Raffles Hotels & Resorts
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Raffles Hotels & Resorts is a collection of luxury properties located in major cities around the globe. Each hotel is known to have its own distinct personality. Raffles Hotels & Resorts is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a Canadian-based hotel company with over 105 hotels in 31 countries worldwide under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands. The company also owns Fairmont and Raffles branded Residences, Estates and luxury private residence club properties.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts was formed in 1989 to restore, redevelop and manage the Raffles Hotel. The corporation also undertakes the restructuring and management of the I.M Pei-designed Raffles City Development, thus laying the foundation for Raffles Hotels and Resorts to become a first-rate international hotel management company.
The Raffles Hotel reopened after a complete restoration on 16 September 1991 to international commendation. In 1997, the company opened the restored Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, marking the launch of its luxury resort brand. Thereafter, Raffles Hotels and Resorts further expanded its portfolio of properties with the acquirement of two European hotels; Brown's Hotel in London and Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg. The Raffles’ lifestyle concepts were also extended to Europe through the opening of two signature restaurants – 1837 in Brown’s Hotel and Doc Cheng’s in Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten.
In the year 2000, Raffles opened a new concept of health spas, named Amrita Spa, in Raffles City, Singapore, Raffles Hotel Singapore, Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Grand Hotel d’Angkor and Hotel Le Royal in Cambodia and Merchant Court Sydney. The name ‘Amrita’ is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning the ‘elixir of youth’. October 2000 marked the arrival of the Raffles International brand to North America with the acquisition of L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills, located on Burton Way.
On 1 January 2002, the re-branded Raffles The Plaza in Singapore joined the Raffles Hotels & Resorts family of hotels. By March 2002, four hotels in the Raffles Hotels & Resorts portfolio shared the Raffles name; Raffles Brown's Hotel, Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor and Raffles Hotel Le Royal.
On May 16, 2002, Raffles Hotels & Resorts Limited and Hotel Okura Co Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a strategic alliance. Under this strategic alliance, both parties will discuss and explore business opportunities and joint marketing and promotion activities. Hotel Okura Co. Ltd, with 23 hotels, has a strong domestic network in Japan and in select international destinations.
In August 2003, Raffles Hotels & Resorts signed its fourth management agreement with Canouan Resorts Development Ltd to operate a luxury resort on Canouan Island. Named Raffles Resort Canouan Island, Grenadines, the resort features 156 accommodations, an 18-hole golf course and a RafflesAmrita Spa. Later in 2003, the company signed a marketing alliance with Blue Tree Hotels & Resorts in Brazil in order to facilitate the connection of the two groups’ strengths in their respective stronghold markets.
On May 4, 2004, the famous Montreux Palace was renamed Raffles Le Montreux Palace, adding to the portfolio of Raffles brand hotels around the world. In August 2004, the company tied up with Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palace in the signing of a strategic marketing alliance. To further expand the portfolio into key destinations around the globe, Raffles Hotels and Resorts signed an agreement with Veritas Limited, a Hong Kong based company to manage a 65-villa luxury resort in French Polynesia under the name Raffles Taimana Resort Tahaa.
In December 2004, Raffles Hotels and Resorts unveiled its exclusive recognition programme, Raffles Capital which offers a collection of exceptional privileges to its most frequent residents. The word 'Capital' refers to an architectural term meaning the head of a column or pillar in colonial buildings. As ornate capitals adorn many of its heritage hotels, such as the legendary Raffles Hotel, Singapore, Raffles Hotels & Resorts has appropriately named its guest loyalty program Raffles Capital to recognize the top echelons of its customer base.
In April 2005, Raffles Hotels and Resorts Limited signed an agreement with the Beijing Tourism Group (BTG), to re-brand and manage two of the four blocks of the Beijing Hotel under the Raffles brand. After carrying out some renovations and refurbishment, it was re-launched as the Raffles Beijing in 2006.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts signed a management contract with Dubai-based diversified business conglomerate, Wafi Group, to manage a 240-room luxury hotel in Wafi City. Raffles Dubai marks the Wafi Group's expansion into the growing Middle East market.
On 18 October 2007, Raffles Hotels and Resorts signed an agreement with Royal Monceau Pte Ltd to manage Le Royal Monceau in Paris. The hotel will join Raffles Hotels and Resorts’ collection of luxury properties in winter 2008.
The drawing of the Traveler’s Palm depicted in the Raffles Hotels and Resorts logo is the work of British pen master, David Horridge. The native of Madagascar is actually a relative of the banana tree, which explains its large flat leaves. The leaves of the Traveler’s Palm are known to come to rest in an 'east-west' direction and thus have served as an informal compass for travelers making their way home after long journeys. Upon checking into a Raffles hotel or resort, guests are greeted by the staff who each wears a Traveler’s Palm-design pin. When Traveler’s Palm pin is seen, guests know that they have found their way home.
Raffles growth is accelerating. There are now 13 hotel projects in the development pipeline. Destinations include Bali, Jakarta, Macao, Tianjin, Manila, Phang Nga (Thailand), Da Nang (Vietnam), Marrakech, the Maldives, the Seychelles, St. Lucia, Tortola and French Polynesia.