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At the Raffles Hotel Singapore: Inside the Lobby and a Courtyard Suite

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  Site Where: 1 Beach Road, Singapore, Singapore
February 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM | by | Comment (1)

Walk right into the multi-story, Victorian era lobby of the Raffles Singapore and you won't get very far. There's a "residents only" velvet rope reminder, though that doesn't halt half the curious travelers who wander in to either hit up brunch in the Tiffin Room or just snap a photo to say, "I was here."

To be honest, we immediately fell into the same awe from the moment we scratched our name into the heavy registration book at reception. To really be at the Raffles—it's an experience from another time, as anyone will say. However, being actual "residents," we just as quickly snapped into eagle-eyed guest mode. Sure, the Raffles is pretty but is it functional too?

To keep our impressions succinct and let the images above do most of the talking, we were impressed by the professionalism of our female butler (all rooms have butlers), the free and fast WiFi throughout the property, the privacy and quiet afforded by the layout of the property, despite its being surrounded by high rises and major thoroughfares, and the mood of the hotel, which retained its colonial prim and properness.

On the other hand, a business traveler staying in room like our Courtyard Suite (the lowest category of room) will be frustrated by the shallow antique desk, upright desk chair, lack of outlets and the fact that most other guests (at least during our visit) were obviously here on leisure. A vacationing guest, on the other hand, will immediately notice the old box TV in the room armoire, the lack of privacy at the pool (with tall office buildings looking down on it), and the need to always be dressed appropriately (jackets and long pants for men, for example) in the main building's public areas.

Still, at $500+ per night, would we return on our own dime? It's likely, but the chances are it'd be to show off the place to someone traveling with us, whose dream of visiting the Raffles hasn't yet been fulfilled.

Disclosure: We stayed for one night at the Raffles, as a guest of Singapore Airlines, while on assignment for Jaunted.com. However, all photos and opinions are completely our own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]

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