Probably the most emblematic building of the Singapore landscape, the Raffles Hotel lives up to its hard-earned reputation and allure. Until recently we had resisted the urge to join the new trend of on-island staycationers who have brought life back to the local hotel scene. However, the opportunity to experience Treasures of Raffles – The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure and an overnight stay at this iconic Singapore landmark had us rushing to dust off our smallest suitcase and book our Grab!
The unique Raffles experience starts from the moment you pull into the sweeping driveway. The hotel doormen are as iconic as the building itself. And despite our familiarity with these beloved personalities, it was still an incredibly special experience to be welcomed by them; and as they led us up the red carpet stairs and into the hotel’s stunning lobby, we instantly felt transported back in time and into a different world.
The check-in experience at the hotel was delightful and efficient, and it wasn’t long before we passed the ‘Guests Only’ sign and were shown to our splendid Palm Court Suite. Our butler arrived soon after we did to settle us in and explain the rooms tech-controlled system. A surprisingly modern touch in our old-world surroundings. Once inside the suite we could fully appreciate the amount of work that had been done during the recent two-year renovation.
The rooms and the furniture have been updated, but the original style has been duly preserved. It was wonderful to see the original teak floors had been retained, complete with the marks made from bygone residents and guests that have enjoyed these buildings over the past 134 years. There is an understated elegance to the suite. The bathroom is beautifully decorated in marble and Peranakan tiles with a deep claw foot bath taking centre stage. The large and remarkably comfortable four post bed dressed in fabulous linens, and the black out blinds discreetly tucked away from the colonial windows during the day, made for a blissful night’s sleep.
Raffles Hotel’s current staycation package – Treasures of Raffles – The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure is an enthralling whodunnit tale written by award-winning playwright Jean Tay and directed by critically acclaimed actor/director Hossan Leong. It immerses you into the role of a detective tasked to investigate the missing Peranakan treasure – the crown jewel of the fictional “Treasures of the Straits” exhibition at the Raffles Hotel Singapore.
It begins with a virtual, interactive play watched from the comfort of our luxurious suite, taking us on a virtual tour of this iconic Grand Dame of Singapore. Whilst watching the play we tucked into a delectable array of fresh baked madeleines and macaroons, chocolates and fresh fruit which were beautifully laid out and waiting for us on our arrival.
Next it was time to gather up our mystery envelopes and head into the hotel’s expansive grounds to solve the clues and find the missing treasure. We were delighted when one of the clues led us to a pit stop that included a platter of satays accompanied by the quintessential Singapore Sling which fueled the remainder of our afternoon’s treasure seeking adventures. No spoilers here but after this wonderful repose we were excited to make our way through the remaining clues, solve the mystery and find the missing Peranakan treasure.
The history of Raffles Hotel is palpable everywhere and we spent a good long while in one of the long sweeping hallways that displays a large collection of photos of some of her most memorable guests including Charles Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth, Deep Purple, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham.
The Grand Lobby restaurant is a beautiful place to wind down after the hot afternoon’s activities. We enjoyed ‘A Raffles Heritage Evening’ set-menu featuring a sharing platter of signature local delights ($68) including Chilli Crab Cakes, Spicy Tiger Prawns, Crispy Spring Rolls and Sesame Prawn Toast, followed by the well-loved classics Singapore Laksa and Hainanese Chicken Rice. Our delicious meal ended on a sweet note with local delights including Kaya Pineapple Roll, Ondeh Ondeh, Kueh Lapis and Coconut Birds Nest Tartlets. It was a true gastronomical experience of our favourite local classics.
Breakfast is served in the Tiffin Room which has been a part of Raffles history since 1892. Beautifully restored, it still transports diners back to a bygone era. With buffet style breakfasts still closed thanks to COVID restrictions this breakfast menu offers a ‘buffet at your table experience’, with western and local menus, as well as cereal and tropical fruits and an array of fresh juices.
Verdict: The staycation experience at Raffles Hotel is simply outstanding – The service is what you would expect from a hotel of this caliber and then some, with a courteous, efficient and smiling staff. The rooms and facilities are simply superb, and for the foodies, it features several highly rated restaurants including Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic.
If you have a special birthday or anniversary to celebrate, or are looking to create some special lifetime memories while you are in Singapore, you should certainly spend a night or two in this splendid 134-year old Singapore icon.
The Treasures of Raffles package is available for stays from April 1 2021 to June 30 2021.
The package includes, complimentary Singapore Slings for two and a satay platter at Raffles Courtyard, redeem a complimentary gift from Raffles Boutique along the way and cap off your experience with an indulgent Heritage Evening dinner at The Grand Lobby.
Promising the full Raffles Experience, the package also offers other special privileges and benefits, including:.
– Breakfast for two.
– 15% off at all Raffles-operated restaurants and bars, Raffles Spa and Raffles Boutique.
– Complementary history tour with Raffles Hotel Singapore’s Resident Historian.
Successful mystery solvers will receive an e-voucher for purchases at Raffles Boutique with no minimum spend, as well as a special Afternoon Tea Experience for two at The Grand Lobby (worth S$156++) redeemable either during the stay or at a later time.