Raffles Singapore with kids

Raffles at Raffles Singapore

The history of Singapore is both long and convoluted and, given my lack of standing as a historian of any note or, in fact, at all, I won’t even attempt to delve into its complexities, except to state the obvious… the glamorous and glorious Raffles Hotel has seen more than its fair share of the noteworthy events and players, naughty and nice, in the city’s story.

In a few short weeks time I’ll be in Singapore soaking up The Raffles rarefied air over lunch. It is highly unlikely that my lunch date will enter the annals of Singaporean history (dependent on how much alcohol we consume) but my Raffles is so put out that I’m going to “his” hotel without him that his ensuing sulk could indeed go on record as one of the most epic of all time. You see, it is all “soooo unfair” because his luxurious namesake also happens to be his favourite hotel “in the whole world ever, Mama”.

It’s been a few years since my Raffles first staked his claim on the famous hotel (for a couple of nights at least) but it clearly made an impact that hasn’t been diminished by time.

Standing that first time in the multi-storey lobby it wasn’t hard to imagine what the hotel must have been like back in the day, when the rich, famous and totally shameless soaked up gin by the bucketload with the literary likes of Coward, Kipling and Maugham – who described The Raffles as “the legendary symbol for all the fables of the Exotic East”.

That time, swept as I was away by the ghosts of patrons past I was almost ready to suck back an imaginary Gin Sling when I realised that my erstwhile children had also been swept away… by the splendidly moustachioed doorman and his secret stash of biscuits!

Raffles meets the doorman at Raffles SIngapore

If you think the Raffles is too high brow for kids, think again. The staff were crazy for mine and the residents (the hotels’ affectionate term for guests) all stopped to say hello, even as my rambunctious rug rats scurried about in the lobby’s many nooks and crannies without even the slightest hint of the decorum this red-faced mother desired.

The kids make themselves at home at Raffles Singapore

Our suite with its lofty ceiling, sitting room, marble bathroom, dark timber floors and oriental carpets even boasted a pretty cot for our perky tot.

Checking out our suite at Raffles Singapore

But my favourite feature was the visceral service of a butler who kindly offered to organise toys and games for the kids and to fetch us refreshments, which we partook in overlooking the cloister-like garden while my wee nutjobs played hide and seek in the colonnades.  One could easily get used to this. The butler. Not the nutjobs who were more inclined to get used to splashing it up in the rooftop pool.

Rooftop pool at Raffles Singapore

After their pool fix we caved in to our inner tourist and headed to the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling, the hotel’s iconic signature drink. It is an exercise in extreme touristy dagginess but… IT. HAS. TO. BE. DONE!

One mouthful in  and I decided the sweet concoction was not for me. If its unadulterated pinkness and $25 price tag reason weren’t enough to turn me off, the taste was. Raffles (the offspring not the hotel), however, was mightily impressed with his which was, of course, minus the lashings of alcohol that almost made mine palatable.

Kids with a (virgin) Singapore Sling at the Long Bar, Raffles SiIngapore
Sugarpuff proved quite the lush on what was her first visit to a bar and was rolling after her first drink of water. Though admittedly she did drink it neat.

Sugarpuff can't handle her water

The kids also loved the crunchy floor. It’s a Long Bar tradition to shell peanuts at the table and toss their remains on the floor. I, repressed housewife that I am, instead made a tidy pile of shells on our table. But after a waiter brushed them nonchalantly to the floor I got in the swing of flinging them there myself… though part of me was still anxiously yearning for a Hoover.

peanut shells on the floor of the Long Bar

The kids thought being allowed to toss the shells about was awesome and were soon hurling peanuts all over the place. It’s a touch ironic that in a country where littering laws are so strict, that the one place it is allowed is in the refined environs of the Raffles.

SUgarpuff goes nutty at the Long Bar Singapore

Once the novelty of actively encouraged littering has worn off a certain small boy drags us to the Raffles Creamery for an extravagant personalised ice-cream creation instead.

Neat as the icy treat was, Mr Eats World and I were after a fine dining experience and decide to take advantage of the hotel’s babysitter. Because sometimes mummy and daddy just need a little alone time with their Alaskan King Crab.

FIne DIning at Raffles Grill

While our little lovelies noshed on room service fish and chips and watched cartoons with their babysitter, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the hotel’s fine dining room, Raffles Grill, where the sommelier perfectly paired wines with our meal and I seriously considered arm wrestling Mr Eats World for his glass of BillecartSalmon Extra Brut, but that would have been be a touch uncouth in such dignified surrounds, even by my standards.

During lunch, we were joined by the hotel’s charming resident historian, Lesley Danker, who entertained us with stories of guests roller skating in the lobby, the tragic tale of a tiger being shot under the Billiard Room and residencies by wasted scribes, Hollywood legends and the most regal of Royalty. He also shared the tale of a perfectly polished and restored silver serving trolley that was buried in the garden by the staff to protect it during the hotel’s occupation in WW2, and is still in service today.

SIlver service at Raffles Grill -

Her famous literary lodgers may be long gone but the Raffles still has her own stories to tell, and I’m looking forward to hearing more in a few weeks, even if it does put my own Raffles lovely little nose out of joint.

rudyard Kipling quote at Raffles

13 Comments on Raffles Singapore with kids

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    February 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve never stayed here but I really want to now. I usually stay with family as my mother’s family is from Singapore! I love the “crunchy” floor 😛

      February 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm (9 years ago)

      You must! It is so special, Lorraine

  2. Onkarnath Singh
    February 18, 2015 at 3:32 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Anna,
    Lovely read I am a born traveller and the blog was cool and informative. I regularly browse through blogs ..and get great information which cannot be found elsewhere… This blog https://economictravel.wordpress.com/…. has good information on economic travel around the world..

  3. HandbagMafia
    February 20, 2015 at 7:46 am (9 years ago)

    Wow, this place looks gorgeous!

      February 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm (9 years ago)

      My fave hotel in the world!

  4. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    February 20, 2015 at 11:28 am (9 years ago)

    It is actually on my wish list to stay at Raffles, seriously who doesn’t want to, and now I have no qualms about taking the kids with me. Though they have never stopped us from doing anything before you do sometimes feel a little guilty and obliged to wrangle them into order at some places. And nuts on the floor, I’d be worried to set a precedent that it is ok to do it anywhere.

      February 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm (9 years ago)

      NO need to worry at all. They were lovely to the kids. As for the nuts, you’ll be pleased to hear they’ve not tried to replicate the tossing since 🙂

  5. Min (@riteofthemiddle)
    February 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve been to Raffles! I’ve eaten there and had a Singapore Sling but have not stayed overnight there. It is beautiful! Beautiful photographs and children! 🙂

      February 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm (9 years ago)

      You must! It’s the most amazing place 🙂

  6. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    February 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm (9 years ago)

    I visited Raffles when I travelled to Singapore about 13 years ago, I have to say my memory isn’t as good as it used to be but I do recall being in awe of it, stately. I’m envious of your trip, sans kids, in a few weeks, so excited all these great things are happening to you this year xx

      February 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks lovely… here’s hoping the year lives up to its promise 🙂

    February 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm (9 years ago)

    It is! My fave hotel in the world

  8. Lydia C. Lee
    March 8, 2015 at 6:39 am (9 years ago)

    It’s so pretty! How lucky your kids were to enjoy it. I love the tiny museum with all the luggage tags…


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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