When a renowned grande dame hotel goes under the knife, we pay attention. Needless to say, we’ve been keeping an eye on the progress of the Raffles Singapore restoration. The historic hotel closed in December 2017 for a multiphase renovation, that’s now expected to be complete in mid 2019. For a hotel with such a storied history, it’s of paramount importance to retain the original features, while upgrading with contemporary technology, amenities, and new suite categories. (The total count will be increased from 103 to 115 suites.)
Local architectural consultancy Studio Lapis has been acting as the “heritage consultants” on the project, researching the hotel’s history in order to resurrect early design details. For example, the Tiffin Room’s wooden floorboards (from the 1900s) have been reinstated and 100 pieces of antique furniture have been restored, including the Steinway grand piano and the grandfather clock in the Grand Lobby.
Interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud is overseeing the decoration. One of the hotel highlights will be the lobby, transformed into a light-filled social hub. Another will be the Jubilee Ballroom in what was formerly the “Jubilee Hall”— named for the 1930s cinema of the same name on the site. Think gold Venetian light fixtures and bespoke upholstered wall panels in a space accommodating up to 300 people.
Behind the hotel's famous white facade guests will find a host of exciting new restaurant concepts at the Raffles Singapore. BBR by Alain Ducasse will see a transformation of The Bar & Billiard Room into a Mediterranean restaurant; three Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic will unveil her Asian debut at La Dame de Pic; yì by Jereme Leung will serve contemporary Chinese food, while Butchers Block will offer a contemporary steakhouse experience. Never fear, the birthplace of the Singapore Sling— the hotel’s Long Bar— will be back, complete with a restored counter.