Evening in Singapore. The scent of frangipani and the soft hum of conversation drift across the Palm Court at Raffles Hotel. Is it 1887 or 2012? The doormen, looking crisp in their distinctive Gieves & Hawkes uniforms, welcome arriving travellers. Somewhere deep in the hotel a butler swoops in from a teak veranda and as the grandfather clock in the airy lobby strikes eight, the piano strikes up…"I'll see you again" (Noel Coward would approve) - and outside, the Travellers' Palms rustle in the breeze.
There are few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are - and none more so that Raffles, Singapore. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, Raffles was opened 125 years ago. Since 1887, the tales of a host of noted guests - Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward among them - have become legend, and the Long Bar, the Palm Court and the Billiard Room with its tiger, familiar to people who have never visited Singapore. The stories remain and are relished - but time has not stood still at Raffles.
Today, Raffles Hotel Singapore, alongside its sister hotels in Paris, Dubai, Cambodia, the Seychelles, Beijing and the Holy City of Makkah, moves into the next chapter of its story, with vibrant and thoughtful 125th celebrations all around the world, embodying the timeless essence of Raffles at every turn. From 15 September 2012, there will be celebrations around the world at Raffles' sister hotels, as well as in Singapore.
Setting The Scene
With A Brand New Sling And Celebratory Champagne
Welcome To The 1887 Anniversary Sling
In celebration of 125 years since its opening, the iconic Long Bar at Raffles Hotel Singapore has created a new Champagne Sling, the '1887' - inspired by its legendary Singapore Sling and with a base of the hotel's limited edition Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne.
Not your standard tipple, the 1887 is a subtle twist on the traditional sling. The recipe for this high precision cocktail is a closely guarded secret, but its creator, Randolf Velasco, reveals that Gordon's Gin, Cointreau and essence of orange, lemon and lime all play a key role.
The 1887 is available exclusively at Raffles hotels, including Raffles Hotel Singapore, Raffles Beijing Hotel, Raffles Dubai and Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris.
The Singapore Sling was the creation of Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and since then not visit to the city has ever been complete without a stop at the fabled bar to enjoy this classic cocktail and, in the spirit of tradition, discard a few peanut shells on the floor of the Long Bar. www.raffles.com
Limited-Edition Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne
Any good celebrations need champagne. And Raffles' 125th birthday is no exception. The year's festivities, which launch in September 2012, will be accompanied by the light bubbles and floral freshness of the limited-edition 12th Anniversary Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne.
Established in 181 by Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, Billecart-Salmon is a byword for the most elegant Champagne, fully rounded vintage cuvées with the purest palate and seemingly ageless style. Its oldest continuously family owned and operated house in Champagne, currently managed by the seventh generation. With a relatively modest production level, many of Billecart-Salmon's prestige cuvées are highly allocated.
The anniversary cuvée will be available exclusively at Raffles hotels worldwide and as an integral part of Raffles Hotel, Singapore's celebratory Billecart-Salmon Champagne 125th Anniversary Brunch, starting Sunday 16th September 2012. In Singapore it will be priced at SGD 148 per bottle, and guests will be able to enjoy it in all the restaurants and bars at the hotel.
Raffles Hotel, Singapore ~ Time To Celebrate 125 Years
Raffles Hotel has turned to another timeless symbol of good taste and style to mark its anniversary: Jaeger-LeCoultre, whose own history goes back nearly 180 years. The company's double-sided Reverso watch line is a classic; when its case is turned over, it is transformed into a jewel that can be personalised forever by an engraving.
To mark Raffles' 125th, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created an exclusive engraving "Raffles Hotel 1887-2012 Singapore", available on Gents' Reverso Grande Taille and Ladies' Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin.*
Guests staying at Raffles between now and 31 December 2013, can choose to enter into the spirit of things by booking Raffles' special Time To Celebrate package - which includes a pair of the special engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watches.*
Priced at SGD $50,000 ++ (£25,245) Time To Celebrate includes two nights in the fabulous Presidential Suite, airport transfers, lashings of Anniversary Billecart-Salmon champagne, daily breakfast and afternoon tea in the Tiffin Room. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate the hotel that Somerset Maugham described as standing for "all the fables of the Exotic East" the story continues.
Available until 31 December 2013, Time To Celebrate is bookable at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +65 6412 1244 or go to www.raffles.com/singapore. *The Jaeger LeCoultre watches are valued at SGD 10,000 for the Gentleman's watch and SGD 13,000 for the Ladies' watch.
125 Years Of Menus And A Spa Treatment Inspired By The Past At Raffles Dubai
Raffles Dubai is celebrating its Singapore sister's milestone with a whole year of anniversary celebrations - including a nostalgic culinary and spa journey through the years.
The favourite Friday Raffles Roast hosts a weekly selection of specialities from each decade of Raffles' history, re-inventing more unusual delicacies including lamb forequarter, collard beef and haunch of mutton. The use of less known cuts of meat like shin of beef, lamb neck, rabbit, goat and offal will bring an additional unique element to this Family Roast.
Fire & Ice, Raffles Dubai's sophisticated grill, has also added monthly specialities that draw inspiration from the past and selected from a collection of cookery books dating back as far as 1861; including Fricassee of Chicken by "Mrs E.C. Blakeslee, Compendium of cookery and reliable recipes" published in 1890 and An Excellent Trifle dessert, from "A Lady, A new system of domestic cookery" published in 1861. The recipes are changed monthly to suit the changing seasons and product availability.
Travellers in the 19th century would have been familiar with lavender's healing, antiseptic and relaxing qualities. With this in mind, the Raffles Lavender Indulgence treatment has been created especially for the 125th Anniversary. It uses NEOM organic essential oils in a deep exfoliation, body scrub and full body massage. The treatment begins with an inhalation of NEOM luxury oils, scented with Lavender Rosewood and Jasmine - making a totally relaxing way to toast 125 years of Raffles. www.raffles.com/dubai
125 Hours In Paris, Beijing - Or Paradise?
Whichever It Is - It's Raffles.
125 Hours In Paris With Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris
Celebrating 125 years of Raffles story, Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, the newest member of the Raffles family, pays homage to its Singapore flagship by drawing on all the fun, romance and excitement of the iconic Raffles name, with a show-stopping luxury rollercoaster. 125 Hours in Paris with Raffles: an extraordinary five day adventure in and around Paris, based at the hotel. A photographer will be on hand to take photos throughout, bound into a beautiful leather album as a lasting reminder of the journey.
Over four nights and five days, ensconced in a spectacular Presidential Suite with bespoke music and flowers and Pierre Herme macaroons to match, enjoy a host of moments - amongst them:
- Behind-the-scenes jewellery class at Van Cleef & Arpels
- Six hour tour of Parisian art with Raffles' Art Concierge
- Helicopter trip to the Loire Valley with lunch at a gastronomic restaurant
- Cooking class with Le Royal Monceau's brilliant chef Laurent André
- Screening á deux of a vintage black & white Italian classic movie in Le Royal Monceau's private cinema
- Heavenly two hour spa treatment each at the ethereal Spa My Blend by Clarins
- A host of Gastronomic experiences (this is Paris after all)
And much, much more
On arriving home, a pair of bathrobes, embroidered with guests' initials, together with the album of photos will keep the memories alive and well.
125 Hours in Paris with Raffles starts from 25,000Euro per night, based on two people sharing a Presidential Suite. It is available to book until September 2013, subject to availability. www.raffles.com/paris
125 Hours In Beijing With Raffles Beijing Hotel
Raffles Beijing Hotel pays homage to the Singapore flagship's 125th anniversary with its own 125 hours in Beijing package. Once proclaimed 'the only deluxe hotel in the Far East', Raffles Beijing is an icon of the city's rich history.
Modern Beijing is thriving as a pulsating epicentre for art, fashion, music and all things cool. During the 125 hours in the city, delve into Beijing's past, which dates more than 3,000 years - and feel its exciting energy.
Over four nights and five days, stay in one of the grandest suites in Beijing and enjoy these quintessential experiences.
- Whizz around the city in a perfect replica sidecar from the vintage Chang Jiang 750 motorbike
- Learn to write like a master with a Chinese calligraphy experience followed by traditional Beijing duck prepared by Raffles Beijing's Chef Lu
- See one of the Seven Wonders of the World on an adventure tour to the Great Wall of China
- Visit the Chinese Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City
- Find the über-trendy in the 798 Art District, a bustling avant-garde space which is a hub for contemporay Chinese art
- Attend the traditional flag raising ceremony at dawn on Tiananmen Square
- Go on an eye-opening culinary experience through the exotic Wangfujing Night Food Market
Luxury airport transfers included and a photographer will be on hand to capture the memories.
125 Hours in Beijing with Raffles starts from RMB 125,000 for four nights accommodation in a Grand Suite, this is based on two people sharing. It is available to book until September 2013, subject to availability. www.raffles.com/beijing
Check Into Paradise For 125 Hours - Raffles Praslin Seychelles
Making sure its guest unwind and de-stress is what Raffles Praslin, Seychelles is best at. So the resort is celebrating its flagship's 125th milestone by offering its guests '125 Hours in Paradise' - a fabulous five-night break.
With a magical arrival to the island of Praslin by private plane and five nights in the Royal Panoramic Villa, this is all-out indulgence -with a backdrop of mesmerising views and the service of a legendary Raffles Butler, 24/7.
The journey begins with the total surrender to the gifted hands of Raffles Spa therapists, with a 125 minute couples treatment, The Praslin Escape - a full body experience using therapeutic pearl powder.
The remainder of the journey is filled with unforgettable island experiences, including:
- A helicopter flight over the archipelago
- An excursion to the UNESCO world heritage site of Vallée de Mai
- A luxury cruise with massage on board, champagne and fresh sushi
- A deep sea fishing trip - and your catch BBQ'd for lunch by the Head Chef
- A snorkelling tour around Praslin
- Early morning Pilates on the beach as the sun rises
- A Caviar-Luxe Luminescence facial
- and beach BBQs, candle-lit dinners and the freshest seafood
125 Hours at Raffles Praslin Seychelles starts from 12,500Euro (+25% taxes) per couple. It is available to book until December 2013, subject to availability. www.raffles.com/praslin
Explore A Kingdom Of Wonder ~ 125 Hours With Raffles Cambodia
From historic sites to natural attractions, experience 125 hours in the charms of Cambodia and the atmospheric luxury of two of Asia's finest historic hotels, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Siem Reap and Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh.
This six-day journey, Kingdom of Wonder, starts with a two night stay at the elegant Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh. Here the hotel's legendary butlers, well-versed in the Raffles tradition of delivering personalised and thoughtful service, will arrange for activities such as:
- A visit to the glamorous Royal Palace
- Shopping for local wares at the Russian Market
- A splendid meal at the renowned Restaurant Le Royal, where guests are invited to enjoy a four-course Gala Dinner with traditional Cambodian specialties
After an introduction to this most beguiling of countries, the journey continues with a three-night stay at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap. Here highlights include:
- Watching the sun rise over the monumental Angkor Wat
- Khmer cooking lessons with the hotel's Executive Chef
- Sightseeing in an immaculately restored, super cool vintage 1950s Jeep
- Honey-hunting eco-tour to a local beekeeping community - where honey combs hang from the trees at eye-level
Guests can also look forward to spa treatments, an exquisite Raffles Afternoon Tea and culinary experiences with an option of either Royal Khmer or French dishes.
Kingdom of Wonder starts from USD 7,500.00 for five nights' accommodation in a Landmark Suite, based on two people sharing, Rates are subject to 5% service charge and all applicable taxes. A 50% deposit is required at time of booking, non-refundable in case of cancellation. www.raffles.com/phnompenh | www.raffles.com/siemreap
ABOUT RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS: Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises nine luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to chic hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in the Maldives, Indonesia, Istanbul, the Philippines and China scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles - to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests. www.raffles.com
**Opening soon: Istanbul ~ Hainan ~ Jakarta**
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Raffles Hotels & Resorts
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