Chan Hampe Galleries
A well-respected commercial gallery with a very strong stable of artists, Chan Hampe showcases mostly contemporary, emerging Singaporean...
MINT Museum of Toys
Nostalgia rules at this slinky ode to playtime, its four skinny floors home to over 50,000 vintage toys. You'll see everything from rare...
Granted, the prices are exorbitant, but there's something undeniably fabulous about an afternoon cocktail amid whitewashed colonial...
Seah Street Food Outlets
This short street next to the impeccable Raffles Hotel has a couple of good eating options. Standout places include Sin Swee Kee and...
1 Beach Rd · interesting places nearby
Raffles Hotel information
Although its resplendent lobby is only accessible to hotel guests and its bars are little more than tourist traps, Singapore's most iconic slumber palace is worth a quick visit for its magnificent ivory frontage, famous Sikh doorman and lush, hushed tropical grounds. The hotel started life in 1887 as a modest 10-room bungalow fronting the beach (long gone thanks to land reclamation), and it still evokes the days when Singapore was a swampy, tiger-tempered outpost of the British Empire.
Behind the hotel were the Sarkies brothers, immigrants from Armenia and proprietors of two other grand colonial hotels – the Strand in Yangon (Rangoon) and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang. The hotel's heyday began in 1899 with the opening of the main building, the same one that guests stay in today. Before long, 'Raffles' became a byword for oriental luxury ('A legendary symbol for all the fables of the Exotic East', went the publicity blurb) and was featured in novels by Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham. The famous Singapore sling was first concocted here by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and (far less gloriously) a Singaporean tiger, escaped from a travelling circus nearby, was shot beneath the Billiard Room in 1902. A shabby relic by the 1970s, the property dodged the wrecking ball in 1987 with National Monument designation, reopening in 1991 after a S$160-million facelift.