Katara Hospitality to shut down Raffles Singapore for renovations

(The Raffles Hotel Singapore is undergoing a renovation)

Raffles Hotel Singapore will embark on a three-phase renovation program beginning in January 2017 that will culminate with the hotel closing toward the end of 2017 to finish the job.

Phase One of the program will see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling.

Phase Two will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Hotel Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018.

"Raffles Hotel Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today's traveler. We have a rich and colorful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value," said Diana Banks, VP of the Raffles brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts.

The restoration project will be led by Aedas Singapore, a global architecture and design firm who was behind restoration projects including the London Coliseum and the revitalized Mallory Street/Burrows Street in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The interiors of the project will be handled by designer Alexandra Champalimaud who has worked on many luxury hotels around the world including New York's The Plaza, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Dorchester in London and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

"This restoration is designed to ensure that we retain what is so special about Raffles Hotel Singapore – the ambiance, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. We have always changed and evolved to keep in step with the needs and expectations of our guests – this has been one of the secrets of our success for more than a century. This extraordinary undertaking will also reimagine the facilities, spaces and experiences within the hotel to delight the well-travelled and the community. By introducing new experiences for our guests while respecting the history and heritage of the hotel, we want to ensure that this hotel continues to remain at the epicenter of Singapore's social and cultural scene," said Simon Hirst, GM, Raffles Hotel Singapore.

The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years. The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites—84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites.

"We are pleased to embark on the meticulous restoration of Raffles Hotel Singapore, a distinctive hotel that is emblematic of Katara Hospitality's commitment to creating extraordinary experiences on the backdrop of iconic heritage hotels and unsurpassed service to our esteemed guests," said Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, CEO of Qatar-based Katara Hospitality, a global hotel owner, developer and operator. Katara Hospitality's portfolio has grown to include 34 owned and/or managed hotels. The company is now focused on achieving its target of 60 hotels in its portfolio by 2026.