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Hot hotels: celebrity stays

Fancy a taste of how ‘the other half’ lives? A stay at any one of these plush pads known for their famous clientele could give you just the buzz you’re after. If you fancy splashing out on a luxurious escape – and maybe spotting an A-lister or two in the process – read on…

01/02/2022Updated 30/11/2023

Raffles Singapore

Gleaming under the Singapore sun, this glorious grande dame hotel (above and opening image), with its symmetrical, whitewashed 19th-century palatial façade, cute film-set roundabout and immaculately turned-out doormen, could be straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. Funny, given the iconic hotel’s connection with Hollywood – Ava Gardner, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and George Lucas have all bedded down in the high-thread-count sheets here. Eminent literary figures, including playwright Noël Coward, poet Pablo Neruda and author Rudyard Kipling, are also said to have propped up the Writers Bar at one time or another. More regal guests include the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Queen Camilla.

What has attracted such high calibre residents over the hotel’s 137-year history? Perhaps its old-world charm, exemplary butler service and legendary cocktails. Luckily, none of the splendour was lost during the hotel’s 2017 renovation, when designer Alexandra Champalimaud tastefully blended heritage with contemporary styling to remarkable effect. The hotel added 12 new suites, spruced up the rooftop pool and introduced some superb culinary additions that’ll make food-lovers swoon, such as Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic by Anne-Sophie Pic and 藝 yì by Jereme Leung.

Since a perfectly manicured lawn and tropical garden collectively take up more than a quarter of the estate, guests here need not fear any noise disturbance from the Lion City’s vibrant night life thanks to its leafy tranquillity.

Traditionalists will be glad to hear the legendary Long Bar (open to non-residents) is still serving up the famous Singapore Sling – invented here in 1915. Throw in a new holistic spa and luxury shopping arcade and celebrity punters will doubtless be flocking here for decades to come.

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