What do a tiger, Ernest Hemingway, and W Somerset Maugham have in common? They had all set foot onto Raffles Hotel, one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Singapore. Aside from its rich history, the old world elegance of the Raffles Hotel continues to make it a favorite among guests.
Founded in 1887, Raffles Hotel was originally a colonial style bungalow with only 10 rooms. The current main building of the hotel was completed in 1889 and went through tough times such as the Great Depression, and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. In 1987, the government declared the hotel a National Monument.
Of course, with its long history, one can be sure that there are a lot of interesting anecdotes associated with it. Raffles Hotel is reportedly where the sole surviving wild tiger in Singapore was shot and made extinct in 1902. Some stories place this event at the Long Bar. Raffles is also where the Singapore Sling (a cocktail) was invented between 1910 and 1915. Notable hotel guests include Michael Jackson, Ernest Hemingway, and W Somerset Maugham. It was in Raffles Hotel that Somerset Maugham produced two collections of short stories – `The Casuarina Tree’ and `Ah King’ during his visits in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Holiday decorations at the Raffles Hotel has always been classy and elegant, as befitting a location of such heritage. A sprinkling of reds and greens here and there, nothing over the top and no flashy neon/LED lights.
At Raffles Hotel, one can feel the calm and serenity of the holiday season, away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. This is definitely a good place to be if one needs some peace and quiet during the holidays.