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The

Heritage a t r av e l g u i d e to r a f f l e s h ot e l s & r e s o rt s

b r o u g h t to yo u by b l ac k tom ato


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Editor’s Note

where each property blends beautifully into its environment and retains those core values for which the company has always been known. Dedication to service, exceptional luxury, unique experiences and putting the guest first at all times. As well as retaining these essential attributes, Raffles continues to foster innovation in the hotel industry and their delivery of cutting edge service that reflects the needs of the contemporary traveller continues to set them apart.

There are some companies in the world whose name alone elicits a wonderful response when mentioned. One word spoken sets the mind racing, conjures an excited sense of anticipation and much more. In the world of travel, one brand stands above all for me when it comes to creating that joyous feeling at the mere mention of its name. That one word is: Raffles. Say its name and immediately your thoughts drift to the golden heritage; the standard setting; the exotic wonders; the very definition of what outstanding service is. Tell someone you are staying at a Raffles property and wait for the reaction that it always engenders. Illuminated eyes, knowing nods, murmurs of envy. We hear it all the time and it’s not a surprise.

This newspaper is our tribute to that most marvellous of hotel groups. Industry defining, agenda setting and continually pioneering. Raffles set the bar all those years ago in Singapore and it is forever raising it. We know that and our customers know it. We hope you discover that soon for yourself. After a trip to any of their properties the words I have written above will be redundant when it comes to reminding you of the magical experience you had. You will need just one. Raffles.

When Raffles first launched in Singapore, the world stood up and embraced a property that became and still remains the byword for the ultimate luxury experience. From those beginnings Raffles has now grown its portfolio of properties around the world

Tom Marchant, Co-Founder Black Tomato

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Contents 3.4

The History of Raffles Hotels and Resorts

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The Spirit of Singapore Raffles Singapore

7.8 9.10 11.12

Diamonds and Deserts in Dubai Raffles Dubai

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City Chic and Delectable Dining in Paris Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris

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Sunshine and Serenity in Seychelles Raffles Praslin, Seychelles

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Markets, Museums and the Mekong in Phnom Penh Historic Wonders and Charming Architecture in Siem Reap

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Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Cambodia Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor, Cambodia

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Ancient Heritage and Modern Movements in Beijing Raffles Beijing

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Makati’s Cosmopolitan Metropolis Raffles Makati, Philippines

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T h e H i st o ry

of

Raffles Hotels & Resorts Raffles Singapore in early 1900s

Raffles Singapore Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon who invented the Singapore Sling Sarkies brothers portrait 1906

Raffles Singapore 1887

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Since its inception in 1887, Raffles hotels have become a true beacon of luxury, providing faultless service and hotels of incomparable beauty. Yet, where did it all start? And why has this brand grown so exponentially over the years? Well, it all began with the vision of two brothers in Singapore over 125 years ago, a vision that has since extended across Asia and, more recently, to Europe and Africa. When brothers Martin and Tigran Sarkies took on a 10 room bungalow-style building overlooking the South China Sea all those years ago, there’s no doubt that world hotel domination was not at the forefront of their minds. It was over a number of years that they added wings, a veranda and upped the entertainment value with a ballroom, a bar and a billiards room at Raffles Singapore. The strict attention to detail that the hoteliers paid to sculpting their vision soon paid off. Writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway drew inspiration from their stays here, and the aptly named Writers Bar stands as a memento to these historic figures. The events of subsequent years only add to the incredible history of this hotel. From the wandering wild tiger (Singapore’s last) that met its fateful end at the hotel in 1902 to the building withstanding the Japanese

The development of Raffles

Charlie Chaplin dining at Raffles

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invasion in 1942, Raffles Singapore has been a constant presence in some of the island’s key historical moments and has since been named a national monument. In 1989 it was time for the hotel to undergo a restoration, with the colonial style of 1915 kept as the inspiration behind all redecoration. It was the year that the Singapore Sling was created at Raffles’ very own Long Bar. By the time it reopened in 1991, a large timber staircase was reinstated and a new building was added containing the incredible Raffles Hotel Museum, devoted to its history and heritage. By now, Raffles owed the rest of the world a piece of its charm. Opening two Raffles Hotels in Cambodia with great success in 1997, Raffles then debuted in China in 2006 and since 2010 the first (and currently only) European Raffles Hotel opened in Paris after a spectacular renovation of its historic building. 2014 is also shaping up to be an exciting year for the Raffles Hotel group, with upcoming openings in Istanbul and Jakarta. Vibrant and ebullient, these two cities are Black Tomato favorites and are sure to be excellent hosts for iconic Raffles hotels. We’re genuinely excited to see what’s next for this iconic brand. London or New York, perhaps? We can but dream…


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th e sp irit of

Singapore A melting pot of cultures and a triumph to modernity; Singapore is South East Asia’s cosmopolitan urban jewel. Offering visitors an eclectic hive of cutting edge design and architecture, a deep rooted colonial past, some serious retail therapy and a culinary scene that embodies global diversity, Singapore really is at the centre of the action.

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Why not start with sunset drinks at the New Asia bar, 70 floors above Marina Bay followed by Clarke Quay where chilli crab are served up hot, fresh and spicy. So, where first? We think you really should try and get a bird’s eye view of the city, so why not start with sunset drinks at the New Asia bar, suspended 70 floors above Marina Bay. From summit to sea, your next stop could be down by the river’s edge at Clarke Quay where culinary delights such as chilli crab are served up hot, fresh and spicy all day long. We’d also point you in the direction of the Red Dot Museum, a fascinating design institute showcasing winners of the prestigious Red Dot Design award. There are a huge number of fantastic events held regularly throughout the year (the Grand Prix in September has to be one of our favourites) and with a hot and sunny climate year round Singapore really is a fine gateway to Asia, whenever you plan to travel.

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Raffles Singapore

Since its birth in 1887, the legendary Raffles hotel in Singapore has undergone many makeovers. However, it continues to reign strong as one of the world’s favoured grand-dame hotels, and rightfully so. Which other hotel can boast a charming personality for each and every one of its 103 suites? Despite its location in the heart of the city, you’ll be hard-pushed to drag yourself from the colonial architecture and design of the hotel.

Spend your hours wandering through the tropical gardens, and round the day off in the earthy decor of the Long bar – the birthplace of the legendary Singapore Sling. If you’re looking for a place to inspire your poet within, head to the Writers bar for a moment of reflection. This has been dedicated to the likes of Rudyard Kipling and other such legends that have spent a precious moment at this historic hideaway.

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LOCAT I ON Declared a national monument, Raffles Singapore is a landmark in itself. Within the hotel’s grounds, you’ll find astounding features aplenty – a shopping arcade with over 50 specialty shops and boutiques and Jubilee Hall, a Victorian style theatre, amongst others. Looking a little more broadly, the hotel, set in Singapore’s business district, is in the perfect location for hopping around Singapore. Better yet, arrival from the airport is a straightforward 20 minute journey.

YOUR RO OM High ceilings, elegant period furnishings and teakwood floorings are a standard for any suite at Raffles Singapore, so you know you’re in for a treat whenever you stay here. The grand hotel suites in particular are a showcase for quality antiques and artworks and are known for their character – you won’t find two pieces the same here. The Palm Court suites, on the other hand, embody simplicity and serenity.

WH Y WE L IKE IT The hotel’s 55,000 plants have seriously impressed us; you could spend hours wandering through the gardens discovering many a secluded spot to unwind in amongst the flora. It was however, the hotel’s attention to detail that won us over. In keeping with the colonial charm, you’ll find Raffles’ own in-house florist and can enjoy your morning British cuppa at the Ah-Tengs Bakery.

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D iamonds And Deserts in

Dubai

Dubai is a prime example of a city bound only by the limits of its creator’s imagination. From the man-made Palm Trilogy to the tallest building in the world; this is one destination that will leave you inspired at every turn. There’s no better way to get acquainted with Dubai than by taking a trip to the top of its tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to peer out over the city and Persian Gulf far below. Dubai’s neatly split districts, each a quick cab ride apart, can easily be explored in a morning or afternoon, leaving plenty of time for shopping, relaxing or feasting in one of the city’s incredible restaurants. Despite its outlandish modernity, Dubai offers a fantastic insight into Arabian culture with the souks still thriving, trading everything from gold to cloth to fish on a daily basis. You’re also in the perfect position for some desert exploration. We say take to the rolling sand dunes of the surrounding desert in a Land Rover. When you reach a vantage point high upon a sandy mound, you’ll be afforded some spectacular views of the red desert sands spreading out before you for as far as the eye can see.

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Get acquainted with Dubai by taking a trip to the top of its tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to peer out over the city and Persian Gulf far below.

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Raffles Dubai

This iconic pyramid shaped hotel in the centre of Dubai redefines luxury. After a long day out punishing the plastic in one of the city’s many glamorous malls, wind down amongst the hotel’s brilliant contemporary interiors, faultless service and superb restaurants. Enjoy some shisha carefully hand-picked by the hotel’s shisha sommelier before tucking yourself up in one of the Middle Eastern styled rooms.

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LO CAT I ON Dubai sits beside the waters of the Persian Gulf and is bordered by deserts, so you know what that means….camel and jeep safaris aplenty. If you’re in need of a little retail therapy, the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Dubai’s shopping district, so whether it’s the glitzy malls or Dubai’s enigmatic souks, you’re well placed. Arrival wise, after leaving Dubai’s international airport you’ll be in your retreat within 10 minutes.

YO UR ROOM Keeping with the Raffles tradition, there’s a huge selection of rooms on offer here with most of the inspiration for the interiors and decor coming from the Middle East and Asia. The size of the rooms at Raffles Dubai are the largest in the city – starting with the Signature Rooms, which cover more than 70 sq. m. These spacious rooms and suites have a private balcony with stunning views of the city skyline. Oh, and if you really feel like splashing out, then opt for the Royal suite. With a four poster bed, separate his and her en-suite bathrooms and your own dining room featuring a separate kitchen with access for butlers, it’s no hard thing making this room your private sanctuary.

W H Y WE LI KE IT The spa here is just too good to be missed. After a treatment inspired from the great traditions of Asia, the Middle East and Europe in one of the six private spa suites, you’re bound to feel nourished and refreshed. Some treatments even utilise the hotel’s private garden sanctuary, a part of Raffles botanical gardens.

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C it y C hic and Delectable Dining i n

Paris

Paris is the ideal destination for all the romantics, art enthusiasts, food fanatics and boutique shoppers amongst us (that’s pretty much everyone, then) and with a luxurious stay at Le Royal Monceau sorted, it’s time to discover what the land of love has in store for you. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the city by taking a stroll to the Arc du Triomphe before wandering down what’s often referred to as the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs Elysee. As you’re probably well aware, this incredible metropolis also has a fascinating and vibrant history to rival that of most European cities, and the Marais is a unique area of Paris where much of the 17th Century architecture remains. It’s great for exploring, with an array of boutique shops, restaurants and cafes lining its lanes. Then there’s the oh-so-famous French cuisine. With plenty of Michelin starred restaurants around, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Le Cinq is one of our favourites, so we’ll book you in early to avoid missing out.

This incredible metropolis also has a fascinating and vibrant history to rival that of most European cities.

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Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris has embodied Parisian elegance and glamour since its original opening in the late 1920’s. Recently this luxury bolthole underwent an artistic renovation, and has now become a haven for the cultural elite. Curl up in one of the hotel’s 149 historically inspired suites by night and fuss over the hotel’s numerous renowned pieces of art by day.

LO CAT I O N Set in the heart of this romantic city, you really have no excuse not to fully immerse yourself in Parisian culture (especially when you’re just moments away from the Arc du Triomphe). Being in the city centre, getting to this luxury bolthole isn’t difficult either. Just a short 45 minute journey will take you from Charles de Gaulle airport to the hotel reception.

YO U R RO OM The hotel rooms and suites, inspired by the 1940’s and 50’s, are drenched in history and provide a narrative of their own that guests are encouraged to discover. All of the artwork, acoustic guitars and unique objects to be found play their part in the room’s unique story. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to types of suites, but whether it’s the ‘artistic studio room’ made to resemble an artists’ gallery or the ‘Parisian suite’ representative of a Parisian apartment, you’re guaranteed top-notch luxurious style.

WHY WE LIKE IT Being in Paris, it would be criminal not to mention the food, but as much as we’ve gone crazy for the pastries and the delectable authentic French cuisine, we just can’t stop thinking about the spa ‘My Blend’ by Clarins. A fully customised treatment and complimentary two week supply of product, et voila, you’re ready for your close up.

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Sun sh ine & Serenity in Sunsh

The Seychelles

The epitome of ‘barefoot luxury’– the Seychelles will truly take your breath away.

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Undiscovered, isolated and incredibly beautiful, the Seychelles really is your archetypical island idyll. Often referred to as ‘The Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ (and rightly so) the Seychelles not only boasts hundreds of pristine beaches, but also a swathe of incredible national parks home to some fascinating endemic wildlife. It’s therefore no wonder it has become a bit of a conservation hot spot. Embark on a hike at the Vallée de Mai UNESCO World Heritage Site – a spectacularly eerie emerald palm forest, unchanged since prehistoric times and filled with giant coco de mer trees, only to be found in the Seychelles. We’d also recommend spending some time with the giant tortoises on nearby Curieuse Island, a redearthed sliver of paradise, home to some incredibly rare flora and fauna. Oh, and of course, be sure to kick back and relax by the sea, cocktail in hand. It is the Seychelles after all.

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Raffles Praslin Seychelles Although the Seychelles’ naturally good looks add to the idyllic vibe of Raffles Praslin, this hotel certainly keeps up with the brands unbreakable legacy of unsurpassed luxury and service. After a hard day playing on the powder soft shores or indulging the island explorer inside, choose from the extensive range of carefully prepared cocktails and enjoy a Cuban cigar at the Danzil lounge. Pure island bliss, you might say.

LOCATION If you’re not familiar with the Seychelles scenery,allow us to introduce you. Imagine lush tropical greenery and dramatic granite rocks surrounded by pristine white sands and the azure Indian Ocean. Sound like paradise? We think so. The Raffles Praslin is located on the island of Praslin, the second largest of the Seychelles archipelago, home to natural wonders such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai and Anse Lazio, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Only fifteen minutes by plane or helicopter from Mahé island, and a million miles from ordinary, Raffles is loved by those with a taste for the very best.

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YO U R RO OM With villas dotted around the resort, you can be picky about which film-set sight you’d like to wake up to. Whatever your choice, your pad will come with contemporary furnishings in soothing tones. Bearing in mind the scenery, you’re bound to be eager to spend as much time in the great outdoors as possible. And that’s totally allowed, better yet, it has been catered for. Your expansive outdoor pavilion is so well-equipped you could pretty much live there. Enjoy an in-villa breakfast on your private dining area with your butler preparing your eggs and toast just the way you like it. Need a little more secluded down-time? Then chillout in your private pool during the day and as night falls, treat yourself with a massage under the stars on your private deck.

WHY WE LIKE IT We simply can’t get enough of the spa, which has been recognised as the best in the Seychelles. The core philosophy surrounding the iconic Lotus flower treatments are divided into different categories; Bud (body), Blossom (beauty) and Bloom (full experiences), to ensure that your tailor-made treatments suit your every need. We particularly love the Pure Pearl treatment which features exfoliating pearl powder. Nature has never been so luxurious.

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M arke t s, Museums & Th e Mekong i n

Phnom Penh

Welcome to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s largest city and buzzing capital. The city’s busy, motorbike choked streets might seem daunting at first, but it won’t be long before you settle in to Phnom Penh’s exciting atmosphere and discover a beautiful city steeped in Khmer history. We’d recommend hopping onto a cycle rickshaw to be transported past the best of the city’s historic architecture, including the Old Post Office, the Railway Station and the Central Market. A serene cruise along the Mekong River catching some breath-taking views is another Black Tomato favourite, whilst dining on Asian cuisine at the much revered Friends restaurant is a must when you’re ready for re-fuelling. Phnom Penh Charity Institution, set in a beautiful colonial villa, is also worth a visit. Here you can examine the painful, heart wrenching reminders of Cambodia’s ugly past under the Khmer Rouge regime. Although a grim reminder of humanity’s atrocities, the Charity Institution, Tuol Sleung Museum and The Killing Fields are important historical sites that we thoroughly recommend you visit.

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H i stor ic Wond ers & Ch arming Arch itec t ure i n

Siem Reap

As the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap is one of the world’s most popular destinations and welcomes a steady stream of tourists year round. Yep, it’s busy, but this laid back metropolis has a unique charm to it that you wouldn’t expect from such a popular hot spot. With beautiful French Colonial architecture lining its charming lanes in the Old French Quarter and vibrant markets selling anything from tacky tourist souvenirs to stunning artwork, this is one city that is a pleasure to explore. If you get stuck on where to eat, head over to Bayon Restaurant, one of the best in the area for some seriously tasty food. Your visit to Siem Reap will inevitably include extensive exploration of the Angkor region. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, amongst many others, are stunning reminders of the power of a once great civilisation. The surrounding verdant green jungle only adds to the eerie atmosphere that pervades this important archaeological site, especially in and around Ta Prohm, where tree roots have grown through the ruins in true Indiana Jones style.

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Raffles Hotel Le Royal Cambodia

Hotel Le Royal is brimming with history and authentic Cambodian charm. This extends to the suites, where you’ll find traditional antiques, artworks and hand-made silks. Located in the thick of Cambodia’s alluring capital city, this luxury bolthole offers guests a serene escape from city bustle. After a private Mekong river cruise, (the perfect way to discover the city and its waters in our opinion), unwind with a drink in hand at the hotel’s poolside terrace.

Location Set in the heart of the city, the hotel is perfectly located for exploring everything Phnom Penh has to offer and with the international airport a mere 30 minute car journey away, the location really couldn’t be better.

your room You can expect your luxury suite to be decorated in French Indochinese style and many of the rooms come equipped with original antiques, artwork and custom-made Cambodian silks. Staying true to Raffles form, the hotel incorporates much of its own history into the design of the suites. The personality suites, for example, have been named after and designed around famous dignitaries who have graced the hotel with their presence.

WH Y W E L I K E I T A certain ‘Elephant Bar’ has taken our fancy due to its ability to combine a killer cocktail with, once again, the hotel’s history. Here you can find the hotel’s signature cocktail, Femme Fatale, which was inspired by Ms Jacqueline Kennedy’s visit back in the late 1970’s.

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Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor Cambodia

Expect to find old-world Cambodian grandeur and elegance aplenty in this luxury hotel. It’s not just the French Indochina decor you’ll be sleeping amongst that makes the Grand Hotel d’Angkor a favourite of ours, but the hotel pool replicating the ancient bathing pools of the Khmer Kings certainly add to the hotel’s charm.

Location The Grand Hotel d’Angkor is equidistant from the international airport and Angkor Wat, with both being a quick 8k away. Plus, the main market centre is only a 10 minute walk, so we’d say you’re pretty spoilt location wise. Obviously, the main draw to Siem Reap is the famed Angkor Wat, but that’s not to say the charming city itself should be neglected. Here you’ll find tree-lined boulevards, markets and delectable food.

your room From the bathrooms equipped with claw-footed baths and separate showers to the main area of your suite, you’ll be left awe inspired by the pure luxury of your accommodation. You can expect your abode, in the French Indochina style, to be decked out with local features such as custom-made Cambodian linens, silks and leathers.

W H Y W E L IKE IT

We’re all about making the most of the exotic location you find yourself in, and we feel this extends into the culinary history of a country. That’s why we adore the hotel’s ‘Restaurant Le Grand’ which explores the ancient cuisine of Royal Khmer. We sometimes like to think of ourselves as wine connoisseurs in the making, so our favourite part of the dining experience was choosing from the 400 wines the restaurant offers. pair these stunning hotels on an all encompassing trip to cambodia >

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Ancie nt He r i tage & Modern Movemen t s i n

Beijing

Of course, no visit to this beautiful city would be complete without a stroll through Tiananmen Square. At a mammoth 440,000 square metres, the sheer size of the square is impressive enough but add its historical significance, Mao’s mausoleum and the foreboding gates of the Forbidden City and you’ll quickly feel as though you are stood at the very centre of the Chinese dynasty. Beijing is also the gateway to the Great Wall of China, a truly unmissable UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make your way along the ramparts and prepare yourself for some truly inspiring views.

Beijing is a must see on any allencompassing Asian itinerary. 

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For a slice of modern Beijing, head over to the 798 arts district, home to Beijing’s thriving artistic community. Once a factory compound, these old industrial buildings have been spectacularly converted into art galleries, book shops, bars and artists’ studios. Exploring a city as exciting as Beijing is certain to fuel your appetite,hence we recommend a trip to Baoyuan (Chaoyang District), a buzzing local affair specializing in multi-colour dumplings served by the half dozen. The place is always busy but be sure not to miss the weird, yet totally wonderful blueberry dumplings. Microbreweries are also big business in Beijing and at the end of a day exploring the city, the Great Leap Brewery or Slow Boat Taproom are perfect places to sample a spot of the local brew.

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Raffles Beijing

Raffles have deservedly made a name for themselves in the travel world by providing faultless service and exquisite luxury throughout their huge collection of hotels worldwide. And guess what? Raffles Beijing is no different. Both centrally located and fantastically designed (well, what else would you expect from a Raffles hotel?) here’s why we think you should go...

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Location The iconic Raffles Hotel in Beijing couldn’t be more perfectly situated. With both the Forbidden City and central Beijing close by, this luxurious hotel makes getting the most out of Beijing a hassle-free and utterly enjoyable experience.

your room Raffles Beijing has an incredible selection of luxury rooms and suites on offer. If you’re looking for pure indulgence, opt for one of the hotel’s 24 suites. 23 of these luxury suites occupy spaces of around 9500 square ft, giving you plenty of room in which to kick back and relax after a dumpling noodle and tofu fuelled day exploring this oriental city. With beautifully designed marble bathrooms, huge four poster beds and complimentary Wi-Fi, these rooms are the perfect retreat for weary travellers. Oh, and then there’s the Presidential Suite, one of the most luxurious in Beijing, and the largest at an incredible 888 square meters. Boasting 3 bedrooms, a sauna, fitness equipment, hometheatre and dining room, this suite occupies a breath taking 2 floors of the hotel. Now that’s something dreams are made of...

W H Y W E L IKE IT There’s nothing not to love about Raffles Beijing. All of the rooms and suites present the best in Chinese and French décor, whilst the hotel’s staff provide an un-paralleled customer service. With Jaan, the hotel even has its own award winning restaurant, offering the finest in modern French cuisine. If all of that’s not enough, its prime position next to one of the most significant historical landmarks in China, The Forbidden City, means you’ve not got far to go to get a taste of this stunning country’s ancient culture. Perfect.

S can here to book a lu x ury trip to B ei j ing with B lack T omato >

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Makati’s

C o s mo po litan Metro po lis

At the very heart of Metro Manila, Makati is a buzzing financial hub, home to the Philippine Stock Exchange and is the centre of the country’s economic progress. When walking amongst the new high rises and lavish hotels, it’s clear you’re in the midst of an adapting and expanding machine of a city, all with the added charm of the palm trees and twinkling lights that line the streets. Once you’ve had your fill at one of the many gourmet restaurants that spill out from Greenbelt, find serenity within this bustling centre at Greenbelt Park.

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Take a relaxing walk around the lush pastures and enjoy views over the stunning lily pond. Ayala Museum will shine a light on the history of the Philippines all the way from the Mactan battle to the country’s struggle for democracy. It’s a history easily digestible by viewing the vast array of paintings by Filipino artists on show. Spend a leisurely afternoon, shopping for local wicker and wooden handicrafts or take a tour of the incredible art collection on display at Raffles, showcasing the richness of Philippine history and culture and blurring the lines between hotel and top-class contemporary art museum.


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Ayala Museum will shine a light on the history of the Philippines all the way from the Mactan battle to the country’s struggle for democracy.

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Raffles Makati Philippines Amid the buzz of Makati, Raffles is an elegantly peaceful hideaway to unwind in, just a stone’s throw from Manila’s main business and entertainment district. With the renowned stellar Raffles service, a spa overlooking the city and first-class food all under one roof, this is an exceptional base for your foray to the Philippines.

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LO CAT I O N In the core of the Philippines’ financial quarter, Raffles Makati is the perfect place to set up camp before venturing into the lively, multicultural urban surroundings of Makati, one of Manila’s seventeen cities. Set only seven miles from the international airport, the hotel is perfectly positioned to visit attractions like the country’s leading cultural institution, the Ayala Museum and the old walled capital of Intramuros – whilst the hotel’s limo service is at hand to escort you anywhere you like.

WHY WE LIKE IT All of Raffles Makati’s rooms have spectacular floor-to-ceiling glass windows through which you’ll see the glittering cityscape of Manila and the waters of Laguna Bay. Decorated in a contemporary style with nods to local Filipino culture the dashes of colour, high ceilings, rain shower, roomy tub and pillow menu all make for pretty palatial surroundings to escape the city in.

YO U R RO OM We admit it – we’re not entirely opposed to being spoiled and spoiled by the staff at this hotel we were. Friendly and eager to please, nothing poses a problem for the hotel’s butler service. The only drawback is returning to reality afterwards: can’t we take them home in our suitcase?

S can here to e x plore the stunning natural beauty o f the P hilippines with B lack T omato >

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The Heritage | Raffles Hotel & Resorts