SINGAPORE - Singapore's classic heritage hotel Raffles Hotel Singapore is going to offer a whole host of new facilities, dining concepts and experiences come mid-2018, when it is slated to complete its ongoing restoration and renovation works.
This has been the first extensive renovation and restoration work since 1989 and the hotel will shut its doors from Dec 13 in order to equip the premises with new amenities and technology updates.
One of the major changes announced at a press conference on Tuesday (Oct 24) were three new suite categories known as the Residence, Promenade and Studio suites, which will increase the hotel's current suite count from 103 to 115.
The new Residence Suites, comprising four one-bedroom and one two-bedroom suites, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and feature names of famous local mid-1900s cinemas such as the Alhambra, Marlborough and Odeon.
Existing boardrooms will also be converted into the two new Promenade Suites, which will be named the Lady Mountbatten Suite and 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.
Tiffin Room, Raffles Hotel Singapore's main dining room, will get a reinstatement of its wooden floorboards and introduce display elements that showcase Peranakan plateware and tiffin elements. The Writers Bar will be expanded into a full bar, featuring a dark masculine design and a menu of bespoke cocktails.
On the event space front, Jubilee Hall will be converted into a 300-guest ballroom - with chandeliers and an air-conditioned foyer - named the Jubilee Ballroom, slated to become the hotel's newest event space for weddings.
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 be keeping to the signature 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 was also 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 restoration works continue.
The restoration work is 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 and The Dorchester in London.
Also consulting on the project is local architectural restoration and research consultancy Studio Lapis, who has been acting as heritage consultants for the restoration of the hotel and over 100 artefacts.