Delicate mix of classy colonial architecture nested in perfectly maintained tropical gardens, the Raffles Hotel is a real oasis in the heart of Singapore. Bearing the name of the founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, it has become a real icon of the city-state.
Its construction started in 1887. One century later, in 1987, the Singaporean Government declared it as a National Monument. In 2010, a Qatar fund bought the hotel for $275 million.
You will find the Raffles Hotel if you go for a walk around Beach Road. Before the immense land reclamation works that shaped today’s Singapore took place, Beach Road was running along the seashore.
You do not need to be a guest of the hotel to penetrate in these beautiful tropical gardens. From the main facade on Beach Road, simply walk along the path on the left. The “Palm Garden” is my favorite place. The association of these really tall palm trees, the lavish colonial facades and the pretty fountain, is just beautiful.
One can notice how often splendid colonial buildings are across the world. Whether I’m thinking of Spanish colonial cathedrals in Latin America or French colonial buildings in South-East Asia, they have nowadays become masterpieces of their respective countries’ architecture. The Raffles Hotel doesn’t escape this rule.
With the traditional shop-houses of Chinatown and the modern Business District and the Marina Bay Sands, the Raffles Hotel is indeed a masterpiece of the History and the great architectural variety of today’s Singapore.