Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel to undergo refurbishment


The iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore will be undergoing restoration works from next year, more than 25 years after its last refurbishment.

The national monument will be restored in three phases, starting in January next year with The Raffles Hotel Arcade which houses 40 shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn restaurants, and the Long Bar, known for inventing the Singapore Sling cocktail.

Phase Two will begin in mid-2017, when restoration efforts commence on the main hotel building, lobby and a portion of the hotel suites. Towards the end of 2017, the 103-suites Raffles Hotel will close for its final phase before it reopens again in the second quarter of 2018.

Simon Hirst, general manager of Raffles Hotel, said: “This restoration is designed to ensure that we retain what is so special about Raffles Hotel 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.

“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 remain at the epicentre of Singapore’s social and cultural scene.”

When asked about the cost of the restoration programme, Hirst cited its confidential nature but said that it is a “significant investment”.

Pointing to technology as one of the key areas of the revamp, Diana Banks, vice president of Raffles Brand, said: “Today’s traveller is looking for the ability to use their own technology. What the guests expect in their rooms is very different as they like to stream their own content and we would like to provide that type of technology.”

On whether there will be any changes to the tenants at The Raffles Hotel Arcade, Hirst said there will be a “whole new masterplan” for the area which does not include or exclude anyone at this point in time. Also, there will be no significant change to the number of rooms with this restoration programme.

Hirst added that room rates will go up after the facelift, but will remain in line with industry standards.

The restoration project will be led by architects Aedas Singapore, while the interiors of the project will be handled by designer Alexandra Champalimaud. The last restoration was done from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years.

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