Raffles Hotel Singapore to reopen in mid-2019 with refreshed concept

Raffles Hotel Singapore has confirmed a mid-2019 reopening, which will see a host of refreshed interiors, layout and concierge service introduced to the iconic property.

Most prominently, the hotel will eliminate its front desk and check-in services from the lobby. Instead, guests will be served by dedicated butlers, who will provide services from in-suite check-in to running errands. Event planners will also communicate with an on-site butler for arrangements.

The refurbished Long Bar

This new concept will “revolutionise” the butler and concierge service in hospitality by providing guests “more focused, individualised and direct service”, revealed the hotel’s general manager Christian Westbeld yesterday.

The hotel will have a team of 25 butlers fluent in a diverse range of languages such as English, Mandarin, Korean and Russian.

Event venues will be renovated to give a “dramatic” increase to the hotel’s event footprint, remarked Westbeld. For instance, the theatre-style Jubilee Hall will be converted into a 302-pax ballroom, and the original ballroom will be refreshed and expanded to seat 200 pax. The East India ballroom and the outdoor lawn have also been given a modern update. All event venues will now feature an air-conditioned foyer.

Events and banquets with Chinese menus will be overseen by chef Jereme Leung – who will also head the yì by Jereme Leung restaurant – while planners can also choose to cater from any of the restaurants and bars in the hotel.

Room inventory will also increase by 10 per cent from 103 to 115 keys, which includes two Presidential Suites – also bookable for events. Renderings of the suites showed brighter colours and a more spacious and refined design, with some elements of new technology, such as operating the lights with an iPad.

Raffles Hotel Singapore will feature a total of 10 dining establishments spread throughout the property, with overhauls done to original restaurants Tiffin Room and Long Bar. The shopping arcade will also be “better integrated” into the hotel and feature 40 retail tenants, said Westbeld.

Meanwhile, Long Bar will introduce an “elevated” and “health-conscious” recipe for the Singapore Sling, he added, and the team hopes to craft another original beverage on the same level as the Singapore Sling.

Westbeld also confirmed that accompanying these enhancements is a 25-30 per cent hike in the room rates. Regardless, the hotel has already secured forward bookings in August.

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