Inaugurated in 1884, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore (1 Beach Rd) is one of those magical places that have many stories to tell. When it was opened 135 years ago it was the classic colonial style hotel and was advertised as the most luxurious and exclusive hotel beyond the Suez Canal. Over time, important writers such as Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad have enjoyed its magical atmosphere while Charlie Chaplin, another frequent visitor, loved to spend a lot of time sitting in the hotel’s sumptuous restaurant where he carefully observed the behaviors and fads of its guests, to then use them in his movies.
After a long restoration, which lasted two years, the Raffles Hotel recently reopened and it is now equipped with a series of hi-tech comforts that have not affected its old-world charm. Of the 115 suites available 12 are dedicated to various celebrities who have stayed at the Hotel over time: from Elizabeth Taylor to Ava Gardner from Somerset Maugham to Pablo Neruda, from John Wayne to Noel Coward. There are many restaurants including Le dame de Pic by the star-rated chef Anne-Sophie Pic and the Tiffin Room, specialized from 1892 in proposing dishes from northern India.