Is The Entertainer good value for money?

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For the uninitiated, The Entertainer is a booklet of coupons that gives you 1 for 1 deals on dining, activities, hotels, spas and retail.

The Entertainer costs S$85 but if you use the code 2016MONEYSMART (I’m sure they doesn’t mind me reposting it, they probably earn a commission for every person who signs up using their link anyway) you get S$10 off as shown below.

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All the coupons in The Entertainer are valid for the calendar year, ie 1st Jan to 31st Dec 2016. Given that we’re already in May, does it still make sense to buy it?

Only you can answer that question, because the value you get depends on your pre-existing lifestyle spending patterns. If you’re the type who doesn’t really like eating out or in general spends very little money on activities/ spas, you certainly shouldn’t let this change that.

But if you already set aside a certain amount of money to indulge in these things, you can still save a lot by buying The Entertainer now.

Below I’m going to highlight some of what I think are the better deals

Dining

The Fat Cow

I do not use the term “life-changing” lightly (I believe the 2 life-changing experiences I have had this year are The Conrad Koh Samui and the discovery of muskmelon), but The Fat Cow is without a doubt life-changing.

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This restaurant serves some of the finest Japanese beef to ever make it to our shores, and although it’s not cheap (for the best experience, skip the Australia/US offerings and go right for the Ohmi Grade A4 Ribeye @ $120), the 1 for 1 voucher will at least put it in the “splurge” category (as opposed to the insane category)

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Oh, and you cannot miss the Fat Rice, which is every bit as good as it sounds

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Protip: If you are craving Fat Cow but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket you can go for their lunch menu, where $45 buys you a Fat Cow donburri. The beef won’t be as good as the ala carte cuts, it’s still tremendous value all things considered.

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Ristorante Amarone & Gattopardo

Pasta Mancini, used at Gattopardo

Those who know me know I love my pasta. And am obsessive about it. And that I can spend an hour talking about the differences between bronze-drawn and teflon-drawn pasta, why you should never eat Barilla (much less San Remo which by the way isn’t even an Italian brand) and how you identify a good Italian restaurant (they don’t use Barilla). A great primer on the subject can be found here

San Remo pasta. Not actually from Italy.

 

Till then, know that Amarone and Gattopardo  are on the Milelion’s approved list of Italian eateries and they both have 1 for 1 with The Entertainer.

Amarone at Capital Tower

I realise each person’s dining preferences differ so you should definitely read through the list of restaurants yourself and see if there are 1 or 2 big ticket restaurants where the savings from 1 meal could pay for the cost of The Entertainer itself.

Hotels

Conrad Koh Samui Residences

I mentioned in my article on how to hack the Conrad Koh Samui that the (more expensive) Conrad Koh Samui residences are covered under the 1 for 1 stay voucher. If you’re able to find 3 other people to go with you could still stay for as little as S$280 a person a night. Which, considering the usual S$1,000+ rates isn’t that bad.

Other beach destinations

Shangri-la Maldives

There are also many great hotel deals in beach destinations like Phuket (Banyan Tree, JW Marriott etc), Bali (Fairmont Sanur, Pan Pacific Nirwana) and the Maldives (Banyan Tree, Shangri-la, the Taj). If you’re intending to honeymoon in one of these locations then you should see whether you can make these discounts work.

The only caveat I’d add here is that the 1 for 1 deals might not be a great idea in the Maldives, where the best resorts are located on private islands only reachable by seaplane (~US$500 per person). So unless you’ve got the financial firepower to stay at that particular place your whole trip it doesn’t make sense to stay only 2 nights. Contrast this to a place like Phuket or Koh Samui where you can (relatively) easily resort hop after your 2 nights are up. I suppose you could always get your partner to make a booking as well and enjoy 4 nights for the price of 2 though.

Banyan Tree Maldives

Note that the conditions of the voucher require you to book the first night as the “Best Available Rate”. This refers to a refundable rate, so while I’m pretty sure that 2 x Prepaid-rate room nights will still cost more than 1 x Best Available rate room night, it does make sense to check and see how much of a deal you’re getting

In this example from the Conrad Koh Samui Residences, you can see that the lowest rate available is a prepaid THB 34,425 a night, but the BAR is THB 45,900. Therefore, your savings aren’t technically 50%, but more like 33% (based on 45,900 vs 34,425*2)

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Activities and Spa

Not my area of specialty, but there are a large number of buy 1 get 1 free treatments. No guarantee that they’re the sort of places that won’t engage in hard-sell tactics, but there are some reputable names here like Adeva .

Similarly, there is an extensive list of couples activities that you can do on weekends.  Examples include Aqua Spin, BreakOut Games, Climb Asia, Combat Skirmish, Expat Kitchen, LilliPutt Indoor Mini Golf and Forest Adventure.

Conclusion

According to the app I’ve saved more than $500 already this year (although you could make a good argument about how that’s an illusory saving if it made me buy things I would not otherwise have) and I’m definitely going to renew it for 2017 when the time comes.

If you’re planning an upcoming big ticket hotel or restaurant spend, it’s worth it to check out whether you can use The Entertainer to save some money.

20 thoughts on “Is The Entertainer good value for money?”

  1. I’m surprised that you found the Fat Cow “life changing”. Granted that non-local food options generally aren’t that great in Singapore, but I found the Fat Cow underwhelming at that price point.

    1. granted what’s life changing for one person might not be for another, but that fat rice. that was something else altogether. Did you go for the japanese cuts?

  2. I too find fat cow nice, but not life changing. Also, because the discount is only on one main, the eventual discount isn’t much if you order loads of sides (Like the rice) which you inevitably have to do unless you just want to have a little piece of wagyu for dinner.

      1. The only life changing beef I’ve had has been in Tokyo. However Cut flank steaks, and the steak restaurant along Mohammed sultan road serves an excellent tomahawk. For good value try the wagyu or chops at royals steakhouse on jalan pisang.

          1. Try aragawa or kawamura, if you wrangle a reservation. But honestly there are so many good places in the ginza area just ask a local and you’re set! The Hotel concierge at the Shangrila is also a great asset for landing bookings.

  3. Planning to do a Maldives trip w the entertainer. First two nights in a resort near the destination airport, and thereafter the sea plane transfer to one of the entertainer resorts to avoid paying exorbitant transfer fees twice.

    Entertainer seems to be also running a promotion for some of the hotels on their list where it’s 2 for 2, 3 for 3.

    Separately, used Entertainer too to book upcoming stay at the conrad HK. Rate was similar to what u get with third party online travel agents with a variety of rooms to choose from, and free cancellation. Plus you can accrue the usual points+ miles(and applicable bonuses) and stay credit on the paid night. Total savings about 300 sgd. V good deal.

  4. I like pasta so much that i consume a few times a week. Yes, my pasta is usually off the shelf from the supermarket its the two brands you mentioned. Guess I have to stay clear from them from now on.

    So, is there any quality pasta you could recommend I can buy from mainstream supermarket and specialty store respectively?

    I recently also come across alce nero organic pasta, do u know if it’s good? Thanks.

    1. it’s ok for the first 20 years of my life i ate san remo. ah, the wasted years.

      the best supermarket brand pasta you can get is something called de cecco. it’s one step above barilla because they use bronze dies as opposed to barilla’s teflon. the price difference won’t be that great. if you’re in a specialty store look out for these brands (some of the more atas cold storage eg the one at PS will have too) – Rustichella D’Abruzzo (my personal fav), pasta mancini (can be found at da paolo), Benedetto Cavalieri, Martelli

      read this- http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/01/pasta-showdown-artisan-vs-industry/33127/

    2. re: alce nero pasta, my general policy regarding pasta is not to eat anything the italians wouldn’t. so all this whole grain pasta is just american nonsense, the italians have been eating regular durum pasta for forever and they dont have the health problems of the americans. i just checked out the website for alce nero and i’m a bit skeptical (i’m traditional that way)

  5. I’ve been offered a supposedly “special” price of $95 for the 2017 version. This seems to be more expensive than the 2016 version, which I got fr $75 using the code. Did the price increase? Not too sure if it will get more expensive or cheaper later.

      1. It’s listed as S$125 now? Care to elaborate the difference between Singapore and Cheers Singapore? They seem to have these 2 versions.

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