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.
Two types of self-isolation accommodation are allowed:
- residential accommodation (i.e. HDB flat, condominium or landed property); or
- 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:
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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 (edit: or not. I stayed here in early December after a VTL flight from Australia, and was told to head there by myself).
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
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.
|Add. Cost for ECI/LCO|
+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|
|Ji Hotel Orchard||S$175||+S$88|
|Grand Hyatt Singapore||S$266||+50% for 6 p.m check-out|
Book 2 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.
|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|
|Oasia Hotel Downtown||S$200||+S$45 for 3x meals|
|Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa||S$324|
|St. Regis Singapore||S$423|
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
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.