Arrivals & Departures Singapore icon turns 130

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

The Raffles Hotel epitomised the romance of the Far East and this year it turns 130.

Singapore’s Raffles Hotel first opened its doors in 1887. Today it exudes a blend of luxury, history and colonial memories.

Those that have walked through its wrought-iron portico include writers Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling. More recent guests include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George Bush, Karl Lagerfeld, and Johnny Depp.

Declared a National Monument in 1987, the hotel still retains many elements of its classic colonial architecture. It is this year undergoing a phased restoration to be completed by mid-2018.

For the anniversary, the hotel will host a series of events, as well as offering deals on stays and dining.

Every first Saturday from February to August, three times a day (10am, 2pm and 5pm) for $S20 ($A18.69) per person a Walk of Fame History Tour is being offered.

Conducted by guides from the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Division of the National Heritage Board, the 45-minute tours will explore the hotel and give a glimpse of its many famous guests. The tour will also highlight locations where films such as Pretty Polly and Hawaii Five-O were shot.

Tickets are fully redeemable at the Raffles Gift Shop or at hotel-operated restaurants and bars. Singapore Sling anyone?

A grand 130th Anniversary Gala is also being planned for the third quarter of 2017 to celebrate the hotel’s birthday.

The hotel is also offering an anniversary vacation package until August 31, where guests can upgrade their experience for $S130 ($A121) with a choice of extras.

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