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“A wonderful piece of a bygone era” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Raffles Hotel Singapore

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Raffles Hotel Singapore
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Singapore   |  
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Ranked #3 of 294 Hotels in Singapore
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“A wonderful piece of a bygone era”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Raffles last September for a couple of nights, as it had always been one of our lifes ambitions, and yes it did live up to our expections. When we arrived we were warmly greeted and were taken into the lobby area whilst tea was ordered for us. Within a quarter of an hour we were shown to our suite, which was more like a mini apartment, it was beautiful, and just along from the Ava Gardener suite!! The front part was a living area complete with dining table, sofa and tv, you then go through to the large bedroom area where there are also a couple of armchairs. The bathroom was divided into two rooms, one with basins and dressing area and the other with bath, shower etc., all beautifully furnished. The first afternoon we went to the Long Bar, which we had already done on our first visit to Singapore, but just felt that we had to start with the Singapore Slings again! The hotel is very large and there is alot to see if you haven't been before, like the museum shop upstairs, and then it's just so nice to wander around soaking up the atmosphere. When you go in through the front door and into the lobby area it is really stunning, I really felt transported back in time. In the evening we were so confused as to which restaurant to choose as there are quite a few, so in the end went for Doc Chengs upstairs - it was very nice and certainly different with superb food. The next morning we decided to have breakfast by the pool (as recommended by a previous trip advisor) and it was wonderful as we were the only 2 eating there! The second evening we decided to eat in the Deli Restaurant on the ground floor, which was more American diner type food - we chose this as we had just spent 2 weeks in Bali eating a lot of very rich food! It made a nice change and there was a good buzzy atmosphere. Our last morning we opted for room service for breakfast.....wow, there was everything you could have wished for: porridge with banana on top, cereal, croissants, toast, fresh fruit, full English breakfast, a nice pot of tea and freshly made coffee! And our butlers who brought it in laid up our table beautifully and were so friendly. What utter luxury - we loved it! As we weren't leaving until late that day we were offered the health suite and pool to use in the afternoon which was a nice way to end our stay there, as we weren't pushed out. I feel it certainly is a wonderful experience to stay there, yes I know there are more modern luxury hotels in Singapore.....but if you want to taste a little bit of a bygone era, in perhaps the most beautiful building in Singapore then it has to be Raffles! You must also remember that you are staying in one of the top tourist sites so when you come out of the sanctuary of your apartment, you are in with all the tourists, so obviously the staff aren't always going to remember you, but when they realise that you are guests, then we were treated with the utmost courtesy. My only regret is that we did not do the afternoon tea in the tiffin room, oh well I guess it's an excuse to go back!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,754 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Hong Kong
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2009

I decided to stay at Raffles Singapore because of its reputation versus other 5-star hotels in Singapore. Everyone told me how great the hotel was and I would be pampered. However, I was extremely disappointed and upset with the service. Let me list out my underwhelming experience:

1) We called the hotel in advance about our late check-in around 11:30pm. When we arrived there, nobody helped us get off the taxi, nobody carried our bags, nobody opened the doors. In fact we couldn't find a staff to help us check-in. We did manage to check-in after 10min of wandering

2) Next morning we ordered breakfast in our room, they didn't give us what we ordered and frankly the staff seemed pretty unfamiliar with the menu

3) Every time we pressed the "butler button" in our room, front desk called and asked what we needed. I said I would like to see my butler then the butler showed up after 15min. If the front desk called every time I pressed the button then what's the point of having the "butler button" in the room? I was told there were three shifts of butlers to serve us but I kept seeing different people in each shift. Butler didn't leave us he/she contact so when we were out we couldn't get him/her to make arrangements for us. These things totally defeated the purpose of a butler

4) We wanted to check out the hotel facilities and entered through the main lobby. A hotel manager stopped us because we didn't have proper dress code unless we were hotel guests. That's fine so I told him I was their hotel guest. He just shrugged his shoulders and did not apologize or at least say "good morning, sir". Completely rude!

5) We left a note on the fruit plate about what fruits we wanted for that evening. When we got back at night, fruit plate was not replenished and the note was still there.

6) Drinking glass was broken on my bed side table

7) Toilet supplies were not refilled

8) It finally went beyond my tolerance and I told the butler what happened and demanded an apology from the hotel manager when we check-out next morning

9) When we were carrying our bags to the lobby to check-out, a staff was moving furniture and we were both trying to get through a tight corner from opposite directions. The staff didn't give way and I actually got hit by the furniture he's moving

10) Hotel manager sounded very nice and apologetic and wrote down everything I was not happy with like 1) - 9) mentioned above. He said he would follow up with me shortly. We traveled on the Mar 21 weekend and I really thought it was a one-off and didn't want to publicize my poor experience. Three weeks have gone by and they haven't followed up. I guess they don't care...

To be fair, the building, facilities and decoration are absolutely gorgeous. It was really one of the best in the region. Some of the events above may be one-off's and I can accept that but some of them are very substandard as a 5-star hotel and a combination of errors is really not acceptable. I booked through a discount hotel website may be that's why I didn't get the best out of them.

People have different travel preferences, I enjoy more on personal experience and hotel service with attention to details really makes a difference. If you have traveled enough, service is really the key to differentiate from other 5-star competitors.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2009

There is nothing negative that I can say about Raffles. This was the 3rd stay over the past few years and whilst some suggest that its character has changed since it was refurbished, it is still a wonderful place to stop over.

The suites are comfortable, the location is central, and the service always impresses without being too formal and stuffy.

Whenever I travel via Singapore Raffles will always be my first choice.

Enjoy

Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northants
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2009

We have had afternoon tea in the tiffin restaurant on four ocassions and it has been our dream to atually stay at the hotel. Wow we were not disapponted. What an amazing experience. We absolutely loved everything about our stay. The style of the hotel and the service are second to none. It was our 40th wedding anniversary and our travel agent had advised the hotel. Everyone knew our name and made the occasion so special. On the actual day we had the curry buffett. It was excellant and although pricey worth every penny. We were served with a annniversary cake and all staff wished us happy anniversary. We went back to our suite and sat outside. We were presented with a bottle of champagne and had a spa bath run for us. There were rose petals placed in the bathroom for us. The swimming pool on the roof is superb. Towels are put out for you. Would we stay again - absolutely without a doubt.

Old-fashioned style and service second to none, they even get a chair on which to put your handbag so you don't need to put it on the floor! All staff were charming and efficient, nothing was too much trouble. We stayed in one of the courtyard suites which we loved.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Top Contributor
555 reviews 555 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
1,142 helpful votes 1,142 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

Check-in: I transferred from another hotel to Raffles early in the morning and left for the day to sight-see. Upon returning I was checked in and given the appropriate tours of the facilities including my room, the hotel, the spa, and surrounding grounds.

Accommodations: Four nights in a Palm Court Suite. If you want slick, high-tech, and pure luxury I’m sure there are superior hotels in the city. If you want understated colonial class where the floors creak a little bit (in a good way) and the faucets squeak (ditto) then this is your place. Needless to say I prefer the latter and was not disappointed. The adjoining facilities are nice as well, both the Amrita Spa and rooftop pool (a MUST) were top-notch.

Dining: I don’t know if you’ll find a hotel in the world with more options (18 restaurants). I ate at the Raffles Grill and Longbar Steakhouse which were both above average. Room service is excellent. I had breakfast a couple mornings outside my suite overlooking the Palm Court (another must) and dinner one night as well.

Location: Central and about a 5-10 minute walk to City Hall MRT. One of the negatives to its central location (and historical legacy) is that everyone and their cousin is peeking in the front entryway to take a look at the entrance and take a picture.

Service: The butler service is great, as is the room service. You want to eat steak at 11:00PM while taking a swim on the rooftop pool and watch the world unfold? Please indulge. Politeness is the watchword here.

Cost: All of the above obviously comes at a cost. Overpriced? Probably. As many reviewers have noted this hotel is about twice the cost of most of the others in the city. I think you are paying more than anything for the rooms and history here, as well as the privilege (yes that may sound weird) of staying at one of the most famous historic hotels in the world . It all depends on where your priorities are I guess. Convertible BMW or a few nights at a place like this?

Summary: I enjoy staying at historic hotels and consider Raffles to be in the same league as the Mount Nelson and Ritz Paris. Touristy? Sure, but the hotel does take measures to make sure you are “protected” as a guest, as any hotel does. I would absolutely stay here again.

  • Liked — Rooms, staff
  • Disliked — "Touristy" atmosphere
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2009

As one of the world's 'legendary' hotels, we happily forked over nearly double the rate for an equivalent suite in an alternative, modern, Singaporean hotel. Unfortunately, our experience left us feeling decidedly unimpressed and positively ripped off. We got the impression that the hotel relied far too much on its reputation: the rooms felt like an insignificant addition to the gift-shops and gallery (not to mention the Long Bar), with a constant stream of tourists swanning around the vast majority of the hotel's grounds.

The room itself was a decent size, but only had a single window leading out onto a communal walkway, leading us to pull the blinds all day to block out the world, and the sun. The room itself was shabby and nothing special, the bathroom having not been updated in decades. The hotel staff was also decidedly average (the ironing was not done properly, and was hideously overpriced), and not in keeping with the standard the hotel claimed to be, although the room-service was tasty in an Asian ramen-fast-food kindof way.

All-in-all, save the money and go to one of the characterless towers that Singapore specialises in. The Raffles is simply trading on its history, and is nothing more than a historical memory.

  • Stayed March 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2009

This was the best travel experience I've had in years. I was traveling with a family member and we requested separate but adjoining suites. The hotel was fully booked for regular suites so they gave us adjoining presidential suites at no extra costs. The room was the most lovely i've ever stayed in. I never make it to the restaurant because i took my breakfasts on the private veranda. The hotel provided a butler who even picked up a few things that i forgot to pack for me. The spa was top notch. singapore in general i find a bit dull but who cares in a hotel like this, there's no reason to leave.

  • Liked — The Rooms
  • Disliked — nothing bad to say
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Raffles Hotel Singapore

Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Singapore
Location: Singapore > Singapore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Singapore
#3 Luxury Hotel in Singapore
#3 Family Hotel in Singapore
#4 Romantic Hotel in Singapore
#5 Business Hotel in Singapore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Raffles Hotel Singapore 5*
Number of rooms: 103
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Raffles Hotel is one of Singapore's most graceful landmarks. More legend than hotel, this luxury Singapore hotel celebrates a tradition of unwavering service excellence spanning more than 125 years.Immortalized in the novels of Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, Raffles Hotel, Singapore’s colonial-styled architecture and lush tropical gardens exude an atmosphere of timeless elegance.Raffles Spa provides pampering relaxation while the boutiques of Raffles Hotel Arcade offer ample opportunities for retail therapy. Raffles Hotel Arcade houses a fine selection of elegant international brands including Tiffany and Co. and Louis Vuitton.Be it business or leisure, the charms of this luxurious Singapore hotel are enticing. 15 restaurants and bars beckon, including the Long Bar - home to the world renowned Singapore Sling; Tiffin Room, which continues the tradition of Afternoon Tea at Raffles and Bar & Billiard Room, well-known for its legend of "The Tiger under the Billiard Table."This luxurious Singapore hotel lies in the heart of the city, in close proximity to the banking and financial districts, Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SICEC), as well as leisure attractions including the casino at Marina Bay; the cultural sights of Arab Street and Chinatown and shopping at Raffles City shopping mall and Orchard Road shopping belt. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Singapore Raffles Hotel
Raffles Singapore
Raffles Hotel Singapore

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