If you have money to burn over the Hari Raya Haji long weekend, should you book a luxury staycation in Singapore or vacation overseas?
Since the concept of “staycation” came into existence in 2005, Singaporeans have been checking in to five-star hotels when we need to check out of our busy lives.
A luxurious weekend escape from the stress of work, your prying family, household chores and incessant emails from everyone from your boss to Shopbop; 48 hours of me-time, reading a book and taking a bubble bath with a glass of bubbly… All this bliss can easily be relished without t taking a flight out of Singapore and without putting a big dent in your savings.
But that was then. And those days are gone. Singapore has been ranked the “Most Expensive City In The World” for three consecutive years now. What this means for escapists is: You might actually be better off sequestering yourself in a neighbouring island resort than the Ritz here.
Fact: We recently skipped over to Phuket and lived it up for three glorious days at Como Point Yamu for the same amount (yep, airfare included) it would have cost us to check in to the Ritz for one night.
With Hari Raya Haji 2016 falling on September 12 — a Monday (yay!) – we’re certain some of you already took a leave on Friday and shopping for a little four-day hideaway. Before you do anything rash, we’ve done a little research* to show why vacay is giving staycay a run for your money. Get your passport ready!
* Prices shown below are for luxury hotels and resorts, based on 9 – 12 September 2016 period
STAYCAY: The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, S$1,440.65
The “Enjoy Singapore With Great Savings” package will set you back S$1,440.65 for a pretty spacious 51sqm deluxe room.
What will you enjoy here? A panoramic view of the city. But if it’s not a real getaway without at least a view of the sea, be prepared to shell out S$225.98 more for an upgrade to the same room category with the Marina Bay view. Breakfast is not included for this offer, but McDonald’s is right next door at Marina Square.
VACAY: Como Point Yamu, Phuket, S$1,079.63
You can stop rubbing your eyes. It’s for real. Four days three nights at Como’s pristine Point Yamu resort costs S$1,079.63 for a Verandah room (55sqm) — inclusive of a return flight on Jetstar Asia when you book with Expedia.
What you will enjoy here is sea, sea and more sea all around you. The room comes with a balcony with an expansive view of, yes, the sea, and a live soundtrack of chirping birds and the sound of waves.
And, breakfast is served with this package. It’s a good menu with healthy options and a buffet table of fresh fruit juices. Not to mention free ice cream every afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. One word: OMG.
One more thing – if you book your vacay using a travel credit card like the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, you earn 6 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on Expedia. That’s 6,474 Citi Miles for this trip alone!
STAYCAY: Capella Singapore, S$2,391.08
Capella is probably the closest thing to a “holiday” away from home without having your passport stamped. The act of paying “toll” does make it feel like you’re going somewhere.
While it is one of our absolute favourite hideouts in Singapore, the price tag is not for the faint of heart. If you’re contemplating spending your extended Hari Raya weekend here, get ready to swipe your credit card for S$2,391.08.
What else will you enjoy? Lots of space in your 77sqm room, blue skies, lush greens, making friends with peacocks and complimentary admission into Sentosa.
What you won’t get is — sigh — breakfast, which will set you back another S$169.49 in total.
VACAY: The St Regis, Langkawi, S$1,834.11
As much as we love Capella, the swanky allure of a capacious 77sqm St Regis suite surrounded by the ocean is pretty hard to resist. We also relish the idea of hopping on a plane, undisturbed by the noise social media if only for 90 minutes.
For less than $2,000, you know you’ll be in for some royal pampering (after the budget flight, at least) complete with complimentary daily breakfast and airport transfer. You don’t have to worry about a thing except maybe, what to wear, what to read, and how much sunscreen to pack.
STAYCAY: Marina Bay Sands, S$2,715.33
If you wish to Marina Bay it like Beckham, you know it won’t come cheap. Going by the Best Available Rate, a 47sqm premier room at MBS with a garden view costs a grand total of S$2,715.33.
To get at least a view of the city from the 19th storey onwards, you may upgrade for an additional S$247.17. Other than a bird’s eye view of the roof tops of other buildings, you will also have access to the award-winning Banyan Tree Fitness Club, Sands SkyPark Observation Deck and the iconic Infinity Pool (yeah, the same one in which David Beckham has dipped.)
Breakfast not included for this room category. But who needs breakfast when Tiffany’s is an elevator ride away?
VACAY: Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali, S$2,413.74
We don’t know about you, but we’d be quite happy to trade the SkyPark and infinity pool for a slice of Balinese heaven under the Banyan Tree.
For a few hundred bucks less, you will be living the five-star life in a 403sqm villa (that’s 10 times the size of an MBS premier). Of course, the package (thanks again, Expedia) includes a direct return flight on Air Asia and daily breakfast for two.
Let’s not forget the miles you’ll clock and duty-free savings you’ll make on this trip.
Read This Next:
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.