One of the world's most famous hotels, Raffles in Singapore, has been saved from demolition.
GV EXTERIOR Raffles Hotel in Singapore (3 shots)
SV Hotel customers (2 shots)
SV The Long Bar with barman preparing Raffles famous Singapore GinSling (2 shots)
GV Hotel lobby (2 shots)
SCU Pictures of famous guests (5 shots)
GV INTERIOR Accommodation area (2 shots)
GV Dining rooms in hotel (3 shots)
SV & GV EXTERIOR Garden and relaxation area 92 shots
SV Accommodation area where famous film stars stay (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Raffles Hotel
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Background: One of the world's most famous hotels, Raffles in Singapore, has been saved from demolition. In past years, the hotel was frequented by such distinguished literary figures as Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham.
SYNOPSIS: The hotel was named after the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. The threat that it might close led a group of American and British businessmen to campaign for its preservation. They said that if necessary they would buy out a government bank's major interest.
A little embarrassed at the level of international concern over the hotel's fate in the absence of any local feeling, the Singapore government has now said that the hotel will remain. The bank which owns Raffles has not been prepared to invest in the necessary upkeep of the hotel while its fate has been in the balance.
However, the tourists still flock here and the occupancy rate has never been higher with guests drawn mainly by the hotel's romantic past.
Rudyard Kipling once said that "one should feed at Raffles when in Singapore". Joseph Conrard lived and wrote there. And for almost forty years so did Somerset Maugham, who believed Raffles stood for all the fables of the exotic east. The famous entertained and resided there.
But the cost of keeping the grand old timber building in good condition has been high. Although the favourable occupancy rate has returned a profit, it's been small compared with the potential return if the site were to be redeveloped.
The government's compromise will preserve the essential and historic section so of the 140-room hotel while allowing its owners to redevelop the rest of the site.
One of the main arguments against Raffles' preservation is that it means nothing to the Singaporeans. Whether they care or not, their government has now decided that it will be the centrepiece of a new Raffles city development. Another generation of romantics will be able to sit at its long bars and dream about how things used to be.