Home of the legendary Singapore Sling, named after the founder of modern Singapore, witness to two world wars, this building stands as a testament to the amazing success story that is Singapore. You’ll find some mention of it on any Singapore Tourism Guide. And to think it was conceptualized by two Armenian brothers, the land leased out by a Chinese entrepreneur and an Arab trader & philanthropist and designed by an English architect!
It’s been a hundred and twenty five since the Raffles (after Sir Stamford Raffles) hotel threw open its doors. It soon became - and remains to this day - the most fabled hotel in the Far East, with a guest list that would put your athenaeum to shame: Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling sitting in the Long Bar sipping on Singapore Slings, you can’t beat that. Singapore’s go to place to experience colonial luxury and glamour, it opened with 10 rooms in an old bungalow-style building overlooking the beach and the South China Sea.
The Great Depression was kind of a bummer for the hotel, but then again, it was a bummer for a whole lot of businesses. They managed to sort things out and a public company called Raffles Hotel Ltd. was established in 1933.
The Jap Invasion
The Japanese occupied Singapore on February 15th, 1942. One popular story goes to say that when the Japanese soldiers breached the hotel, they encountered the Raffles’ guests dancing one final waltz. They took over the hotel and even renamed it to Syonan Ryokan; Syonan, the Japanese name for occupied Singapore “Light of the South” and Ryoken being the name for a traditional Japanese inn. At the end of the war, the hotel was used as a transit camp for prisoners of war.
In 1987, the Singapore government declared the hotel a National Monument. And then it underwent major renovation before it was transformed into its present day avatar. The Raffles Group now own and operate a number of properties worldwide; the original remains an iconic structure of Singapore tourism.
Keep the Raffles hotel in mind when you book your Singapore Tour Package. If you can’t afford to stay there, make it for a meal or definitely for a Singapore Sling! The drink was first concocted by Nigiam Tong Boon, one of the Long Bar’s first bartenders.
Must Read: 10 Fun things to know about Singapore
Latest posts by Shivangi Rajendran (see all)
- 10 Most Haunted Places in the World - February 21, 2021
- Top 6 Places to See in Pondicherry - October 29, 2021
- Top 6 Places to See in Coorg - October 25, 2021
- Top 10 Activities to do in Pondicherry - October 24, 2021
- Krabi Calling – Top 7 Things to do in Krabi - October 23, 2021
- Top 10 Fun Things to do in Kuala Lumpur - October 16, 2021
- Top 8 Places to See in Agra - Beyond the Taj - October 14, 2021
- The Science of Life – 5 Things to Keep in Mind Before an Ayurveda Massage - October 7, 2021
- Heating up Winter in Kashmir - September 19, 2021
- A Virtual Trip to Tashkent’s Traditions - September 17, 2021
- Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival: Origins - September 13, 2021
- Chocolate Love in Ooty - September 11, 2021
- Inside Paradise - September 9, 2021
- What not to do in Maldives - September 5, 2021
- A Desert Safari in Dubai – All you need to know - September 2, 2021
- All for Chocolate - August 29, 2021
- Kopi Luwak – not your regular Cuppa ! - August 27, 2021
- Hyderabad: Origins - August 26, 2021
- Eating your way through Bessie Beach - August 21, 2021
- Hauz Khas Village - For a slice of Contemporary Delhi - August 10, 2021
- Aati Kya Khandala? - Romantic Getaways in the Hills - August 6, 2021
- Rainy Day Rhapsody - 5 Awesome Things to do When it’s Raining - August 2, 2021
- An ode to Queen Shantala - July 30, 2021
- Give time a Break – Peaceful Pondy! - July 29, 2021
- The Adventures of Pir Haji Ali - July 16, 2021
- The Story of Singapore’s National Mascot - Where did the Merlion come from? - July 13, 2021
- Bangkok’s Best Buys - July 9, 2021
- Good ‘ol Days in Goa - July 1, 2021
- Slinging Singapore Style - June 29, 2021
- Walking with Tigers in Thailand - June 24, 2021
More from WeAreHolidays Articles
- 13 November, 2013 @ 6:29 [Current Revision] by Shivangi Rajendran
- 29 June, 2013 @ 5:31 by Shivangi Rajendran