Germany VTL: Which Singapore hotels can travellers self-isolate at?

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VTL travellers must self-isolate while awaiting their COVID-19 PCR results. Here's the best hotel options for arrivals from Munich and Frankfurt.

Upon arrival in Singapore, VTL travellers must undergo a PCR test at Changi Airport, then proceed directly to their declared self-isolation accommodation to wait for the results. 

Reminder to head directly to self-isolation accommodation

Two types of self-isolation accommodation are allowed:

  1. residential accommodation (i.e. HDB flat, condominium or landed property); or
  2. non-residential accommodation (i.e. hotel or serviced apartment)

While German residents will presumably have to opt for the latter, some Singapore residents may also wish to do so, either because their accommodation does not meet the requirements (enclosed private room with attached toilet), or out of an abundance of caution. 

However, some hotels explicitly do not accept VTL travellers, at least not until they’ve completed the full testing regime on Day 7. For example, Andaz Singapore has the following notice on its website:

Stays at Andaz Singapore are available to Singapore residents, and guests on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) who fulfil all the following:

  • Completed all 3 mandatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests in Singapore
  • Tested negative for all tests
  • Have been in Singapore for 7 days or longer
  • Have not been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the last 14 days
  • Do not display any COVID-19 symptoms

This basically rules it out as a self-isolation hotel. 

Fortunately, the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) has compiled a handy list of hotels which accept VTL travellers. 

VTL Self-isolation Hotels

Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list. In fact, there’s no such thing as an “approved” VTL hotel. The ICA states that VTL travellers can stay at any hotel they wish, so long as it can provide individual rooms with an en-suite toilet (and of course, takes VTL guests).

Note: Travellers may refer to the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) website for a list of hotels. The list is non-exhaustive, and travellers may book other available accommodations as long as they offer individual rooms with an en-suite toilet.

In this post we’ll look at the options, costs and potential issues with booking a self-isolation hotel in Singapore. 

How long do I need to self-isolate for?

Swab test tent at Changi Airport

While the advertised turnaround time for the swab test at Changi is 24 hours, in practice it’s much faster. I completed my swab around 8.52 a.m on the day of arrival, and received the results at 2.39 p.m the same day. This is par the course for Changi swabs, as per my understanding. 

While I can’t guarantee something funny won’t happen with your sample, I’d feel confident saying that booking anything more than a single night of self-isolation accommodation would be overkill. 

What time do VTL flights arrive in Singapore?

Flight Depart Arrive
SQ331 MUC
1315
SIN
0705 (+1)
SQ325 FRA
2200
SIN
1625 (+1)
LH778 FRA
2155
SIN
1645 (+1)

Before we look at the hotels, let’s look at VTL flight arrival times, because it presents a unique problem for travellers from Munich.

While the flights from Frankfurt land between 4-5 p.m, long after official check-in time at most hotels, the flight from Munich lands at 7.05 a.m. This presents a major headache, because it’s way too early for check-in, but it’s not like you can hang out in the hotel lobby until your room is ready. 

Unfortunately, most of the hotels I emailed (see below) asked me to book a room for the night before arrival. And since most hotels’ check-out time is at 12 p.m, you may have to book two nights, since your on-arrival PCR test results generally take 6-7 hours to process.

For example, suppose I arrive in Singapore at 7.05 a.m on 16 September. These hotels would expect me to make a booking from 15-17 September, in order to check-in early in the morning on the 16th and have sufficient time for the results to come out later that day. That’s double the cost compared to someone arriving from Frankfurt.

It means that the more cost-effective option for travellers fro Munich will be to seek out hotels that have day-use packages, which typically allow ~12 hours of room use starting in the morning. 

Self-isolation hotel options

As mentioned, the SHA provides a non-exhaustive list of ~90 hotels which will accept VTL travellers. 

VTL Self-isolation Hotels

I emailed each of these hotels, requesting a quote for the following scenario:

1 adult, arriving on Thursday 16 September at 0700 hours, room-only

I asked if they could provide early check-in, and whether it was possible to book the room in blocks of hours instead of the standard one night. 

Day Rates

The Four Seasons Singapore offers day-use rates

The following hotels offered me day-use rates, which allow for check-in on the morning of arrival without paying for a full night.

This makes them the best pick for VTL travellers from Munich, though they won’t be so useful to those from Frankfurt since it will be past 5 p.m by the time they arrive at the hotel.

Hotel Day Rate
(Nett)
Remarks
ST Signature Bugis S$66 8 a.m to 5 p.m
Hotel G S$88 7 a.m to 7 p.m
YOTELAIR Changi S$135 Flexible check-in, for 24 hours stay
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay S$177 8 a.m to 7 p.m
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering S$188 9 a.m to 5 p.m
Four Seasons Singapore S$198 7 a.m to 7 p.m
Capitol Kempinski S$224 7 a.m to 7 p.m, includes bf. and 2-course set lunch

The YOTELAIR Changi seems like a solid choice, since S$135 nett gets you a 24-hour stint that starts anytime you choose. This is more than enough time for your swab test result to come back, and its location is very convenient for arriving travellers. Just keep in mind the rooms are shoebox size, with no windows.

YOTELAir Changi Premium Queen Room
YOTELAIR Changi Premium Queen Room

You can’t be randomly wandering through Jewel of course, so an airport staff member will escort you directly there after the swab test at Changi. 

If claustrophobia is not your thing, the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering and Marina Bay, as well as Four Seasons, offer sub-S$200 options that will take you all the way till early evening. This should be enough time for the PCR result to come back.

I’ve written a separate article on “work from hotel” packages, which provides more options for day-use rates. However, I can’t guarantee all hotels in that article will accept VTL travellers. When in doubt, contact the hotel directly. 

Book 1 night with top-up

York Hotel requires a full night booking, but allows early check-in for a fee

The following hotels required me to book either the night before with a top-up for late check-out on the day of arrival, or the night of arrival with a top-up for early check-in on day of arrival. 

Hotel Per Night
(Nett)
Add. Cost for ECI/LCO
Hotel Nuve S$79 +S$50
+S$500 cleaning fee if your PCR test result comes back positive!
Quay Hotel Lavender S$90 +S$10 per hour before 2 p.m
Quality Hotel Marlow S$100 Offered early check-in on goodwill basis, YMMV
Hotel Nuve Elements S$110 +S$82
Hotel Clove S$140 +S$40
Ji Hotel Orchard S$175 +S$88
York Hotel S$177 +S$118
Grand Hyatt Singapore S$266 +50% for 6 p.m check-out

Book 2 nights

No concessions at the Fairmont Singapore, where Munich travellers will have to book two nights

The following hotels all required me to book two nights, making them poor options for travellers from Munich. Those arriving from Frankfurt, however, could consider these since their flight timing only requires one night. 

Hotel Per Night
(Nett)
Remarks
RedDoorz Premium @ Balestier S$55 +S$20 for 3x meals
RedDoorz @ Geylang S$55 +S$20 for 3x meals
ibis budget Clarke Quay S$70 +S$30 for 3x meals
Hotel Nuve Urbane S$72  
Hotel Bencoolen @ Bencoolen S$108 +S$42 for 3x meals
Quay Hotel West Coast S$110  
Grand Mercure Roxy S$135  
One Farrer Hotel S$140 Includes 3x meals
Village Hotel Bugis S$150 Includes 3x meals
Sultan Heritage Hotel S$144  
Ramada Singapore S$158 Includes 3x meals
Mandarin Orchard S$160  
Lloyd’s Inn S$188  
Hilton Singapore S$190  
Oasia Hotel Downtown S$200 +S$45 for 3x meals
Fairmont Singapore S$235  
Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa S$324  
Duxton Reserve S$399  
St. Regis Singapore S$423  
Shangri-La Sentosa S$506  

Not accepting VTL travellers

Despite being on the SHA list, the following hotels clarified they were not accepting VTL travellers:

  • Bliss Hotel Singapore
  • Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore
  • Harbour Ville Hotel
  • Hotel Fort Canning (will commence from October)
  • W Sentosa Cove

Conclusion

The choice of self-isolation hotel heavily depends on which flight you’re arriving on.

Travellers from Munich have fewer options, thanks to the early morning arrival. Their best bet would be to find a hotel with day-use rates, which should tide them over until their PCR result is ready.

It’s more straightforward for travellers from Frankfurt, whose arrival time fits well with traditional hotel check-in/check-out windows. 

Remember, self-isolation is only required for the PCR test on the day of arrival. There is no need to self-isolate after the Day 3 and 7 PCR tests. 

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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Happy Camper

Thanks for this, Aaron! Perfect article for me cos I was thinking of doing exactly this, (“out of abundance of precaution”)!

Only one question.. for hotels (eg. Hilton) that have points redemption, any idea if able to use use for the one (or multiple) nights stay..?

ZYX

Hilton cannot redeem points for day-use.

Happy Camper

Thanks @zyx but I meant for one or multiple nights stay, as posted..

cheesecake

Not quite “elephant in the room” – which card do you use to pay for all the PCR tests (both Singapore and foreign)? 🙂

Michael

Capitol Kempinski would be alright for S$220 given breakfast even a 2 course lunch is included. You’ve raved about staycation there, so you should give them a try again, see if they have gone downhill.

anon

Are you allowed at hotel 81? 6 hours is short enough for a “stay” if paid hourly.. assuming they allow..

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