Excellent service as usual! I continue to recommend you to everyone I meet
Thank you Les. It was seamless
Keep up the good work
The organisation through Tamarind in India was excellent however when we were not met in Delhi by the Tamarind representative we called your 24 hour helpline and they were able to make contact with Tamarind and connect us to them.
Thanks again - it was a beautiful hotel with stunning views from our balcony.
Perfect service by Stan - friendly and helpful
All went smoothly and incredibly good service from Ewan. Will certainly use again. Much appreciated
A very good trip well organised and provided by DAF
Always excellent service from Kelly
One of the best companies around - staff can't do enough for you
Your service level has always been good. My last Swiss Air flight return from Bangkok via Zurich to London was an awful experience.
It was very clear and straightforward from the DialAFlight team. I was also very pleased to have a quick reminder call on the Friday before my departure to ask me about preparedness e.g. visa status.
We had a very enjoyable holiday.
Matthew was very helpful from the start of booking till the end of the journey
Excellent service, recommendations for hotels were spot on. Flights, transfers, hotels and arrangements were all very smooth.
Always use your company for my flights and recommend anyone looking to book flights to try you first.
This was not an issue with DialAFlight, but on our trip to Japan, we booked a beach hotel for the last four days of the trip. We planned to relax in the hotel swimming pool and on the beach. However, when we arrived, we were told that the pool and beaches were closed despite 36 degrees. The Japanese swimming season finishes on the 27th of August for the season no matter the weather, and pools and public beaches close. (We did break the rules and snuck a swim in the sea! But obviously couldn't use the hotel pool).
We have used DialAFlight for 18 years and enjoyed multiple trips per year. Never an issue, always a hassle free enjoyable time. I know we are safe and all of our bookings are handled expertly. Happy to recommend to anyone.
Joe Orton always incredibly helpful.
Everything went very smoothly. Thank you very much for organising the holiday and making it so easy. We really appreciate the excellent customer service - nothing was too much trouble and the two weeks were problem free.
Always great service Vinnie
Thanks for the help when UK air traffic control went down, much appreciated
First class service again
As ever service from Nick and Joe was excellent.
Staff very polite and helpful, thoroughly recommend
We are happy with the personal interactions and using the same person who knows us and what our needs are.
First rate service, thank you.
Will definitely use DialAFlight again. Great service
A Sikh in starched white uniform suddenly appears and scrunches across the gravel drive to greet me, his white beard almost merging with his turban. I hadn't seen him emerge from the building but he somehow seemed to materialise from nowhere.
This could only be Raffles, one of the most famous hotel names in the world.
I am whisked into the cool embrace of the lobby, where a glass of chilled mineral water arrives almost before I've had a chance to park myself on a leather sofa.
The brand-new atrium is not that different from the old one. It has cleaner, sharper lines, but retains the same bold sweep that suggests an impressive and desirable combination of elegance and sophistication.
It was here that, according to some reports, 300 Japanese officers and men fell on their swords after the surrender of Singapore to the Allies in 1945.
But such grisly ghosts hardly hit the right note following a multi-million-pound refurbishment that has taken two-and-a-half years to complete. It officially reopened in the summer of 2019.
The hotel says the restoration was designed to ensure that everything that is so special about Raffles was carefully preserved – the ambience, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. They have certainly succeeded in that.
There are still the graceful courtyards to relax in, while new bars, restaurants and shops have been added.
The changes have simply enhanced the comfort and splendour.
Raffles Singapore was born in 1887, the year the Armenian Sarkies brothers took over an unprepossessing ten-bedroom bungalow and set about pulling in the great and the good.
From such humble beginnings, the hotel was quickly expanded and word of mouth brought in royalty, as well as celebrities.
It was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who colonised Singapore 200 years ago for the British East India Company and became Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies. It was a bold move to summon up this heroic, swashbuckling frontiersman – but, my goodness, it has paid off.
Noel Coward first stayed for a month in 1931, after completing Private Lives. He recalled in his memoirs drinking his first Singapore Sling and he remained a loyal guest until his final visit in 1968.
The literary roll call is impressive – Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, French novelist, art historian and statesman Andre Malraux, German-born poet, novelist and painter Hermann Hesse and Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda for starters.
Then there are the glamorous fans: Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and, more recently, Johnny Depp and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
There are 115 guest-rooms, all suites. I am shown into a State Room Suite overlooking the quad, with a huge marble bathroom and a bath the size of a small cargo vessel.
The double sink seems excessive for one man and his toothbrush. Ditto the opulent bed. But I'm not complaining.
The flat-screen TV has been discreetly inlaid into the wall so that it looks like a decorative obsidian plaque. 'I think we should pop down to the Long Bar and take a refreshment,' says my charming hotel guide.
Good idea. First, I pop into the Writers Bar, taking in the cool granite and mahogany, contrasting with marble and alabaster walls. It's as 'airy as a birdcage', as Conrad put it in his novella The End Of The Tether.
I wander down the colonnaded corridors and around the green quadrangle before settling at a table in the Long Bar.
A cast-iron hand-cranked contraption on the bar, designed for shaking multiple cocktails, gets to work producing the hotel's signature drink, the Singapore Sling. It is a powerful concoction made from Cointreau, pineapple and lime juice, gin, grenadine, cherry liqueur, Benedictine and Angostura bitters. That's all.
Order this in my local back home and the barman would think I was taking the mickey. Here, it's the most natural thing in the world.
First published in the Daily Mail - March 2020
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