SINGAPORE - I refer to the article, Is Raffles Losing Its Shine? (Life!, April 25).
I worked at Raffles Hotel in the early 2000s.
Recently, I took a stroll around the property and was dismayed to find that beyond the lack of upkeep, the service staff no longer have the passion and pride that my ex-colleagues and I had.
Food and beverage concepts unique to the hotel have been taken over by ubiquitous restaurants.
Some ground-floor toilets have become inaccessible to the public, with a notice stating they are for tenants' use only. Those open to the public are ill-maintained and fitted with a modern hand-dryer that looks out of sync with the rest of the decor.
The door to the utility room next to the restroom was left wide open.
On the service front, I was told to take my business elsewhere when I asked at the casual dining restaurant if the meal could be completed in 40 minutes, in time to catch a play at Jubilee Hall.
Only two or three tables were occupied at that time and despite being prompted to suggest the fastest available item on the menu, the service staff could not offer any suggestions.
Service staff were also seen busy texting on their cellphones. I could go on, but enough said.
To many Singaporeans and tourists, Raffles Hotel is a national monument and yet the state of the upkeep and the service I experienced as a guest is hardly befitting of that status.
I believe I am not alone when I say I hope to see the day that Raffles Hotel is restored to its former glory. This cannot be the closing chapter of a hotel as iconic as the Raffles.
This article was first published on May 16, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.