Banyan Tree may have launched the deal of the decade with their latest product called the Habitat Pass, which allows guests to pre-purchase 7 night blocks at participating hotels for a significant discount.
That sounds too good to be true, but provided you’re willing to stay at least 7 nights, this could be a fantastic proposition…
How does the Habitat Pass work?
First, you pick the brand you’d like to stay in:
- Banyan Tree: The most expensive and prestigious of all three brands, with both luxury resorts and high-end city hotels
- Angsana: A more budget-friendly option, which focuses on resorts instead of city hotels
- Cassia: Serviced apartments at an even lower price point than Angsana
After that, you buy a certain number of units. Each unit contains 7 nights, and all nights must be consumed at one go. As expected, the more units you purchase, the cheaper the per-night cost:
|(US$250/ night)||(US$120/ night)||(US$100/ night)|
|(US$225/ night)||(US$110/ night)||(US$90/ night)|
|(US$180/ night)||(US$100/ night)||(US$72/ night)|
|(US$150/ night)||(US$90/ night)||(US$60/ night)|
Units can be consumed at any of the following properties:
|*Max stay of 14 nights allowed|
Individual units cannot be split among different properties. For example, I cannot buy 1 unit to stay 3 nights at Banyan Tree Bangkok and 4 nights at Banyan Tree Bintan. If I want to experience both, I must buy 2 units, which will then let me spend 7 nights each at the Banyan Tree Bangkok and Banyan Tree Bintan.
Upon purchasing a Habitat Pass, you’ll receive a code via email that you can use to book participating hotels online.
What do stays under the Habitat Pass include?
All stays booked under the Habitat Pass include the following:
- Accommodation for 2 adults in the base room category
- Daily breakfast for 2 adults
- Hotel credits
Banyan Tree says that hotel credits can be “up to US$700”, but hasn’t uploaded the actual amounts at each property on its website yet. I asked the PR team about this, and they gave me the following indicative ranges:
- 1 Unit: US$50-150 hotel credits
- 2 Units: US$50-300 hotel credits
- 3 Units: US$150-500 hotel credits
- 4 Units: US$200-700 hotel credits
Stays can be cancelled for free up to 24 hours before arrival. They will not earn Accor points or airline miles.
How long is a Habitat Pass valid for?
The Habitat Pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. As per the FAQ:
No extensions are allowed at the moment, however, the management will review the extension policy based on travel restrictions and guidelines accordingly, if required.
In any case, the Habitat Pass is fully refundable if no units have been utilized (within 90 days of purchase).
Can I get a full refund if I cancel my purchase?
Yes, if no Units are utilized, and request is made within 90 days from date of transaction, then that purchase is eligible for a refund. However, bank charges incurred will be borne by customer.
No, if any Unit in a transaction has been utilized after purchase, the remaining Units in the same transaction are not eligible for a refund. No if the purchase has exceeded 90 days from date of transaction
The full T&C of the Habitat Pass can be found here.
Is the Habitat Pass worth it?
The biggest catch of the Habitat Pass is the prolonged stay period- unless you’re willing to stay seven nights in the same place, the Habitat Pass is of no use to you.
But while 7 days may be a bit too long for Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, it seems just nice for somewhere like the Maldives. Imagine the following prices:
- Angsana Ihuru (7 nights @ US$120/night)
- Angsana Velavaru (7 nights @ US$120/night)
- Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru (7 nights @ US$250/night)
I don’t need to tell you that this could be the deal of the decade, given how regular prices can be in excess of US$1,000 per night. You have to factor in other costs, such as transport and the hefty price of F&B in the Maldives, but surely you’ll still come out on top?
Do note that blackout dates apply, but they don’t appear to be too onerous. I went to check the blackout dates for the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru specifically and found the following:
- 24 December 2020 to 6 January 2021
- 11-24 February 2021
- 8-9 March 2021
- 1-10 April 2021
You can do your own diligence on other participating properties before buying- enter the promo code habitat in the booking engine and search for blocks of 7 nights.
It’s tricky to compare the Habitat Pass to the deals we saw previously under Banyan Tree’s Ultimate Getaways Edition 1 and Edition 2, because those came with additional inclusions like spa treatments and F&B credits. However, we can draw some general observations:
- During Ultimate Getaways, 1 night at the Cassia Phuket cost US$80, a much better deal than buying 7 nights for US$100 each with the Habitat Pass. Likewise, 1 night at the Cassia Bintan cost US$102, which again is probably better than the Habitat Pass due to the lack of a minimum stay requirement
- Banyan Tree and Angsana Resorts, on the other hand, are significantly cheaper under the Habitat Pass as compared to Ultimate Getaways. The key question is whether you’re willing to commit to 7 nights on the trot
What card should I use to buy a Habitat Pass?
Banyan Tree purchases will code as online foreign currency hotel spending. You can use the following cards to maximize your miles:
|UOB Visa Signature
|4 mpd||Min S$1K, Max S$2K FCY spend per s. month|
|DBS Woman’s World Card
|4 mpd||Cap S$2K per c. month|
|UOB Lady’s Card*
|4 mpd||Max S$1K per c. month|
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire*
|4 mpd||Max S$3K per c. month|
||Max S$1K per c. month|
|3 mpd||Max S$5K per c. month|
|SCB Visa Infinite
||3 mpd||Min S$2K per s. month|
|S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month
*Must choose travel as quarterly bonus category
I have to say, I’m mighty tempted by this. Yes, travel plans for the next 12 months are touch and go, but since unused Habitat Passes are refundable, you’ll at most lose out on some FX differences and bank charges.
Update: The T&Cs have been updated to say that refunds will only be available within 90 days of purchase. That could give some reason to pause, although for the price on offer…
I guess the worst case scenario is that the company goes out of business in that time, but that’s an omnipresent risk for any hotel/airline booking you’re holding on to right now.
Is anyone tempted by the Banyan Tree Habitat Pass?