With leisure travel out of question for the foreseeable future, there’s only one way to calm the ache of wanderlust (at least a little); a staycation. In a previous life before COVID-19, Singaporeans saw staycations as a convenient but slightly less glamorous version of an actual border-crossing getaway. However, our little red dot isn’t short of fantastic hotels that are reopening and stepping it up, offering experiences that will rival your favourite weekend getaways. As a team of avid travellers, we’re on board with this nation-wide embracing of staycations, especially when it also means that we’re supporting local and boosting the local economy. Here are our favourite re-opened hotels with offers that have us clicking ‘book now’:
1. Capella Singapore: Manor Experience
Located within 30-acres of lush rainforest on Sentosa island, Capella Singapore has cemented itself as one of the most luxurious hotels in the region over the last decade. Celebrating its reopening, the property is inviting families and loved ones to spend quality time together, without the need for air travel through their brand new ‘The Manor Experience’. The exclusive staycation offers an intimate, private yet spacious retreat featuring a range of activities, which all take place within one of the luxurious Manors.
The Manor Experience includes a dedicated Villa Host, who will be in contact throughout the stay and is on hand to ensure every wish and whim is catered to. Guests will also benefit from an array of in-Manor activities, including a 60-minute private yoga class on the outdoor terrace. Foodies will delight at the option of a private Chef Service, whereby a chef from the Capella Singapore culinary team will create a bespoke menu based on the taste preferences of the group, to be prepared and enjoyed in-Manor. Additionally, Capella Singapore’s beloved Afternoon Tea will be available to enjoy from the comfort of the private pool decks. For families with younger children to entertain, in-manor kids activities and pool props and floats are also available.
Capella Singapore’s Manor Experience is available for stays from now until 30th September 2020, with rates starting at SGD$9,000++ per night, per manor.
2. The Warehouse Hotel: Heritage Staycation
One of our favourite boutique hotels in Singapore for staycations, The Warehouse Hotel sits within a restored building from 1895 on the waterfront of Robertson Quay. We love how the hotel embraces its rich heritage at every turn; from specially-designed furniture and locally inspired cuisine, to contemporary artwork and the hotel’s own guidebooks of local neighbourhoods. Reminiscent of its industrial past, the lobby features exposed brick, machinery-inspired lighting and a vaulted ceiling.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Po, is an homage to the Mandarin word for grandmother, popo. The restaurant delivers sophisticated and memorable renditions of home-cooked specialties, just as popo used to make. The menu has been crafted by Chef-Partner and ‘mod-sin’ pioneer Willin Low.
The 37-room property is a great staycation option for couples looking for a quaint experience. Despite the property’s intimate size, each room has a unique configuration, channelling rustic tones of concrete and copper coupled with modern touches.
The Warehouse Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$330++ per night
3. Fullerton Hotel: Glamping Staycation
Swathed in history, The Fullerton Hotel is a neoclassical landmark in the heart of Singapore’s CBD. The hotel’s new Perfect Staycation experience is tailored for families looking to get out of the house and includes complimentary daily breakfast for the family, $100 food and beverage credit, a pair of Fullerton bears, complimentary parking, 20% off spa treatments and complimentary early check-in and late check-out.
For something a bit more unique, opt for the Family Glamping Package where camping out with the young ones no longer means having to survive the wild outdoors. Instead, you’ll be able to keep the little ones happy with a glamp-in at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. When night comes, tuck the children in their own take-home sleeping bags. After a refreshing night’s rest, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast spread overlooking Singapore River and drop by The Fullerton Heritage Gallery for a quick history lesson with the kids in tow.
The Fullerton Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$430++ per night
4. Raffles Hotel: Iconic Staycation
The iconic hotel, home of the Singapore Sling, has launched enticing staycation promotions to welcome guests back. The Suite Life staycation is available from now until 30 September 2020 and you’ll be able to enjoy your second night on the house. Available from now till 13th December, the Royal Raffles Experience is ideal for those looking for the ultimate luxury treat post-lockdown. You’ll arrive in style in the Raffles limousine and wake up to breakfast in-suite or at the luxurious Tiffin Room. The experience also features their quintessential Afternoon Tea at The Grand Lobby located at the heart of the hotel followed with an exclusive Afternoon Tea Etiquette session, perfect for bonding with your loved ones while learning all about tea decorum.
Raffles Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$795++ per night
As the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV continues to spread across the globe, the travel industry has taken a hit. In an attempt to curb transmission, the World Health Organisation has issued a ‘do not travel’ advisory for China, and more commercial airlines have suspended or services in and out of the country.
Outside of China, too, many companies and individuals are cancelling or postponing travel plans for fear of being infected, with the travel industry losing millions of dollars as a result. Inbound travel to countries such as Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam is being heavily impacted by the lack of outbound travel from China, which poses the question: how can hotels and other travel companies minimise the long-term impact of the virus?
- Slash prices: whilst it can be tempting to try and out-price, it’s vital that luxury hotels remember that the outbreak is temporary, and will not last forever. Lowering rates is damaging to brand equity and positioning, and can be detrimental in the long run
- Believe fake news: tabloid press and social media tend to indulge mass hysteria in times of crisis, and it’s vital for companies to remain calm and avoid speculation. Refer to the World Health Organisation and the local authorities for reliable updates
- Overreact or underprepare: whilst hysteria and panic will be detrimental, it’s also important to have contingency plans in place, so these are ready to implement if required. Consider the potential repercussions on operations should the situation worsen and be prepared to respond
- Appeal to the local market: with business and leisure travel being largely kept to a minimum, it’s important to address the local market in the immediate future, who are likely to be seeking new experiences closer to home
- Plan ahead: it’s important to have a crisis communications system prepared in case of worst-case scenario, including social media responses, media statements, and guest communications
- Strategise for recovery: use this time to relook at your 2020 Marketing Strategy so that you are ready to actively promote your brand when the time is right. People’s general attitudes towards travel are likely to have altered, so now is a time to reassure and inspire
A version of this has been featured on PR Week.
Perth has a number of beautiful hotels across the city, the V&VPR girls have suggested our favourite three places to stay – ideal for a weekend trip, or a longer visit:
Located in Perth’s CBD, the five-star InterContinental Perth is a stylish space with lush interior decorations and 20th century architecture. The hotel boasts an eclectic selection of restaurants both in and along the establishment including Ascua Spanish Grill, The Loft Lounge & Bar, and Grafitti. Hotel guests will also be conveniently within reach of Elizabeth Quay, an exciting waterfront precinct; and Hay Street Mall, Perth’s extensive retail core.
Based in the historic heart of Perth city, COMO The Treasury is a contemporary luxury hotel designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill. After spending the day exploring the city, guests can unwind with a classic afternoon tea at the Treasury Lounge and Bar or spoil themselves with the hotel’s varying list of wellness sessions and treatments ranging from facials, massage therapy, yoga and personal training.
The Colony at Mandoon Estate is perfect for those who would like to escape the hustle and bustle of the city in preference for exploring quaint historic towns, and investigating Perth’s best food and wine trails. Overlooking the banks of the Swan River and Mandoon Estate’s sprawling vineyards, this five-star accommodation provides an unparalleled sense of peace and is conveniently located near some of the Swan Valley region’s top attractions and trails.
Location, location, location — the first thing we consider when choosing our home base during vacation. Over the past year, a range of excellent hotels have opened in Kuala Lumpur but want to know which ones are our favourites?
The Westin Kuala Lumpur has one of the best locations in the city if tourist attractions, shopping malls and nightlife are your priorities. Located opposite Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and adjacent to Starhill Gallery, getting around the Golden Triangle is incredibly convenient. The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is one of those alluring establishments that captures the evocative spirit of travel. Built during Malaysia’s boom years before World War II, the hotel evokes a luxurious colonial atmosphere. Conveniently close to Sentral Station, the hotel is also near the National Museum, National Mosque, Islamic Arts Museum, Lake Gardens and Bird and Butterfly Parks. A bit further out from the city centre, Alila Bangsar is near a slew of sleek, hip cafés and tasteful hole in the walls in Bangsar. This modern skyscraper is situated in the lively, millennial neighbourhood of Bangsar — a 15-minute drive from the manic buzz and tourist footprint that is downtown KL.
Some more budget-friendly options include The Kuala Lumpur Journal, which is just off one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Jalan Sultan Ismail. Right in the city’s entertainment and shopping area Bukit Bintang, it’s also only a five-minute walk from the street food hub of Jalan Alor. Located in a historical colonial house with lots of character and charm, The Yard Boutique Hotel is another convenient yet cost-effective option and is ideal for travellers who like to combine the excitement of a buzzing city with absolute tranquillity.