Restored Raffles Hotel to reopen in mid-2018

Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include (clockwise from above, left): retiling of the roof; conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom; and stripping back the paint on the facade
Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include: retiling of the roof (above); conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom; and stripping back the paint on the facade by hand because of the building's status as a national monument.PHOTOS: RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE
Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include (clockwise from above, left): retiling of the roof; conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom; and stripping back the paint on the facade
Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include : retiling of the roof; conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom (above); and stripping back the paint on the facade by hand because of the building's status as a national monument.PHOTOS: RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE
Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include (clockwise from above, left): retiling of the roof; conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom; and stripping back the paint on the facade
Raffles Hotel's renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989. The works include : retiling of the roof; conversion of Jubilee Hall into a 300-guest ballroom ; and stripping back the paint on the facade by hand because of the building's status as a national monument (above).PHOTOS: RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE

It will shut from Dec 13 to equip premises with new amenities and technological updates

Singapore's classic heritage hotel Raffles Hotel will offer a host of new facilities, dining concepts and experiences come mid-2018, when it is slated to complete its ongoing restoration and renovation works.

The renovation and restoration works are the most extensive since 1989, and the hotel will shut its doors from Dec 13 to equip the premises with new amenities and technological updates.

One of the major changes announced at a press conference yesterday are three new suite categories - known as Residence, Promenade and Studio - which will raise the hotel's current suite count from 103 to 115. The Residence Suites, comprising four one-bedroom suites and one two-bedroom suite, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and feature the names of famous local mid-1900s cinemas: Alhambra, Diamond, Marlborough, Odeon and Theatre Royal.

Existing boardrooms will be converted into the two Promenade Suites. They will be named the Lady Mountbatten Suite and the Lady Sophia Suite - in tribute to Lady Mountbatten, who was the Countess of Burma, and Lady Sophia, who was Sir Stamford Raffles' wife.

Other upgrades include improved dining experiences at the hotel's restaurants and bars.

RELEVANT AND EXCITING

These updates are designed to keep Raffles Hotel Singapore relevant and distinctive to our guests while providing a new level of excitement. At the same time, careful consideration has been taken to ensure we retain the ambience and what is unique to Raffles Hotel Singapore.

MR CHRISTIAN WESTBELD, Raffles Hotel Singapore's general manager, on the ongoing renovation and restoration works.

For example, Tiffin Room, Raffles Hotel's main dining room, will get a reinstatement of its wooden floorboards and display Peranakan plateware and tiffin elements.

Meanwhile, the Writers Bar will be expanded into a full bar, featuring a menu of bespoke cocktails.

On the event space front, Jubilee Hall will be converted into a 300-guest ballroom in hues of cream and gold, with chandeliers and an air-conditioned foyer, and be named the Jubilee Ballroom.

Mr Christian Westbeld, Raffles Hotel Singapore's general manager, said: "These updates are designed to keep Raffles Hotel Singapore relevant and distinctive to our guests while providing a new level of excitement. At the same time, careful consideration has been taken to ensure we retain the ambience and what is unique to Raffles Hotel Singapore."

Hotel rooms, for example, will keep to the signature Raffles Hotel tripartite layout of a parlour, bedroom and bathroom, but will offer updates such as more accessible power outlets, a better air-conditioning system and a more modern bathroom experience.

The paint on the facade of the building has been painstakingly stripped back by hand to minimise damage - a technique that was used given the building's status as a national monument.

Mr Westbeld added that updates will be released periodically as the hotel's restoration works continue.

The restoration works are being led by Aedas Singapore, while the interior of the project is in the hands of award-winning designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who has worked on luxury hotels such as New York's The Plaza Hotel and The Dorchester in London.

Also working on the project is local architectural restoration and research consultancy Studio Lapis, which is acting as heritage consultants for the restoration of the hotel and its more than 100 artefacts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2017, with the headline 'Restored Raffles Hotel to reopen in mid-2018'. Print Edition | Subscribe