Tuesday 12 August 2008

Toilets of the Great British Empire Live On at Raffles Singapore

Raffles Hotel,
1 Beach Road


Where is it?

From the side entrance on Beach Road enter the courtyard and head immediately left. The Gentlemen’s toilets are on the left.


You can get your man to drive you around the corner to the front entrance where you will be escorted from you car by the rather elegant young chap with a turban.

What’s it like?

Raffles Hotel is a bit of the Great British Empire that has managed to survive a couple of world wars, with a brief ownership swap with the Japanese, and the more rapid modernisation of Singapore that’s gone on since. It’s one of those places in the world that will be forever England. It’s a haven where an Englishman can take tea and have a pee.

Raffles has also had a host of legendary visitors. Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling were amongst the earlier visitors, Noel Coward and the likes of Elizabeth Taylor coming more recently. And with a room costing from SG$1000 a night you can bet this is where the wealthy are staying.

You’ll gather that my boss will not stretch to that sort of price, so I just popped in to provide a surprise inspection and check if everything was up to scratch. So, what about the toilets?

In keeping with the style of the history of the hotel they were very Victorian. The solid wooden doors made you feel secure in the stool. No one was going to break through there. A comfy seat gave you time to reflect on the fact that your favourite author could well have sat in the same spot before moving on with the next voyage, a wonder who it was who shot the last tiger killed in Singapore in 1902 in the grounds of the hotel.

The fixtures were also solid with granite tops and tiles and gold fitting in abundance. The toilets were also clean, which given the traffic they got was surprising. In all a jolly good show!

Marks out of 10:

9. Good show old boy. Pip pip.

Comments to the management:

Keep up the good work. No slacking now – I could be back soon.

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