Staycations during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): What to expect

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Staycations are permitted during Phase 2 (HA), but all the restrictions in place mean you might be better off staying home.

Singapore is now under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) conditions, a tightened set of measures intended to curb the community spread of COVID-19. This will last till Sunday, 13 June 2021, although further extensions are possible should the situation fail to improve.

Phase 2 (HA) will run till 16 June 2021, with Changi Airport off-limits to the public until at least 26 May 2021

I’ve already written about the impact that Phase 2 (HA) will have on the Hong Kong ATB, staycations and cruises, but it might be useful to delve a bit more into staycations specifically since the school holidays are just around the corner. 

To stay or not to stay?

While staycations are still permitted under Phase 2 (HA), the prevailing advice is that people stay home as much as possible during this period. I myself don’t have any staycations planned, and besides, with all the restrictions you’re likely to have a substandard experience during this time. To put it one way:

Most OTAs and hotels are offering complimentary refunds or rescheduling, so you won’t end up out-of-pocket if you choose to stay another time (unless your new stay happens to fall on a date where rates are higher). Your SingapoRediscovers vouchers can also be refunded. 

  • Klook: You may reschedule your stay to any date after 14 June 2021, or receive a full refund (subject to the T&Cs of the original package)
  • Traveloka: Customers should contact customer service regarding cancellation or rescheduling of bookings
  • Trip.com: All hotel booking status has been changed to “cancellable”. Cancellations can be made via the Trip.com app, or via customer service

But should you decide to stay anyway, here’s what you can expect from the staycation experience during Phase 2 (HA). 

What are hotel rates like during Phase 2 (HA)?

As you no doubt already know, hotel stays during Phase 2 (HA) will be “staycation-lite”, with restrictions in terms of dining and facilities (see below). 

But are you still paying the same? Mostly yes. 

There are exceptions, of course. Look at this example from PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay. Note now the weekday rate prices at S$217++ up till 13 June, after which it reverts to S$271++. Likewise, weekend rates are S$232-247++ up till 13 June, after which it reverts to upwards of S$290++. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the cash savings are worth what you forego in terms of experience, but at least it’s something. 

On the other hand, you also have properties where there’s no discernible rate difference during and after Phase 2 (HA). At The Fullerton Hotel for instance, weekday rates are fixed at S$352++, with weekends starting from S$412++.

Interestingly enough, some hotels will be cheaper post-Phase 2 (HA). Look at how the lowest rates at the Capitol Kempinski are available from the third week of June onwards. 

I’ve done a sample of hotels, and the general trend I found is that pricing will be the same during and after Phase 2 (HA). That suggests all the more that a postponement would make sense- why pay the same for less?

🏨 Hotels with same rates during and after Phase 2 (HA)
  • Fullerton Bay Hotel
  • Hilton Singapore
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Marriott Tangs Plaza
  • PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering
  • Rasa Sentosa Resort
  • Raffles Hotel
  • Sofitel City Centre
  • St Regis Singapore
  • W Sentosa Cove
  • Westin Singapore

What will breakfast be like?

Since dining-in is not permitted during Phase 2 (HA), guests will have to take their breakfast in their rooms. 

Some hotels, like the Dusit Thani, are pulling out all the stops to give guests a bona fide in-room dining experience.

Dusit Thani breakfast | Photo: Finn

Others are resorting to simpler bento boxes, but even so, the photos I’ve seen so far look decent enough in terms of quantity.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay breakfast | Photo: Leon
Pan Pacific Breakfast (Pacific Club) | Photo: Hui Ling
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering | Photo: Dan

Do keep in mind that the vast majority of hotels will limit you to a one-time order; you may be able to select more than one item depending on property, but because of manpower constraints they won’t make two trips to your room. 

The good folks on The Milelion’s Telegram Community have been contributing data points of breakfast during Phase 2 (HA), and I’ll link to a few others below:

What will the executive lounge experience be like?

The same scenario applies for executive lounges. Since you can’t eat outside the room, all items will be delivered.

Here’s the Hilton’s evening canapes…

Hilton evening canapes | Photo: Tx

…the Shangri-La Valley Wing’s afternoon tea…

Shangri-La Valley Wing high tea | Photo: Xin

…and the Ritz-Carlton’s evening spread. 

Ritz-Carlton evening canapes | Photo: Joel

There’s a notable difference in quality, but that’s just reflective of their baseline positioning. You wouldn’t expect the sub-S$200 Hilton to serve up the same grub as the S$700+ Ritz-Carlton, after all. 

What about hotel facilities?

Conrad Singapore swimming pool
Conrad Centennial swimming pool

Most hotel facilities will remain open, but there will be modifications in terms of maximum capacity. This means fewer people per time slot, and a limitation in terms of what activities can be done (e.g no facial treatments in spas, no gym access). 

Facility Permitted to operate?
🧸 Kid’s Clubs
🏋️ Gym
💆 Spa
No mask-less treatments
🏊 Swimming Pool
🎾 Outdoor Sports
Limited to two people max

While hotels may previously have turned a blind eye to people showing up without bookings (especially on weekdays when things are quiet), you can bet they’ll be extra on the ball right now. 

Conclusion

Even though staycations can continue during Phase 2 (HA), they’re not going to be nearly as fun as before. I understand that for those with kids, the school holidays are the only opportunity to spend family time together, but even so you might be better off rescheduling for the second half of June to get the most out of your staycation.

Here’s to a more rosy situation in a month’s time.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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dudytots

we all hope for a more rosy situation by 14 June 2021. But all of us must be prepared it can also tightened ANYTIME, and we can move to CB 2.0.

Salmon Lee

The environmentalist in me just had a heart attack when I scrolled down this story, especially seeing the photo of the breakfast by Shangri-la.

Last edited 30 days ago by Salmon Lee
Chuck

Yeah, its very self indulgent and likely have to reschedule my staycation.

As stated, turns into a quarantine like situation…..

Epc

To each their own but for me, this arrangement is perfect as it’s what I’ve always done. I’ve always viewed staycations as just relaxing in the room and taking advantage of the fact that you’re in the city center to order or take-away food from popular places without having to squeeze with the crowds. Call me savage, but I’d rather eat lobster with my hands in front of the TV casting Netflix and then going for a nice bubble bath after, rather than being in a crowded restaurant daintily using fork and knife to extract the meat out of said… Read more »

Amos

Same here. We’re going ahead as planned with the kids, because we don’t use the gym and the kids are too short for the majority of pools. And while the appeal of dining out during a staycation is understandable, the kids will be delighted with the tub since I can’t exactly fit in them comfortably, and the family enjoys devouring take-out meals in the comfort of the room anyway.

If we were on vacation abroad, sure, we too would prefer to venture out for meals and walks in 15 degree weather. Can’t really be bothered here.

shouldvewornacondom

this is a major bummer for parents hoping to take their kids somewhere during the june school hols. how to keep them entertained now?

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