While COVID-19 has disrupted travel plans, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a vacation as you wind down the year and take a break. With a lack of international tourists, upscale hotels in Singapore are offering discounts, package deals and experiences to attract different target demographics. For a memorable year-end holiday, you can even book an overnight stay on a boat house or cruise to nowhere on a mega ship. While waiting for the green corridors between more countries to open, we break down the cost of 5 luxury staycation options you can consider for a much-needed vacation.
1. The World Dream & Quantum of the Seas
In November, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) piloted safe cruises with enhanced safety protocols for two cruise lines that are homeported in Singapore: Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas. The former will sail from November 6 to December 30 while the latter will begin sailing in December. Open only to Singapore residents, both ships will sail at up to a 50% reduced capacity. Prior to sailing, the cruise ships have to attain the CruiseSafe certification developed by STB, after demonstrating the ability to take stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey–from prior to boarding, to after disembarkation. Before boarding, all passengers will be required to test negative for COVID.
On board the World Dream which starts from S$519 for 3 nights, you’ll sail along the Straits of Malacca on this mega-ship. Activities include theatre shows, Christmas decoration class, yoga, virtual reality games, and many more. Though the cruise has done away with the buffet, there are 35 dining and bar concepts, including a 24-hour restaurant, so passengers can look forward to a feast any time of the day.
A 3-night ocean getaway on Quantum of the Seas starts from S$349 and is the more affordable version for those on a budget. You can enjoy a high-tech cruise experience with the only skydiving simulator at sea, a surf simulator, and cocktails shaken by robot bartenders. Activities include theatre performances, scrapbooking, jewellery making, interactive game shows, outdoor film nights and more. Compared to World Dream, Quantum of the Seas offers fewer dining options, with 14 restaurants on board serving international cuisine ranging from Japanese to Italian. However, there’s a buffet with dedicated wait service by trained crew in personal protective equipment.
2. Boat Home at Marina Waterfront
In Singapore, yachts and boat homes are properties of the rich. While this Airbnb boat home isn’t a mega yacht, you can still enjoy a unique and comfortable staycation on this 34ft cabin cruiser with a private bathroom and a bedroom for about S$143 per night. When you’re hungry, you can enjoy a seafood feast at Punggol Marina Country Club where the boat is docked, have drinks at the surrounding bars, and explore the neighbourhood. If you live on the other end of Singapore, a boat stay experience would be a good excuse to venture out of your district. For those who want some advernture, waterfront activities like wakeboarding, banana boating, waterfront BBQ, and fishing at sea can also be arranged via the boat’s owner.
3. Capella Singapore
Missing the tropical vibes in Bali? You can have a similar experience in your own backyard, right in Sentosa. Set amidst lush greenery overlooking the ocean, you can pretend you’re in Bali when you book The Manor Experience at Capella Singapore from now until December 31, 2020.
Though this is for those with limitless budget, due to the S$15,000 cost, the spacious villa with a private pool accommodates up to 6 guests, making it ideal for the ultimate family staycation. The package includes several perks like a dedicated personal Villa Host throughout your stay, a complimentary welcome bottle of wine from premium selection, in-manor breakfast, in-manor poolside afternoon tea, in-manor one 60-minute private yoga session, one 60-minute Auriga Signature Massage for two, personalised daily amenities, enhanced selection of complimentary non-alcoholic beverages & snacks, enhanced pool props for adults and kids, 20% off Food and Beverage at The Knolls and Cassia. Just because you’re splurging doesn’t mean you can’t save—you can enjoy 10% the best available rate when you book directly with the hotel.
4. The Ritz-Carlton
If you’ve always wanted to experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous, treat yourself to a luxury staycation at The Ritz-Carlton. With the aptly named Treat You package, you get a complimentary third night’s stay for 2 paid room nights (starting at S$846 per night) reserved in a Club Deluxe Marina room, overlooking Marina Bay. Exclusive club privileges include personalised check-in and check-out service, complimentary limousine drop-off service within the vicinity, complimentary garment pressing upon arrival, and five daily culinary presentations.
5. The St. Regis Singapore
For those want to be treated like royalty while having an intimate celebration of the upcoming festive season, the Festive Stay, Wine & Dine package (starting at S$687 per night) at The St. Regis Singapore includes a night's stay in the Caroline Astor Suite, breakfast for two at Brasserie Les Saveurs, exclusive evening charcuterie platter, choice of bespoke St. Regis experience: Signature Cocktail Making Session for Two or In-Room Champagne Sabrage & Bottle, and last but not least, the signature St. Regis Butler Service. This package is valid through December 31, 2020.
Making the Most of Your Staycation
The tourism and hospitality industry has adapted to the pandemic, focusing more on experiences than just simply providing accommodation. As such, a hotel package experience is one of the best ways to enter a different world without leaving town. Try not to skip any of the complimentary items, services and activities included in the package. Furthermore, cruises are no longer all about the casinos. With a variety of entertainment and dining options available, you can fill your time with the activities that interest you. Besides all the perks and special offers that come with booking a luxury staycation, you can also earn some rewards and rebates when you settle your bill with your credit card. Lastly, don't forget to stay safe by following all the proper precautionary guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing.