24-Hour Room Service: Raffles, Singapore

IN 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles, an official of the British East India Company, founded Singapore as a small trading station. He may be gone but his name has most certainly not been forgotten in Singapore, where everything from a golf club to Singapore Airlines' "Raffles class" bears his name. Of all the namesakes, though, it is Raffles Hotel which bears the strongest association.

IN 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles, an official of the British East India Company, founded Singapore as a small trading station. He may be gone but his name has most certainly not been forgotten in Singapore, where everything from a golf club to Singapore Airlines' "Raffles class" bears his name. Of all the namesakes, though, it is Raffles Hotel which bears the strongest association.

In its 112-year history, Raffles has become a Singapore institution and almost every area of the hotel seems to have a story to tell. In 1902, Singapore's last tiger was shot under the Bar and Billiard Room (then an elevated building). A few years later a bartender in the Long Bar served the first Singapore Sling and today every self-respecting tourist comes to sit in a traditional cane and rattan chair and order one of these famous tipples.

The tranquil Palm Court is said to have been where Somerset Maugham penned his portraits of British colonial life, and the Tiffin Room is still serving its famous Tiffin curry. The hotel even boasts its own museum, dedicated to historical memorabilia.

But, if you tire of the past, just step outside the hotel to find yourself in the middle of a truly modern city. Retail therapy is close at hand on Orchard Road, among the massive department stores and shopping centres, and eating out here is an experience in itself - particularly at one of the Hawker Centres, open-air food courts where you choose from a selection of freshly cooked Chinese, Malay and Indian dishes.

Location, location, location

Raffles Hotel is at 1 Beach Road, Singapore (00 65 337 1886, fax 00 65 3397650, www.raffles.com, e-mail: raffles@raffles.com)

Transport

The most convenient way to travel round the city is on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains. The nearest station is City Hall and Orchard Road is only two minutes away by MRT.

Time to international airport

The hotel is 20 minutes by taxi from Changi Airport. Or you could arrive in Singapore in style on the Eastern and Oriental Express from Bangkok. The trains arrive at Singapore Railway Station on Keppel Road.

Are you lying comortably?

The bright and airy suites (it's an all-suites hotel) are old-style colonial in design, with teak floors, oriental carpets and high ceilings that are gently swished by fans. Most have four rooms: a living area, a bedroom, a dressing room and a bathroom.

Freebies

You'll find your bathroom stocked with good old Floris toiletries, all smelling of the specially designed "Raffles bouquet" and nattily emblazoned with a "RH" logo.

Keeping in touch

Each suite comes with two televisions and a modem point but radios, CD players and fax machines are all available on request.

The bottom line

Prices start at SUS700 (£250) for a Courtyard suite. If you'd rather stay in a Palm Court suite, it will cost you an extra £36 per night and, for a Presidential suite, dream on. Current rates are SUS4000 (£1,430) per night.

I'm not paying that

The Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore (tel: 00 65 734 7766, fax: 00 65 733 5482, www.orchardhotel.com.sg) is reliable and central, ideal for shopping on Orchard Road. Double rooms start at around SUS194 (£72) including tax and breakfast.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week