Singapore heritage property Raffles Hotel Singapore will be undergoing an extensive restoration programme, starting January 2017. The refurbishment marks the first restoration of the property since 1991, when the property closed for two and a half years.

The renovation will be conducted over the course of three phases in order to ensure the work has a minimal impact on regular operations, however the property is expected to close near the end of 2017 for the final phase. The newly restored property will then reopen in the second quarter of 2018.

The first phase will begin restoration work on the property’s arcade, which includes about 40 shops, The Ballroom and The Lawn indoor and outdoor function areas, as well as F&B offerings including the hotel’s Long bar, known as the home of the Singapore Sling cocktail. During the first and second phases of the restoration, the iconic drink will be served at the Bar & Billiard Room.

Beginning in mid-2017, the second restoration phase will include the main hotel building and the lobby, along with a portion of the hotel suites, before its scheduled closure towards the end of the year.

Speaking about the refurbishment, Simon Hirst, general manager of the hotel, said: “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 re-imagine 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 epicentre of Singapore’s social and cultural scene.”

The restoration will be conducted by architecture firm Aedas Singapore, which in the past has conducted refurbishment projects on properties including the London Coliseum. The interiors, meanwhile, will be overseen by designer Alexandra Champalimaud, whose previous work has included the Waldorf Astoria in New York and The Dorchester in London.

Comprising a total of 103 suites, Raffles Hotel Singapore was declared a National Monument in 1987 by the Singapore government.