When the iconic Raffles Singapore opened in 1887, it quickly became a glittery haven for well-heeled travelers, and later, a go-to brand for discerning globetrotters.
Raffles is sharing its story through a new book released by Rizzoli. Soirées, Sojourns & Stories By Raffles is an engaging account of its legendary service and fascinating history. From the creation of the Singapore Sling cocktail to the introduction of private butlers, Raffles remains one of the few grande dames of the Golden Age of Travel that hasn’t settled for aging gracefully.
Embodying the spirit of Paris in the 1930s, a city where expat artists, writers, and bohemians convened in salons to discuss new ideas and creativity, Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris was at the forefront of this cultural awakening. Debuting in August 1928, just a year after Josephine Baker’s legendary banana skirt performance became the talk of Jazz Age denizens, the hotel became a fashionable place to stay among luminaries of the day, including Baker. Located within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you can check off all the classic stops for art and design and still have time to explore the edgy ateliers—or artist studios—of 59 Rivoli.
Designed with Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences, Raffles Dubai is an oasis of calm at the pulsing—or some might say, racing—heart of Dubai. With lavish interiors worthy of Scheherazade herself, the plush rooms and suites channel a sense of classic elegance in their ornate oriental rugs and arabesque-like woodwork details—albeit with lightning fast Wi-Fi and interactive, in-room digital systems for managing your stay. Occupying an enviable position on Sheikh Rashid Road, the hotel is connected to the expansive WAFI shopping complex. Within WAFI’s souk area, dine in a traditional marble courtyard at Khan Murjan, a sophisticated culinary gem serving authentic Arabic cuisine.
When the Raffles Europejski Warsaw welcomed its first guest in 1857, it was the pinnacle of modern European luxury. Staying true to form, the hotel reopened in June 2018 after an extensive renovation unveiling beautifully updated rooms and suites, while retaining its historic charm. Commanding a prime location on the Royal Route in Poland’s capital, the hotel offers views of the Old Town and Saxon Gardens. To fully immerse yourself in the grandeur of Fryderyk Chopin’s hometown, spend an evening at the 19th-century Polish National Opera House, located steps from the hotel. Upcoming performances include Rigoletto (January 12-20, 2019) and The Lady of the Camellias (January 27-February 3).
Constructed in 1932 to accommodate throngs of travelers flocking to Cambodia to see the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor features French colonial architecture surrounded by lovely gardens. Situated in Siem Reap’s Old French Quarter, the interiors are outfitted with custom-made Cambodian silk, wood panels, Khmer furniture, and black-and-white marble floors, all evoking a sense of the country’s layered history. For a taste of local culture, the Apsara Terrace offers a distinctive dinner and a show experience that pairs performances by traditional Cambodian dancers and Khmer martial artists with a selection of pan-Asian barbeque cuisine.
Set on Gaafu Alifu, a remote atoll in the southernmost reaches of the glittery Maldives, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo feels delightfully undiscovered. One can easily imagine what this collection of 1,200 islands, one seemingly prettier than the next, might have looked like a century ago. Away from the clatter of smartphones and traffic, this peaceful haven allows you to disconnect from the noise and settle into an exquisite beach villa or residence. Head to the overwater spa for a day of self-care with therapies drawing from nature and ancient rituals—or unwind with drinks at the Long Bar, modeled on the original in Singapore.