Raffles Hotel Singapore guide
Photograph: Raffles Singapore

Guide to Raffles Hotel Singapore

Best things to eat, do, and shop at this grand landmark that has been ranked the 17th best hotel in the world in 2023.

Rachel Yohannan
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As far as local landmarks go, Raffles Hotel Singapore is by far one of the most iconic – and not just for its grand postcard-worthy exteriors. Though impeccably well-maintained, this five-star hotel retains its classic colonial charm harking back to the 1800s, and staying here is a premium experience right from the moment you encounter their unmistakable doormen. Plus, it's just been crowned the 17th best hotel in the World's 50 Best Hotels 2023 list, ranking a few spots above Capella, which gives you all the more reason to check it out.

Even if you haven't booked one of their luxury suites, there's still plenty to explore within the hotel's sprawling grounds, from its gorgeous lawn area, to the marvel-worthy architecture, and its in-house lifestyle destination, Raffles Arcade. Read on for our guide on the best of Raffles Hotel.

Dine

  • Cocktail bars
  • City Hall

Long Bar is probably the only place in Singapore where you can litter without getting fined. The "carpet" of peanut shells lining the floor is no accident - patrons are given  complimentary sacks of nuts as snacks, and are even encouraged to throw the empty shells on the ground as an ode to the surrounding nut plantations of the past.

This is also where the iconic gin-based Singapore Sling cocktail was born way back in 1915, thanks to Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.

  • City Hall

In contrast to the fancy restaurants found around the Raffles Hotel, Gather is more wallet-friendly alternative for casual hangouts. Taking centrestage are their highly-raved savoury French galettes and dessert crepes, with nothing priced above $19. There's also a selection of sandwiches and fresh bakes including scones, banana bread, and tarts.

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  • French
  • City Hall

The brainchild of acclaimed chef Anne-Sophie Pic, La Dame de Pic is a French fine-dining restaurant that has earned its Michelin star for good reasons. Menus are refreshed periodically, and incorporate flavours from multiple cultures, but one thing is constant throughout: Anne-Sophie's signature Berlingots, which are flavour-packed pasta parcels with the season's best ingredients.

  • Burgers
  • City Hall

London's famed Burger & Lobster had made its Raffles Arcade outlet its Southeast Asian flagship, and it's three times bigger than the one at Jewel Changi. The ambience is a little moodier and sultrier too, resembling more of a bar compared to its airy and open airport counterpart. Sink your teeth into succulent lobster rolls and juicy burgers, and wash it all down with a signature cocktail or some bubbly.

Shop

  • Shopping
  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • City Hall

Previously known as the Raffles Gift Shop, the Raffles Boutique stocks an array of exquisite souvenirs and gift items that are uniquely Singaporean. From wearables to dinnerware and even adorable plush toys representative of our rich culture, there's something here for everyone.

  • Shopping
  • Electronics
  • City Hall

Leica is a cult camera brand loved by professional photographers and casual shutterbugs alike, and this outlet at Raffles Hotel Arcade is its flagship. Stop by for exclusive camera rentals, printing services, and even Leica Akademie classes where you can learn tips and tricks from the pros.

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  • Shopping
  • Fashion
  • City Hall

Founded in 2014, this homegrown fashion label has the most gorgeous women's loungewear, all handmade in Singapore using mulberry silk and delicate lace. Slip into a robe fit for a queen, lounge about in their comfortable cami sets and pyjamas, or even check out their bespoke range for a personalised piece with fine embroidery bearing your name or initials. Brides-to-be can check out their range of romantic bridal robes, as well as customised bridesmaid pieces so the whole gang can match in style.

Do

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • City Hall

Pamper yourself at Raffles Spa, a premium sanctuary of wellness that's open to all, including members of the public. Wind down with a relaxing massage, give your skin a boost with their facial treatments, or even take a dip in their Ice Fountain or onsen-style Vitality Pool. There's also an The Gem Suite, an indulgent private space which you can book for a solo or couple spa session, complete with champagne and artisanal chocolate pralines.

  • Health and beauty
  • Barbers
  • Raffles Place

This one's for the bros out there. Tokyo's Hiro Ginza Premium Barber makes its Singapore debut with a range of men's grooming services, including haircuts, shaves, manicures and facials, as well as relaxing head massages. Relax in a VIP-style private room while you enjoy great Japanese hospitality, and emerge looking even more suave than before.

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