HotelsFrom mystery tours to Peter Rabbit, here are new ways Singapore hotels are levelling up in their staycay offerings.

Creative missions: Hotel experiences with a twist

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Singapore hotels continue to think outside the box to keep locals booking. Pictured: Production for game play at Raffles Hotel Singapore
Singapore hotels continue to think outside the box to keep locals booking. Pictured: Production for game play at Raffles Hotel Singapore

In an increasingly competitive staycation market, Singapore's hotels are kitting up even more novel and innovative ways to entice locals to stay and play in their premises.

In collaboration with local theatrical companies Double Confirm Productions and Sight Lines Entertainment, Raffles Hotel Singapore launched in April ‘The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure’ — turning guests into temporary detectives who go through a series of virtual reality and live investigative tasks during their stay.

Some guests have likened the experience to an 'escape room'. In the first two hours, guests immerse in a pre-recorded mystery plot performed by local thespians such as Hossan Leong, who provide the game background and directions to solving the rest of the physical treasure hunt around the hotel.

Armed with treasure hunt kits and iPads, guests then check in at various in-house locations such as the Raffles Courtyard, scanning QR codes to locate their next clues.

Due to its popularity among locals including families and couples, the activity has since been extended from its earlier June end date to December 2021. Bookings have come not just from local families and couples celebrating special occasions, but also quarantine guests returning from abroad.

Augmented reality brings art alive at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.
Augmented reality brings art alive at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.

Other hotels in Singapore are turning to augmented and virtual reality to create immersive guest experiences.

At the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, the iconic 'Moby Dick' white beluga whale swims above a guest's head while butterflies fly in the hotel lobby, all thanks to augmented reality.

Guests need simply download an app and go around three floors in search of art pieces by artists the likes of Frank Stella and Dale Chihuly, then watch as these paintings come alive in their phones.

The self-guided tour is free and open to non-hotel guests, attracting more than 1,000 participants since its February 2021 launch. Families are a common sight especially during the school holidays and weekends, notes Nathalyn Fong, the hotel's director of public relations and marketing communications.

Others like Sofitel Singapore City Centre is looking to animation to boost its staycation appeal. In conjunction with Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which opens in local theatres from 22 July, the luxury hotel is collaborating with Sony pictures to roll out a themed staycation.

The package includes a rabbit-themed children's tent in the room, farmer's market menus reminiscent of those found in London, meet-and-greet opportunities with the movie mascot, as well as related merchandise to take home.

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