Uber ended its global partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest in December last year, which was a shame because it was one of the few ways that those of us in Singapore could rack up elusive SPG points. Now, there’s been quite a lot of hearsay and rumours circulating about the future of Uber in Southeast Asia, but in the meantime it’s business as usual, and a good sign to see the company still coming up with new initiatives and partnerships.
One new partnership was announced today, in the form of an alliance between Uber and Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Singapore. Guests who book a Stay & Ride with Uber package at any of Millennium’s six Singapore properties will enjoy the following
- One complimentary Uber ride each day of their stay, from the hotel to anywhere in Singapore
- Complimentary buffet breakfast for two
- Free room upgrade (based on availability)
- Free Wi-Fi
- Early check-in (based on availability)
- Late check-out (based on availability)
- F&B discounts up to 20%
It’s unclear what type of Uber is provided, but my best guess is an UberX. I can’t imagine them flagging UberBlacks for everyone.
The interesting thing about this is the free ride doesn’t come in the form of a promo code that you enter into your own personal Uber account on your smartphone. The hotel concierge uses a product called “Uber Central” to call rides for guests. It’s a kind of dashboard that allows the hotel to request and manage multiple rides at one go.
The key question then is how much more you’re paying for these rates. I pulled together some prices below are before taxes and surcharges, for the weekend of 7-8 April 2018. Because, as we know, nothing of consequence is happening on those dates. Uber rates are cancellable, so I looked for cancellable rates to compare.
|Property||Uber Rate||Cheapest Cancellable Rate||Difference|
|Grand Copthrone Waterfront||S$260||S$240||+S$20|
|Copthrone Kings Hotel Singapore||S$195||S$175||+S$20|
|Orchard Hotel Singapore||S$260||S$240||+S$20|
|M Hotel Singapore||S$220||S$200||+S$20|
A few points I want to highlight:
- All flexible rates include free Wi-Fi, upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, so the true incremental benefit you get from booking the Uber rate is the 1x free Uber ride per day, buffet breakfast for two and F&B discount
- With the exception of M Social, the Uber rate seems to be $20 above the flexible rate, which could be good value when you consider the retail cost of 2 buffet breakfasts plus an Uber ride
All six Millennium hotels are offering add-on one way Uber transfers to the airport at a flat rate of S$25. I’m a bit confused about this because my reading of the T&C seems to suggest that you get one Uber ride per day of your stay (as opposed to per night). This means you could potentially use the Uber ride on your day of check out to go to the hotel. Perhaps this is for people who have a late check out and use their one free Uber ride in the morning visiting something else?
The flat fee of S$25 to the airport might be a good deal if you’re leaving at a time when cabs are hard to come by and Uber goes all surgalicious. It does help that all the Millennium Hotels are in roughly the same location, so the cost to the hotel chain of a flat fee shouldn’t differ dramatically. For example, Uber’s fare calculator estimates the trip from M Social to the airport to be about S$18-23, without surge.
All in all, this is a useful option to be aware of if you’re booking a staycation at a Millennium Hotel in Singapore anytime soon. I did note that the non-refundable rates tend to be much cheaper though (I was seeing sub S$200 rates for the Easter package) so shop around before you buy.