This white-on-white hotel is one the world’s truly iconic properties. Opened in 1887 by two Armenian brothers from Persia (making the hotel twice as old as the country of Singapore), the property retains its colonial look and ambiance, with beautiful courtyards and gardens, high-ceiling rooms, shopping arcades, liveried Sikh doormen, and pleasingly shiny wooden floors. Its long history includes acting as a transit camp for prisoners of war at the end of World War II and welcoming notable guests such as Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham who said, “Raffles stands for all the fables of the exotic East.” While some parts of the property are off-limits to those who aren’t guests, any visitor can drop by the Long Bar. This two-story bar, inspired by the Malaysian plantations of the 1920s, is where the Singapore Sling was invented. Order one.
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