With travel off the menu for this year, staycations are the passport-free solution to feeding our wanderlust. But before you start packing your swimsuit and party spirit, there's just a handful of things you need to take note of. From pre-arrival forms to swimming pool bookings, here are the seven must-knows to make your hotel holiday go smoothly and safely.
Forget draggy lobby waits – hotels have streamlined the check-in process to cut down on intermingling in common areas. Staggered check-in times are the new normal, so all you need to do is to stick to the time slot you've been given. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, for one, has a nifty pre-arrival form for guests to pick their check-in timings, and even to make facilities and dining bookings. At some hotels, things get even breezier with no-contact online check-ins and speedy key drops when you check out.
Planning a stay in resort heaven? If you’re a UOB Cardmember, don’t miss your chance to snag 10% off hotel bookings inclusive of breakfast at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.
Photo courtesy of The Fullerton Hotel
While you can count on a veritable army of sanitation measures by hotels – frequent cleaning of high-touch areas, air purifiers everywhere, hospital-grade disinfectants – your room stay is another matter. To reduce contact, some hotels are offering opt-in and opt-out preferences for the usual housekeeping. At The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, for instance, guests can now opt out of daily housekeeping services – a practical choice if you're only staying a night or two anyway.
Heads-up to UOB Cardmembers: The Fullerton Hotel is currently running some sizzling staycay promotions! Enjoy a dose of wellness with 20% off spa treatments at The Fullerton Spa, S$80 dining credits for gourmet feasting, and more.
Goodbye to Self-Service Buffets
Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Singapore
It's hard to believe we once happily picked from the same buffet spreads alongside dozens of strangers, isn't it? Self-service hotel buffets are going the way of the dodo, though thankfully, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the same epicurean extravagance in a different form.
Over at The St. Regis Singapore, the Sunday champagne brunch at Brasserie Les Saveurs is a beloved affair – all you need to do is sit back and luxuriate in exceptional platters of seafood, meats, and sweet delights served directly to your table. With staycation packages featuring S$100 credit for dining and spa experiences, you're in for some serious indulgence. Meanwhile, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel’s Marriott Cafe is offering sumptuous a la carte and set menus. Buffets are temporarily unavailable.
Party Stops at 10.30
Photo courtesy of The Warehouse Hotel
As barflies would already know, a 10.30pm cut-off is now the golden rule for liquor sales and consumption – past that, all hotel bars and lounges can no longer serve alcohol. Planning an evening of boozy fun? Be sure to check on the timings for last orders – this usually ranges from 9.45pm to 10.15pm – and be ready to chug once it hits 10.25pm. If you're still up for more revelry, of course, you're welcome to move the party to your own room.
Some hotels are certainly making our in-room partying easier with tipple-forward staycay packages. With a complimentary in-room minibar including alcoholic drinks, you won't need to get dressed to get happy hour started at Andaz Singapore. Then there's the converted heritage godown – The Warehouse Hotel, where you can enjoy the afternoon with a welcome drink or wind down with evening cocktails at the Lobby Bar, before popping open a bottle of wine as your nightcap in the comforts of your room.
Rule of Five
Photo courtesy of W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
This one's a no-brainer. While you'll still be able to invite guests to your room, the Phase 2 cap on social gathering size applies – no more than five people in your room at any one time. For most of us, that's probably no issue at all – staycays are for getting away from everyday life, aren't they?
Your own personal pool (well, almost)
Photo courtesy of W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
You won't be able to plunge into the hotel pool whenever you feel like it (unless you've got a private one, of course), but the good news is that your pool dip is set to be a lot less crowded, thanks to Sports Singapore's guidelines for safe pool use. Due to mandatory three-meter distancing between groups, hotels are setting up booking slots for swimming pools, with strict capacity caps.
Ready to get splashing in a pool paradise? W Singapore – Sentosa Cove has a gorgeous freeform WET® pool that’s calling your name. Book a staycation there before the end of this year and snag US$100 in hotel credits, exclusively for UOB Cardmembers. What’s more, if you’re doing a two-night suite stay or three nights in a Wonderful Room, you get an additional US$100 credit.
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Craving a wellness getaway? With hotel spas back in business, you can get all the rejuvenation you need and love – with a couple of caveats. In line with Enterprise Singapore regulations, no food or drinks can be served with the spa experience, and any reading material – magazines, newspapers, and so forth – have been removed. And yes, you'll need to keep your mask on throughout, unless you're having your treatment in a private room. Some hotels are also going the extra mile in safety – the Ritz-Carlton recommends all spa guests to wear masks, with the only exception being during facials. But with 15% off room rates for UOB Cardmembers, you'll have all the more reason to splurge on spa indulgence.