Easily the most famous hotel in Singapore, Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style luxury hotel. Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world.
It was established by Armenian hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, in 1887. The hotel was named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. Raffles Hotel Singapore started as a privately-owned beach house built in the early 1830s with the Sarkies Brothers leasing the property with the intention of turning it into a high-end hotel. Its proximity to the beach, and its reputation for high standards in services and accommodations made the hotel popular with wealthy clientele and indeed throughout the years has maintained it’s popularity with VIP’s, celebrities and Royalty.
Note that with land reclamation, the heritage property no longer has shimmering sea views, and is now dwarfed by towering skyscrapers but the palm and frangipani tree-lined setting in the heart of town remains the envy of many.
Now whilst the luxury of staying the night in this heritage property might sound amazing, the price reflects this, instead we suggest visiting the world famous Long Bar. And it is here that you must try the world-famous Singapore Sling.
The Singapore Sling is a gin-based cocktail from Singapore. This long drink was developed sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, Singapore.
The Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel Bar costs around $30 Singapore Dollars (£17) and it comes with all-you-can-eat peanuts (where you can throw the shells on the floor and make a mess), it is a heavy price but oh so worth it, and not to be deterred.
How to make your own Singapore Sling
Chill a Hurricane Glass and fill with-
* 30ml Gin
* 15 ml Cherry Brandy
* 120 ml Pineapple Juice
* 15 ml Lime Juice
* 7.5 ml Cointreau
* 7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
* 10 ml Grenadine
* A Dash of Angostura Bitters
* Garnish with a slice of Pineapple and Cherry
Pam’s dad’s dad and brother were in the navy in the 1960’s and told dad stories of their experiences each time they would visit Singapore and stop off at Raffles Hotel. So, when we set off for our first travels in 2011 and were heading to Singapore, Pam’s parents gifted us Singapore Dollars and we were instructed to visit the Long Bar.
And so, we indeed visited and were very impressed with the building and its lovely fountains and gorgeous buildings. At the time we didn’t know that you were meant to chuck the monkey nut shells on the floor and had no idea why the floor was littered in them, but we soon joined in, eating our nuts and throwing the shells around the place. We of course ordered a Singapore Sling each and were very impressed, it was refreshing and sweet. We felt like we were cocooned amongst history, the bar which indeed is long, was busy with guests sitting on stools with colonial fans swaying above their heads, we had taken a table where we could scan the whole bar. It truly was a magical experience to sit in such a famous bar and sip on such a famous drink.
Address: 1 Beach Road Singapore 189673
Location: Located in the heart of the city, only a three-minute walk to City Hall MRT and Raffles City Shopping Centre. The financial district is just one train stop away. And the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel is a leisurely walk or 10 minutes by taxi.
** Now as we write this in June 2018 it must be noted that Raffles Singapore is currently closed for restoration with a planned reopening in the second half of 2018. The original Singapore Sling experience is now served at a pop-up Long Bar located at 3 Seah Street, next to the Raffles Gift Shop which remains open throughout our restoration.
What is the most expensive drink you've ever sipped on? And was the price justified?