The grand lobby with new white flooring at the revamped Raffles Hotel. Photo: The Straits Times
If you step into the revamped Raffles Hotel and feel that nothing has changed, its designer, Edmond Bakos, will take it as a compliment.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Bakos said: "The goal was to bring the hotel to the next chapter, not to completely change it."
The hotel reopened its doors today (Aug 1) after a two-year revamp, which saw the 132-year-old grand dame given a fresh coat of paint and new white marble flooring in its interior. The air-conditioning system also underwent an upgrade.
PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
The last restoration done to the hotel was from 1989 to 1991.
With well-heeled guests still its target, the hotel now has 115 suites up from 103. A suite at the Raffles Hotel starts at $1,300 a night.
Courtyard suite at the revamped Raffles Hotel. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
Courtyard suite bathroom. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
The presidential suite at the revamped Raffles Hotel. PHOTO: The Straits Times
A newly-refurbished Residence suite. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
Couples looking to get hitched may want to take note — the hotel's former Jubilee Theatre has been transformed into a ballroom, setting the scene for an extravagant affair with cream and gold hues, stunning chandeliers and signature gold Venetian light fixtures against a coffered ceiling, plus motifs inspired by Singapore’s heritage. It can house about 300 guests. Just as splendid is the cosy Palm Ballroom, which impresses with painterly murals, arresting lighting systems and the latest audio-visual technology. Both ballrooms have adjoining air-conditioned foyers.
The Jubilee Ballroom at Raffles Hotel. PHOTO: The Straits Times
The Jubilee ballroom foyer. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
Casuarina Suite, a cushy space decked in champagne gold drapery and pastel wall panels, is just right for an intimate party. Otherwise, there’s the East India Room with the Palm Garden, featuring an ornate 6m-high cast iron fountain from the 1890s that will take your solemnisation ceremony back to a bygone era. There’s also the spacious Lawn if you’re looking to pledge your vows in a tranquil outdoor setting.
Perhaps the other most perceivable change would lie in its refreshed lineup of F&B outlets.
Gone are restaurants such as Royal Blue China and The Halia, with new concepts like Yi by celebrity Masterchef Jereme Leung, and BBR by Alain Ducasse taking over.
The former Raffles Grill has also been replaced by La Dame de Pic, opened in partnership with celebrated chef Anne Sophie Pic.
Interior of La Dame de Pic. PHOTO: La Dame de Pic
Besides Yi, more than 30 retail, dining, and lifestyle offerings are also open at the Raffles Arcade, the hotel's lifestyle belt. Among them is Burger & Lobster, which opened its first outlet at Jewel Changi Airport, as well as co-working space The Great Room.
Good news for those who have missed The Long Bar and its peanut shell-strewn floor. It's back, along with Tiffin Room, The Lobby, Writers Bar, Raffles Courtyard, and Ah Teng's Cafe.
The newly renovated Tiffin Room. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
The grand lobby of Raffles Hotel. PHOTO: Raffles Hotel
A wedding lunch starts at $168.80++ per person. A weekday dinner starts at $178.80++ per person, and a weekend dinner starts at $188.80++ per person. Minimum guest attendance applies. Prices are applicable for 2019 only and subject to change without notice.
Seating: 200 to 300 (Jubilee Ballroom); 150 to 200 (Palm Ballroom); 80 to 120 (Casuarina Suite); 80 to 120 (East India Room).
Menu: Chinese, Western and personalised.
1 Beach Road, tel: 6412-1323
A version of this story was published on AsiaOne. Additional reporting: Michelle Lee