It may sit securely in the pantheon of the world’s grande dame hotels, but even this beloved Singaporean icon was looking decidedly faded by the time it retreated behind hoardings in early 2017 for a long-overdue restoration. The results of the two-and-a-half year makeover were unveiled in August to largely positive reviews, with the greatest applause reserved for New York–based designer Alexandra Champalimaud for walking that fine line between nostalgia and contemporary relevance. The soaring lobby—Joseph Conrad, one of many famous past guests whose image is now embossed on the rooms’ leather key card holders, once described it as being as “airy as a birdcage”—shines once more, a white cocoon capped by a huge crystal chandelier that hovers over polished marble flooring and coppery screens. The 115 lofty suites are a particular treat. Here, Champalimaud layers creamy hues and Peranakan-inspired floor tiles with capacious four-poster beds and minimalist abstract art. An iPad controls all room functions and books restaurant tables, while a personal butler is on call 24/7 for everything else, including drawing the nightly bath. The culinary offerings do not disappoint either. The beloved Tiffin Room, Long Bar, and Writers Bar have been reimagined with handsome furnishings, but the greater buzz surrounds the arrival of restaurants by Michelin-starred Anne-Sophie Pic, Jereme Leung, and Alain Ducasse.
—65/6337-1886, www.raffles.com; doubles from US$605
See the full 2019 Luxe List in the October/November 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2019: Raffles Singapore”).