://www.famoushotels.org/hotels/255|title=Famous Hotels: Raffles|accessdate=2007-02-01] No Asians were permitted as hotel guests until the 1930s. Designed by architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan and Maclaren, the current main building of Raffles Hotel was completed in 1899.cite book|author=Norman Edwards, Peter Keys|title=Singapore - A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places|location=Singapore|publisher=Times Books International|year=1996|isbn=9971-65-231-5] The hotel continued to expand over the years with the addition of wings, the addition of a verandah, a ballroom, a bar and billiards room and further buildings and rooms. The Great Depression spelled trouble for Raffles Hotel and in 1931, the hotel went into receivership. In 1933, however, the financial troubles were resolved and a public company called Raffles Hotel Ltd. was established. Upon the start of the Japanese occupation of Singapore on February 15, 1942, it is commonly said that the Japanese soldiers encountered the guests of the Raffles Hotel dancing one final waltz.cite book |last=Meade |first=Martin |coauthors=Joseph Fitchett, Anthony Lawrence |title=Grand Oriental Hotels from Cairo to Tokyo, 1800-1939 |year=1987 |publisher=J.M. Dent & Sons |location=United Kingdom |id=ISBN 0-460-04754-X |pages=172 ] During World War II, the Raffles was renamed nihongo|"Syonan Ryokan"|昭南旅館|"shōnan ryokan", incorporating Syonan ("Light of the South"), the Japanese name for occupied Singapore, and "ryokan", the name for a traditional Japanese inn.cite book |last=Liu |first=Gretchen |title=Raffles Hotel |year=1992 |publisher=Landmark Books |location=Singapore |id=ISBN 981-3002-63-8] More than 300 Japanese troops committed suicide in the hotel using grenades following the liberation of Singapore.

The hotel survived World War II despite the hardships Singapore faced and the use of the hotel at the end of the war as a transit camp for prisoners of war. In 1987 the government declared the hotel a National Monument.

In 1989, the hotel closed for an extensive renovation, at a cost of S$160 million.

It re-opened on September 16, 1991, after being restored to its state during its heyday in 1915. The hotel has built an extension with a similar design, for a shopping arcade and new rooms. In announcing the July 18, 2005 sale of parent company Raffles Holdings, Colony Capital LLC chief executive Thomas J. Barrack said in part as the purchaser, "We deeply respect the historical significance of the Raffles Hotel Singapore and we consider it our responsibility to protect that legacy".

On 16 September 2007, the hotel celebrated its 120th anniversary with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who turned 84 on the same day. [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/300229/1/.html Channelnewsasia.com ] ]

The hotel also houses the Raffles Hotel Museum, which showcases the rich history of the hotel.


*Raffles Hotel is reputedly where the sole surviving wild tiger in Singapore was shot and made extinct. Some stories place this event in the Long Bar. Raffles itself claims the tiger had escaped from enclosure at a nearby "native show" and chased underneath the hotel's Bar & Billiard Room (a raised structure) and shot to death there on August 13, 1902.
*Raffles is where the Singapore Sling was invented. The cocktail was invented by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon between 1910 and 1915.
*Raffles is the setting for Murakami Ryu's novel and film titled, "Raffles Hotel." The film was shot on location.
*The site of the hotel was originally the location of the oldest girls' school in Singapore (1842), now called St. Margaret's. It was founded by Maria (Tarn) Dyer, the missionary wife of Samuel Dyer.
*The hotel was featured as a Japanese stronghold in "".
*Raffles Hotel was the subject of "Paul O'Grady's Orient" for Carlton Television.
*The hotel featured in episodes of the BBC's "Tenko".
*Long Bar is featured in Peace Arch Entertainment's "UberGuide" television travel series as one of the top ten bars in the world.

Famous visitors and guests

Famous visitors and guests of the hotel include:
*Robert A. Heinlein
*Joseph Conrad
*Rudyard Kipling
*W. Somerset Maugham
*Anthony Burgess
*George H.W. Bush
*Queen Elizabeth II
*Noel Coward
*Charlie Chaplin
*Ava Gardner
*Jean Harlow
*Michael Jackson
*Patrick Macnee
*Elizabeth Taylor
*Hugh Jackman
*Karen Mok
*Rudy Giuliani
*Fascinating Aida
*Queen Sofia of Spain

Food and beverage outlets

*Ah Teng's Bakery
*Bar and Billard Room & Martini Bar
*Doc Cheng's & Doc Cheng's Bar
*Empire Cafe
*Long Bar
*Long Bar Steakhouse
*Raffles Courtyard & Gazebo Bar
*Raffles Creamery
*Raffles Culinary Academy
*Raffles Grill
*Royal China at Raffles (branch of the famous Royal China in London)
*Seah Street Deli
*THOS SB Raffles Shop
*Tiffin Room
*Writer's Bar

Raffles Hotel Arcade

Raffles Hotel has a shopping arcade housing boutique brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.. The arcade houses most of the hotel's restaurants. It also has shops such as Singapore's famous custom tailor, CYC, which makes shirts for Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The third floor of the arcade houses the Raffles Hotel Museum and Jubilee Hall.

ee also

*Stamford House, Singapore

Notes and references


*cite book|author=William Warren, Jill Gocher|title=Asia's legendary hotels: the romance of travel|location=Singapore|publisher=Periplus Editions|year=2007|isbn=978-0-7946-0174-4
* Ralph Modder. "Romancing the Raffles: A Collection of Short Stories". SNP Editions (2000). ISBN 9814059692
* Ryu Murakami (Author), Corinne Atlan. "Raffles Hotel". Picquier (2002). ISBN 978-2877305839
* Chefs of Raffles Hotel. "The Raffles Hotel Cookbook". Butterworth-Heinemann (2003). ISBN 978-9814068581
* "Fables From the Raffles Hotel Arcade". Angsana Books (1995). ISBN 978-9813056725
* Gretchen Liu. "Raffles Hotel style". Raffles Hotel (1997). ISBN 978-9813018860
* Ilsa Sharp. "There Is Only One Raffles: The Story of a Grand Hotel". Ulverscroft Large Print (1991). ISBN 978-0708924532
* Andreas Augustin. "Secrets of a Grand Old Lady the Raffles Treasury". Kin Yiap Press, Singapore (1988). ASIN B000PCGBHO
*cite book | title=Museums of Southeast Asia| last=Lenzi| first=Iola| date=2004| pages=200 pages| publisher=Archipelago Press| location=Singapore| id=ISBN 981-4068-96-9

External links

* [http://singapore-raffles.raffles.com/ Raffles Hotel Singapore] Homepage
* [http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294265-d301583-Reviews-Raffles_Hotel_Singapore-Singapore.html Revealing reviews from travelers who stayed at the Raffles Hotel]
* [http://www.360travelguide.com/360VirtualTour.asp?iCode=sng04 Panoramic virtual tour of Raffles]

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