Raffles Hotel

1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

Location: 1 Beach Road


Raffles Hotel, a famous Singapore landmark, is one of the most luxurious, elegant and iconic buildings in the city. Opened in 1887, and renowned for its colonial-era architecture and decor along with rich and luxurious accommodation and fine cuisine Raffles Hotel remains as popular today as it ever was. Raffles Hotel was actually gazetted as a national monument in 1987 and re-gazetted in 1995.


Raffles Hotel, originally known as Beach House, was leased from a wealthy Arab merchant, Syed Mohamed Alsagoff, by the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak, who converted it into an hotel which consistently offers fine accommodation and cuisine to this day. The hotel officially opened as a 10-room hotel on 1 December 1887 and later expansion projects were added to increase its size and capacity. Raffles Hotel was initially located near the sea but due to land reclamation projects it’s now situated in the city centre area.

During the 1942 Japanese invasion, Raffles hotel was renamed as hotel Syonan Ryokan, and its main entrance was moved to face the morning sun rising in the east. The hotel became the appointed quarters for senior Japanese military officers.

A small historical note : In order to preserve the hotel silverware, the hotel staff buried it in Palm Court and retrieved it at the end of the war.

After World War II the hotel was reopened in September 1945.

Raffles Hotel was gazetted as a national monument on 4 March 1987 and a large-scale restoration was initialled in 1988. The S$160 million restoration lasted around two years and Raffles hotel was reopened on 16 September 1991. The hotel was re-gazetted as a national monument on 3 June 1995.

In April 2010, Raffles Hotel was acquired by Qatar Diar, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar.


With its old-world charm, its Billiard Room, Long Bar, and Writers’ Bar among others, Raffles Hotel remains one of the most luxurious and iconic hotels in Singapore. To this day, it retains all of its former glory, attracting locals, expatriates and tourists alike.
Many, many stories are associated with it, such as:

i) The last tiger in Singapore was shot in the Billiard Room in 1902.

ii) The Singapore Sling was created in the Long Bar where it is still traditional to eat peanuts and cast the husks on to the floor.

iii) The Writers’ Bar has hosted such famous literary characters as Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maughan and Joseph Conrad.

iv) The hotel has hosted just about every famous dignitary or star who has ever visited Singapore, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, the Queen of England and, more recently, her grandson and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


1. National Library Board Singapore. (2015, July 30). Raffles Hotel. Retrieved from SINGAPORE INFOPEDIA: Link Here

2. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, May 7 ). Article: Raffles Hotel. Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA: Link Here

Liu, Gretchen (1992). Raffles Hotel. Singapore: Landmark Books. ISBN 981-3002-63-8.

"Famous Hotels: Raffles". Retrieved 1 February 2007.

Raffles Hotel sold. The Straits Times, 8 April 2010

A new hotel in Singapore. (1887, September 21). Straits Times Weekly Issue, p. 4. Retrieved on August 17, 2010, from NewspaperSG.

Ee, Jamie. (2009, July 12). Who built Raffles Hotel? The Straits Times. Retrieved on August 17, 2010, from Factiva.

Global Business News Alert – Travel Business – Qatar investment. (2010, April 9). AirGuideBusiness.com. Retrieved on August 17, 2010, from Factiva.
Liu, G. (1997). Raffles Hotel style. Singapore: The Raffles Hotel.
(Call no.: RSING 647.945957 LIU)

Raffles Hotel gets official protection. (1987, March 7). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved on August 17, 2010, from NewspaperSG.

Pregarz, R. (1990). Memories of Raffles: 22 years with a grand old hotel. Singapore: Treasury Publications.
(Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 PRE)

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