The Raffles hotel, when a hotel turns into a myth –

The Raffles hotel, when a hotel turns into a myth

We all know Raffles hotel, don’t we? but what about a little bit of history about this hotel that has become a myth?

Founded and opened to the public in 1887 the Raffles still embodies the whole history of Singapore: the Sarkies brothers, the Singapore Sling, as well as the visits of premium international travelers.

Designed by the architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell the Raffles was named after British Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of the state of Singapore in 1819. The Raffles was originally the empire of the Sarkies brothers (Martin, Tigran, Aviet, Arshak), rich Armenian young men who have been managing the place from 1887 to 1931, before going into bankruptcy. Among the first residents of the hotel, the Raffles remembers hosting famous authors like Joseph Conrad in 1888 and Rudyard Kipling, who is said to have dined and written his well known “Feed at Raffles”. Today the lobby’s « Writers’ bar » and the 12 author-suites pay homage to these intellectuals. In 1921, Somerset Maugham stayed there as well, he came back again in 1926 and 1959, always in suite 12 where one of his original letters is still exhibited.

It happened at the Raffles!

Did you know that a tiger was shot at the Raffles?Singapore-Sling

It 1902 a tiger escaped from a nearby circus. In the middle of the night the next door neighbor and hunter Charles Mc Goven, (he was also director of the school facing the hotel, which later became the Fairmont hotel) was called to avoid a drama that would hit the town. It was late at night and the latter had had a joyful well-drunk night. It therefore took him a few trials before he would actually hit the animal. This happened under the current well-established Bar & Billiard Room, which therefore became a key spot in the hotel.

Did you know the Singapore Sling was invented at the Raffles?

Yes, this is where the origins of the Singapore Sling come from. Created by Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915 and made of gin, Peter Heering, Cointreau, grenadine, angustura, pineapple & lime juice, this sweet drink was first imagined to enable sociable urban women to drink alcohol in full discretion. Can you believe that a thousand of Singapore Sling are today being sold each day nowadays?

Sleeping with the stars

Have you ever wanted to share your bed with Michael Jackson, Jackie Chan, William & Kate, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Buck, Jean Harlow, John Wayne or even more audacious the Queen of England? Well, we are almost there… since they all stayed at the Raffles.

You can treat yourself to a staycation to enjoy 2 nights in the palace, a beautiful spa treatment after a few laps in the pool, and before enjoying an Indian buffet meal at the mythical Tiffin Room? Sip a last Singapore Sling under the stars of the Courtyard and just feel you are henceforth part of the history!


Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd, 189673 Singapore

About The Singapore Diaries Team

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