What better place to start a list of the world’s most famous hotels than with the Raffles Hotel in Singapore?
Opened in 1887 as a 10-room colonial bungalow by the famous Sarkies family of brothers, the hotel was named after Singapore’s founding father Sir Stamford Raffles. Extensively refurbished in 1991, the hotel, which is now managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, is a breathtaking colonial-style property that perfectly celebrates its historical past and rich present through the very fabric of its appearance.
Renowned for its luxurious accommodation, superb restaurants and unparalleled level of service, the hotel, which is now recognised as a national monument, features tall ceilings, majestic doors, Asian décor, marble flooring and shady verandas amongst its numerous exquisite design elements. Over the years everyone from Henry Kissinger and James Callaghan to Elizabeth Taylor and Somerset Maugham have made a hotel booking here. Photographs of which can be seen in the Raffles Hotel museum. An extensive onsite display of the hotel’s rich history.
A premier resort that caters to their distinguished guest’s every need, the Raffles Hotels Singapore hosts 103 elegantly appointed guest rooms each with a private parlour, separate dining area, period furnishings, oriental carpets, either teak or marble floors and 24-hour room valet. Set amongst extensive lush gardens and courtyards the hotel also contains a Victorian-style theatre, outdoor pool, business centre, fitness centre, gift shop and the world-class RafflesAmrita Spa. For those who like to shop the hotel has an arcade that house a number of boutique brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co, as well as Singapore’s famous custom tailor, CYC The Custom Shop, which makes shirts for a number of notable people including the country’s Prime Minister. The arcade also houses most of the hotel’s 18 restaurants and bars, as well as the famed Raffles Culinary Academy.
Since re-opening in 1991, the Raffles Hotel has gone from strength to strength. Revered and admired today as the golden goose of Singapore’s hospitality industry it is a major tourist attraction as well as a world class hotel. A stay here is a must for any self-respecting travel aficionado and as the birthplace of the legendary Singapore Sling, which was invented here by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon sometime before 1915, it is also still the best place to buy the cocktail anywhere in the world.