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.
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:
If you booked a staycation and now got the no-dine-in rule in place, does that mean you booked a quarantine hotel stay?
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) May 14, 2021
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)|
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.
Others are resorting to simpler bento boxes, but even so, the photos I’ve seen so far look decent enough in terms of quantity.
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:
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Capitol Kempinski (link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Conrad Centennial (link 1, 2)
- Fairmont Singapore
- One Farrer
- Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
- Shangri-La Singapore (Valley Wing)
- Sofitel City Centre
- Sofitel Sentosa
- St Regis Singapore
- The Clan Hotel
- The Fullerton Hotel
- Mandarin Oriental
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…
…the Shangri-La Valley Wing’s afternoon tea…
…and the Ritz-Carlton’s evening spread.
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?
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||✅|
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.
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.