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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project