HotelsTea-tailoring, cocktail making and even pampering sessions for four-legged guests just some of experiences on offer.

How Singapore hotels are reopening with creative staycation offerings

One of the new experiences offered by Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is a picnic within its gardens, according to general manager Tane Picken.
One of the new experiences offered by Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is a picnic within its gardens, according to general manager Tane Picken.

Hotels in Singapore are going all out to attract locals looking for a staycation by offering novel add-on experiences that go beyond the usual room rate discounts and late check-outs.

This comes on the back of the Singapore Tourism Board's recent announcement that hotels may apply to accept staycation bookings and reopen recreation areas, subject to safety measures.

“Apart from safety considerations and price, what also matters (to staycationers) is offering unique and highly enjoyable hotel experiences that they otherwise cannot get at home. In other words, they do not seek the standard room and breakfast,” commented Far East Hospitality’s chief executive Arthur Kiong.

Several of the group’s properties have already applied to accept staycation bookings, according to Kiong. And while more details will only be unveiled once they have gotten the green light, he revealed that The Barracks Hotel on Sentosa will be offering luxury inclusions such as afternoon tea with free-flow champagne, a tea-tailoring experience and a limousine transfer.

With families being an important demographic for InterContinental Singapore, the hotel is providing flexibility with two staycation options – staying in or venturing out, shared Gerritt Chng-Luchau, director of sales & marketing, InterContinental Singapore.

The stay-in option will include an afternoon tea in the lobby lounge, an in-room welcome amenity for kids, board games and in-room dining credits; while the alternative entails an adventure to Madame Tussauds Singapore with complimentary tickets providing access to unique experiences such as the Singapore Boat Ride and Marvel 4D Experience.

Similarly, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is also offering attraction tickets to Jewel’s Canopy Park, which includes access to Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden and Topiary Walk, to ramp up its appeal.

“While overseas travel remains off limits, we believe Singapore residents would still want a getaway within the city as we’ve seen in the past. With Singaporeans’ love for staycations and everything that our hotel has to offer, we expect the local demand for a holiday at home to pick up gradually with international borders closed,” said Bruno Cristol, general manager of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.

At Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, general manager Tane Picken shared that the hotel can prepare a sumptuous grilled platter for two in its Garden Wing rooms or a picnic in its landscaped gardens, after which guests will be able to spend time at its newly-launched outdoor water play area that comes complete with slides, water sprouts and jet cannons.

The hotel also offers single-day passes with pools access, dining and spa credits.

Guests looking for more hands-on experiences will want to consider M Social Hotel Singapore, which will provide opportunities to try their hand at being a mixologist with cocktail-making tips from their resident mixologist, or create their own perfume during a complimentary workshop that lets them bring home a bottle of perfume.

Ascott, whose portfolio comprises serviced residences instead of hotels, is also competing for the staycation pie with lyf Funan Singapore partnering local merchants to offer exclusive discounts and activities for guests such as indoor rock climbing and car-sharing services.

The serviced apartment is one of the first five lodging properties in Singapore to get the green light to accept staycation bookings, according to Ervin Yeo, managing director for Southeast Asia, The Ascott Limited.

Yeo added that the group had already received numerous enquiries on staycations since the beginning of Singapore’s Phase 2 on June 18, and he is expecting “an uptick” in bookings across its properties.

Looking beyond families

In addition to families and couples, hotels such as Crowne Plaza Changi Airport and InterContinental Singapore are also setting their sights on the corporate crowd.

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport taps on the burgeoning virtual meetings trend by providing complimentary delivery to delegates. The bundle includes a breakfast sandwich, bento and dessert set lunch, afternoon snack and hotel-branded meeting amenities such as writing pad, pens and mints.

InterContinental Singapore offers a “day-cation” package that allows guests to make use of a private space within the hotel for 12 hours, and enjoy complimentary all-day coffee and tea, a morning and afternoon snack as well as bento lunch and drink. There is also an option for snack boxes to be delivered to off-site meeting delegates on the day of the meeting.

The luxury property also offers a five-star experience for guests with pets that come complete with a welcome amenity basket, plush pet bed, gourmet treats and an exclusive pet-friendly menu.

“We are optimistic on the demand from our Singapore residents as they had been consistently in our top source markets before Covid-19. The staycation packages that we are launching have been redesigned to ensure that they cater to local residents and their needs,” said InterContinental Singapore’s Chng-Luchau.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI