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“Out of this world”

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Raffles Hotel Singapore
Ranked #3 of 315 Hotels in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Sandhurst UK
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Out of this world”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

A wonderful experience and a birthday i will never forget. The whole Raffles experience is fantastic, from the afternoon tea in The Tiffin Room, Singapore Sling in the Long Bar and the juiciest steak ever tasted in the Steak Restaurant. But best of all had to be our suite, mind blowing luxury. do it folks, add it to your bucket list.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Grrr4men
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

As a Doctor and a very well traveled person I expected to go to Singapore. However after an unfortunate accident I was left disabled, unable to work and reliant on large amounts of medication and a wheelchair (although able to transfer on crutches) . My great Uncle would tell me stories of sitting in Raffles sipping the famous Singapore Sling and the bar where you throw your peanut shells on the floor.

My 50th Birthday just happened to coincide with a big family event in the USA – an event beyond my capacity. However as a special gift I was treated/used my savings on a trip to Singapore with my dear friend.

Originally the cost of staying at Raffles seemed beyond reach – however when Trip Advisor sent a reduced rate/deal for Singapore Hotels through we decided it was worth the extra and we booked for 4 nights – as we were to get the last night free!

Arrangements were made by my family as they had heard about getting chauffeur transfers and thought it would be helpful and enjoyable treat for my 50th. This was the first of the disappointments – arriving tired and sore at the airport no sign with our names on it. After a while we phoned and were told haughtily as far as Raffles was concerned no such arrangement had been made and we had to get there ourselves.

When we checked in, this issue came up and the receptionist acknowledged that in fact Raffles had been contacted about my 50th and the airport pickup but that ‘my family had not gone about making the airport transfer booking correctly’. What? We were too tired to suggest that they possibly could have been told this! The next issue – we have you for 2 nights. What? No our booking was definitely made for 3 nights plus the 1 free night. No budge on that either – our delightful butler (polite and professional) later went to try correct this issue and returned with a piece of calculator paper with 3100 on it. I asked what this was. This was the amount for the next 2 nights. Wwhhaaatttt? Is this to move to one of the extra-special suites? No, this was to stay in our current courtyard suite room for 2 more nights. (We had booked on a rate of $430p.n. inc breakfast). So we were left with having to find another Hotel to move to but at least we were at Raffles for my 50th!

There was no fault with our courtyard suite – aside from some of the bathroom – that later. But most importantly the beds were very comfortable and the linens pristine, the decor tasteful and thoughtful. Aside from the spooky plumbing noises we slept very soundly.
For ease we had breakfast outside our room in facing across from the courtyard square – the trees provided some privacy but we did begin to rue not having any other outlook or sense of distance. Service was impeccable and we were well treated.

My powerchair broke down first morning as we left to explore – no one came to our aid despite attempts to get help until we were nearly back at our room. We found out that our only hope was to hire a power scooter – this wasted the best part of these precious two Raffle days after the concierge/receptionist mislaid the message from the repair/scooter hire company. It also meant I was crushed into the child-size only available Hotel wheelchair, the side pushed against the wheel- which was too hard for my friend to push me especially in the heat.

We had a booking at the famous Tiffin room for my birthday afternoon tea which we had been looking forward to for weeks (even years). When we got to the room, my friend was still pushing me, no one offered to take over for her, then the worst! Instead of putting us at one of the outside tables at the edge we were shepherded through the massive room to a table ¾ way into and ½ across the Tiffin room this meant that EVERY single table had no choice but to move their chairs or to stand up and make way for us! We were SO EMBARRASSED to inconvenience so many people. Only to get to our table to find that the chair supplied for me was not at all suitable for a disabled person – and then this larger armchair had to be then brought through all the same people. We were then invited to make our way to the Buffet at the far end!! When we informed our waiter that this was not really possible he collected a range of the buffet items for us to choose – but of course it was his selection in addition to the extra tea choices on the table. My friend commented that it made us look very greedy/wasteful, so much ended up uneaten. The sandwiches on the tea rack were all meat/fish, all white bread and all drying out/curling up. We asked for any non-meat options the replacements were good but again white bread and still beginning to dry out. The ‘hot’ dim-sums were very salty and not very hot, the spring rolls were OK, many of the cakes were also not as flavourful/moist as one would have expected. We have had many High Teas in New Zealand which quite frankly have been far superior and considerably cheaper. A few of the mini tarts were good, but then came my surprise Birthday cake which looked lovely–duly accompanied by the (wonderful) Harpist and a few waiters. It all should have been enjoyable but I still felt embarrassed from prior events. We stayed much longer drinking more tea just to not have such a scene again! For a second I thought that Raffles had supplied a birthday cake since it was my 50th etc. No – my girlfriend had purchased it in advance at some cost. It was the worst cake either of us had eaten – yes, chocolate but then it had this layer of what looked like caramel – but was in fact super thick very sour, bitter gelatinous, lemonish stuff.. I love lemon/sour, I like chocolate, I like most things – but this was almost inedible – we in fact just could not eat it despite making an attempt late that night!

We had reservations at the much touted Italian restaurant, but when we realised how far my friend would have to push me I agreed to cancel my ‘birthday dinner’ and ordered room service. We had Laksa – which we both relatively enjoyed and a Singapore Sling –after all got to have a SS on one’s 50th – only one arrived which was placed for my friend- and for some reason the message did not quite get relayed about my missing cocktail – so we gave up on mine and I shared a few sips of my friends. Not exactly the birthday we had anticipated!

We thought to hell with it let’s go to the other end of the expensive spectrum and booked in at the Marina Bay Sands 5 star Hotel (yes the one with the famous high infinity pool) Everything was different/better from the food, to the incredible views, to the pristine amenities to the disabled services. In the end we were thankful that our Raffles booking was messed up (one of those situations when you think it is negative but ultimately turns out for the best!) We took delivery of the hire scooter as we checked in at MBS – and found out that we could have had it the first day we were at Raffles. In fact within a few hours of our inquiry. All that wasted money & time, unable to go anywhere or do anything - waiting to hear when we could get the hire scooter. We missed so many things due to this major oversight. We cannot get it back, and cannot readily afford to take such a trip again. Very angry at Raffles despite the old world charm my 50th birthday was utterly ruined.

The plumbing. Yes I know its old and quaint – so the loud drains etc are part of the experience. However, the mould, missing tile grout/loose tiles , dirty toilet seat hinges are not. My friend eyed the bath and decided she was going to enjoy a nice soak – until she went to run it. Badly stained bath, and shockingly not very clean around the sides, more grime/mould. Even old baths can be restored/kept clean.

Little do we know that this was to be a mild experience when it came to the ‘restrooms’. After we had visited the famous Long Bar (could not really leave until we had) and finished checking out we decided to use the bathroom – and was directed all the way round back to the India Rooms opposite the amazing fountain -this is one of the function areas. It was absolutely disgusting! No excuse for the built up filth and the lack of ventilation with strong odours of stale vomit etc -nor when the lavatory seat detaches which is very dangerous with a disabled person. Other women were commenting – several had the option of returning to their rooms to go to the bathroom and did so - I do understand that Raffles never markets itself as a disabled-appropriate Hotel but this was just appalling. It was the kind of experience you expect at some rough roadside garage or pub not one of the best Hotels in Singapore! And regrettably it was the last experience we had at Raffles!

Room Tip: Go get a Room with a view - try Marina Bay Sands!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank DeeAnne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Raffles Hotel Singapore, responded to this review, January 10, 2014
Dear Dr DeeAnne R

Thank you very much for taking time to share your feedback so honestly. I am sorry that we have taken more time than usual to reply as I wanted to investigate fully. Obviously I am terribly disappointed that your overall experience was not what the vast majority of our guests normally enjoy so much at Raffles.

We regret that you felt the tone of our colleague was not appropriate and this is most unusual to hear. We do apologise if it were so. With respect, we have checked our records and it did show that your reservations was made through Expedia for two nights with no request for limousine transfers. Subsequent to your request for the additional nights’ stay, our colleague had presented the rates for the additional two nights on our hotel stationery for your reference. The 4 for 3 offer may be offered by travel agencies and may indeed be available at certain times/seasons. I am sorry we were unable to offer this over this period.

Thank you for your positive comments regarding the suite, comfort and service. While I do agree that our bathrooms are rather traditional in design and the bathtub ready for re-coating which is an ongoing programme, they are almost always spotlessly clean.

It was indeed very unfortunate that your power scooter failed at the beginning of your visit. I do apologise that the handling of the message was not to the expected standard. It is very rare that this happens and this has been addressed with the team. We did provide an adult wheelchair, however, we will certainly look at a better quality and larger wheelchair following your feedback.

I am very sorry to hear of your overall experience in Tiffin Room. Many guests in wheelchairs from our experience prefer to be ‘in’ the room than put at the ‘entrance’ or ‘edge’ which had made them feel excluded in the past. Most guests are very understanding of wheelchairs and will go out of their way to be helpful. It happens quite often here. I understand your frustration regarding the buffet, however the waiter was just trying to be helpful and generous. I accept that you found the dim sum salty; the quality has been very consistent and the item is very popular in general. There is of course no excuse for the sandwiches to be starting to become dry however we do have a selection of non-meat sandwiches (the standard includes egg with mayonnaise and cucumber with cream cheese). I am also very disappointed that your cake was not to your liking.

I was very disturbed by your report of the public restrooms and these are inspected on an hourly basis and they may have had an odour due to a recent illness by a previous guest when you visited. They are heavily used in the area and we have permanent staff to maintain these restrooms.

Overall, I can completely understand much of your disappointment and if agreeable, I would like to contact you in the next few days to resolve this directly as we would not wish for this to happen to any of our guests.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Hirst
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Expensive, but you get value for your money. You're pampered from the moment you walk in. Large and very comfortable rooms, some with very nice balconies. Very good spa facilities and nice breakfast rooms and bars. Be prepared for hefty bills for any extras.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with view on the inside garden
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Loek B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Unfortunately only stayed for one night, but was allocated a lovely original suite in the main building. The room was huge, with high ceilings and a covered verandah outside. All mod-cons were there, although some of the lighting controls were a little idiosyncratic. Ditto the marble bathroom with its brass fittings - but that's part of the charm. You can go anywhere and stay in a homogenized ultra-deluxe modern 5-star room; at Raffles I did feel a real sense of history and character.
Breakfast was very good and lunch at the Raffles Grill absolutely excellent (although expensive).
Had the obligatory Sling at the Long Bar, as you do, but came away somewhat disappointed - afraid this has become more of a tourist trap than anything else; tables of groups of loud tourists in louder shirts come in, gawp, moan about the price of the Sling and move on, to be replaced by the next lot. Having said that. there are some quieter tables at the back, reserved for hotel guests - these are much better. And there are other bars within the grounds to go to if you want something more civilized.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I would like to stay again, especially on a leisure trip when I had more time to experience the grounds and facilities

Room Tip: Get an original suite in the main building
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank NoPhoneNoFoodNoPets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

What a great experience. Staying at Raffles is something I always wanted to do! From our butler to the pool, from the Long Bar and Monkey nuts to the whole Raffles experience. Being shown around by Leslie Danker the hotels famous historian is an experience not to be missed. Leslie has been at the hotel since it was first created from a bungalow opposite the sea. A very romantic recall of the hotels history and first beginnings! All together a very special experience!

Room Tip: the old original rooms have a balcony!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 55tonyw55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

The buildings and grounds are exquisite! Well worth a visit just to soak up the atmosphere. But I can't believe they charge $10 for a single tea bag and a cup of hot water that you have to order at the counter and carry to the table yourself. LOL I must admit, for the most expensive cup of tea I've ever had, I would have at least expected a tea pot and table service....

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jinilil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Raffles Hotel Singapore, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear jinilil,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review us.

I am glad that you appreciated our special architecture and enjoyed the old colonial charm of the hotel. I have taken note of your feedback on the dining experience at Ah Teng’s Bakery and would like to share that the tea we serve is from an artisanal French brand “Pascal Hamour” and the prices are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are competitive in relation to the restaurants of similar standing. The dining concept of the bakery is a casual and self-service restaurant, where pastries and savouries are displayed to invite patrons to dine-in or takeaway.

We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.

Warm regards,

Simon Hirst
General Manager
Raffles Singapore
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pokolbin, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

everything was spotlessly Food was 1st class Service was without fault
only 2 quite distinct whinges
there was a constant terrible old mildew smell in our suite.. it was quite overwhelming at times
and the LITTLE extras that are usually provided were not up to scratch ...it appeared like there has been monentary restriction put on the quality of complimentary consumerables
We actually didnt remove and take with us any of the complimentary items as we would be able to buy them at our local grocery store

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 6602kelso4046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Raffles Hotel Singapore, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Dear 6602kelso4046,

Greetings from Raffles Singapore.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and taking your time to provide us with your feedback.

I am glad that you have found our food to be first class and service faultless. As we pride ourselves on delivering a consistently high level of service and quality products, your experience with our suite was certainly not reflective of our usual standards. Please rest assured that is an isolated incident and we are monitoring closely the area of concern to be rectified immediately.

Your feedback is extremely important to us as it allows us to continually monitor our guest’s requirements and help us to improve our service and facilities.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Raffles Singapore soon.

Warm regards,
Simon Hirst
General Manager
Raffles Singapore
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Raffles Hotel Singapore

Property: Raffles Hotel Singapore
Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Singapore
Phone Number:
Location: Singapore > Singapore > Marina Bay
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
#2 Romantic Hotel in Singapore
#3 Luxury Hotel in Singapore
#3 Family Hotel in Singapore
#3 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. 5 restaurants and bars beckon, including the Bar & Billiard Room - new temporary home to the world renowned Singapore Sling; Tiffin Room, which continues the tradition of Afternoon Tea at Raffles and Raffles Grill, serving up the best Sunday Brunch in town. 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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