Raffles Hotel has been undergoing restoration works for the past two years, but its retail space has finally reopened yesterday with new tenants and overhauled event spaces. The three-story Raffles Arcade now hosts more than 30 shopping, dining, and lifestyle brands, with about three-quarters already welcoming customers into their shops.
Seeing as how the previous renovation took place three decades ago, this timely revamp seeks to maintain the historic building’s charm while giving it a modern look.
Take the new Jubilee Ballroom, for example. Formerly known as Jubilee Hall, a popular performance venue in the ’90s, the swanky space now seats 300 guests and takes its name after the original 1930s cinema at the same location. In line with the hotel’s look, its elegant cream and gold color palette will likely attract couples looking to get married in style.
Other spruced up facilities include the Casuarina Suite, East India Room, and outdoor places like Palm Garden, The Lawn, and Gazebo.
Those taking a stroll to check out the makeover can pop by contemporary gallery Art Matters for works by the likes of Picasso, Monet, Ai Wei Wei, and Yayoi Kusama, or head to co-working space The Great Room to get some work done.
On the retail side, the Raffles Gift Shop is now Raffles Boutique, a chic store stocked with fancy souvenirs. It shares the space with the hotel’s heritage gallery and Ah Teng’s Cafe, where you sit and sip on coffee or tea with a pastry or two.
Brands like The Hour Glass, Leica, Minotti, Rimowa, and Xuan: The Palace Museum bring their wares to the arcade too, alongside The AC Boutique and its range of home ware and apparel by Singapore-based designers.
The iconic Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling, also returns with a lush look inspired by 1920s Malayan plantation life. But if you’d rather try something new, head to the Butcher’s Block for a communal steakhouse experience where the focus is on single sourced meats and wines from across the globe.
Plus, London’s famous Burger & Lobster, already at Jewel Changi Airport, opens its second outlet here, along with the debut of local brand Gather, which offers crepes and coffees. And let’s not forget the much-anticipated yi by well-known local chef Jereme Leung, who returns to Singapore to launch his contemporary Chinese restaurant.
If you’re looking to indulge at the end of a long week, the new Raffles Spa is now open to pampering guests with luxe treatments, while the Hiro Ginza Premium Barber offers grooming services like shaving, nail and facial care, and head spa treatments for men.