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Two years later: First look inside a brand new Raffles Hotel Singapore

Singapore's Grand Old Dame officially reopened its doors on August 1 after an extensive restoration that began in 2017. Watch the video for a quick tour of the new place.

Two years later: First look inside a brand new Raffles Hotel Singapore

Raffles Hotel Singapore officially reopens its doors on Aug 1 after an extensive three phased restoration which began in February 2017. (Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)

Everyone loves a good makeover story and the Grand Old Dame of Singapore just had hers.

Raffles Hotel Singapore officially reopened its doors on Thursday (Aug 1) after an extensive restoration that began in February 2017.

The meticulous and delicate project, done in three phases by acclaimed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud (whose work can be seen inside other iconic hotels like The Carlyle, The Waldorf Astoria, and Hotel Bel-Air) and global architecture and design firm Aedas, has resulted in a refreshed look for the 132-year-old hotel.

READ: Raffles Hotel's old Jubilee Hall has now been transformed into an events ballroom

Raffles Hotel Singapore's Grand Lobby with its spanking new chandelier. (Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)
Raffles Hotel Singapore's Grand Lobby's sparkling new chandelier. (Photo: Genevieve Loh) ​​​​​​​

There are no more check-in counters at the refreshed lobby, which has now been fitted with a new chandelier. Instead, guests can complete their check-in process in the comfort of their suites.

The hotel’s total suite count has increased from 103 to 115, with the Residence, Promenade and Studio suites added to the existing line-up.

The newly refurbished Residence Suite. (Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)

Every room’s keycard comes leather-bound and embossed with an illustration of famous personalities who stayed at the hotel over the years.

Icon Elizabeth Taylor is embossed on the new Raffles Hotel Singapore's card. (Photo: Genevieve Loh)
Writers Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad and Pablo Neruda along with Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling are just some of the icons embossed on the new Raffles Hotel key cards. (Photo: Genevieve Loh)
The newly refurbished Residence Suite's living room. (Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)

The reinvigoration of their dining offerings means previous restaurants such as The Halia and Royal Blue China have been replaced by the likes of Yi by Jereme Leung, the celebrity MasterChef known for his innovative contemporary Chinese cooking.

READ: Celebrity chefs Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic, Jereme Leung to open restaurants at Raffles Hotel

BBR by Alain Ducasse, the acclaimed French chef’s first restaurant in Singapore and first ever Mediterranean sharing and grill concept, will be located at the hotel’s 122-year-old Bar & Billiard Room.

And the former Raffles Grill is now home to La Dame de Pic by Chef Anne- Sophie Pic of the three-Michelin star Maison Pic in Valence, France.

New York-based studio Champalimaud Design daubed the light-filled space in a pastel palette. (Photo: La Dame de Pic)

Six other bars and restaurants have made its return, including the North Indian dining spot Tiffin Room; The Lobby; Writers Bar; Raffles Courtyard; Ah Teng’s Cafe; and the Long Bar, known for its iconic Singapore Sling cocktails and longstanding tradition of tossing peanut shells on the floor.

READ: Three-Michelin starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic’s new restaurant opens at Raffles Hotel

The newly renovated Tiffin Room where authentic North Indian cuisine in tiffin boxes is served through a semi-buffet lunch and ala carte dinner. ( Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)
The iconic Grand Lobby of Raffles Hotel Singapore will now serve the refined signature Raffles Afternoon Tea experience. (Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)

“Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world and its restoration has been carefully designed to preserve its unique historic charm, while creating extraordinary experiences for our esteemed guests,” said Christian Westbeld, the hotel’s general manager. “There are few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located – and none more so than the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.”

The iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore after its restoration. ( Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore)

He added: “The newly restored Raffles will provide an experience like no other. It is our wish and desire that our guests will continue to create treasured memories at the hotel, while rediscovering what makes it so special – the distinctive architecture, heritage and legendary service.”

READ: The Italian furniture store you should visit at the Raffles Hotel Singapore Arcade

First opened in 1887 and declared a National Monument a century later by the Singapore government, Raffles Hotel Singapore has gained both local and international recognition as an oasis for the well-travelled through the years. Its famous guests have included Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor. Writers Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling have also stayed at the hotel.

The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991, when the hotel closed for two and a half years.

Reservations for stays at Raffles Hotel Singapore from August 2019 onwards are available for booking. 

Source: CNA/gl