COVID-19: Luxury resorts and hotels in Asia and Europe are offering guests discounted vouchers, complimentary stays and more

LUX Water Villa

Luxury hotels around the world are enticing guests to start making travel plans, offering unbeatable ‘buy now, travel later’ deals in the forms of bonds, credits and complimentary nights

With the uncertainty of travel post-COVID-19, rarely would anyone make concrete plans for vacations. But the travel industry remains hopeful, and with luxury resorts and hotels enticing returning and new guests with unbeatable deals. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking of ‘where’ instead of ‘when’.

To get up close and personal with local wildlife in Southeast Asia…

We Recommend: Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Thailand

 What about: Like its name suggests, the tranquil jungle resort is located at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers, and boasts views of three countries – Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Get up close and personal with elephants by spending a night in the resort’s Jungle Bubbles, taking a cruise down the Mekong river and walking alongside them during their daily adventures with their carers and vet. The elephants are looked after at Dara Camp, which currently cares for more than 20 elephants.

 Robb Tip: All 38 Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas are providing an eGift offer that includes 30 per cent extra value.

Anantara Golden Triangle
229 Moo 1 Wiang
Chiang Saen District
Chiang Rai 57150
Thailand

For the tented camp experience…

We recommend: Capella Ubud, Indonesia

What about: Nestled in the jungle of Ubud, Capella’s tented camp resort is one of the most interesting concepts we’ve seen in Southeast Asia. Put together by acclaimed interior designer Bill Bensley, each of the 23 tents reflect a different skilled trade in Bali’s olden days, and includes themes such as explorer, photographer and puppet master. Capella Ubud also prides itself in curating tours that showcase the best of Ubud’s culture and history. Here, guests can learn the art of Kelki painting, the origins of Jamu, and join a Balinese yoga-dance class. 

Robb tip: The resort is offering a Dream Now, Travel Later package, allowing you to pre-purchase stays at discounted rates. All stays include daily breakfast, and those who stay for two nights will enjoy complimentary round-trip airport transfers, while guests staying for three nights will be treated to an in-tent dinner. The voucher is available for use till 20 December 2021.

Capella Ubud
Jl. RY Dalem, Keliki
Kec. Tegallalang
Kabupaten Gianyar
Bali 80561, Indonesia

Missing the ocean?

We recommend: LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort and Villas, The Maldives

What about: You can’t really mention an island escapade without thinking of The Maldives. Just a 30-min seaplane ride from Male, LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort and Villas is one of the larger island resorts on the atoll, offering four kilometres of white sandy beaches. What the resort lacks in exclusivity – there are 193 villas on the island – it makes up for with luxury. The LUX* Villa, located on one end of the island, ensures you won’t have neighbours making a splash near you. You’ll also enjoy the abundance of space, with a separate bedroom, dining room and living room.

Robb tip: The resort is offering bonds, which can be purchased in values of US$100 (S$140). The bond takes 60 days to mature, and will increase to a value of US$150 (S$210). Bonds can only be used to book stays on the island upon maturity. 

LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort and Villas
South Atoll
Dhidhoofinolhu
Maldives

If you’d like to venture far away from Singapore and live near a volcano…

We recommend: Nayara Resorts, Costa Rica

What about: Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, the Nayara Resort has been named one of the world’s best by numerous esteemed publications. Guests will live in traditional South American casitas (‘little house’ in Spanish), nestled within the rainforest with views of the Arenal Volcano. Here, they’ll enjoy ‘pura vida’ farm-to-table dining and outdoor spa experiences. Guests can also take a walk to the lava fields, explore the rainforest via the Mystic Hanging Bridges and raft down the Sarapiqui river.

Robb tip: The hotel is offering travel credit – pay US$200 (S$284) for US$300 (S$427) credit, or US$1,000 (S$1,422) for US$1,500 (S$2,134).  

Nayara Resorts
702 road 21007
Provincia de Alajuela
La Fortuna
Costa Rica

To enjoy the best surf and turf…

We recommend: Nihi Sumba, Indonesia

What about: The resort needs no introduction, having been voted the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure for the second year in a row. Each of its 28 villas overlook the Indian ocean and comes with a private pool. The resort seamlessly blurs the line between man and nature – guests can swim with horses in the ocean at sunset, release sea turtles back into the wild and even enjoy a hike to its award-winning Spa Safari. Nihi Sumba is also located near one of the most sought-after surfing spots, made famous by world champion surfer Mark Occhilupo.

Robb tip: The resort is offering bonds, which can be purchased in values of US$100 (S$140). The bond takes 60 days to mature, and will increase to a value of US$150 (S$210). Bonds can only be used to book stays on the island upon maturity. 

Nihi Sumba
Hoba Wawi, Wanokaka
West Sumba Regency
East Nusa Tenggara
Indonesia

For multi-generational families…

We recommend: Omaio Villa, New Zealand

What about: Omaio, which translates to ‘place of calm’, is an ideal place for those intending to enjoy a getaway with loved ones, and at no expense of personal space. The luxury private villa sleeps up to 12 in five bedrooms, and offers views of private wetlands and native birdlife, with sunshine streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows during the day and the moonlight illuminating the mountains at night. Meals are prepared by the private chef, who’ll be more than happy to prepare a lunchtime picnic when you venture out to explore. 

Robb tip: Enjoy skiing at Coronet Peak Ski in winter and hiking in summer. The villa is also offering packages where guests can pay for seven nights for the price of five, or 10 nights for the price of seven.

Omaio Villa
121 Slope Hill Road
Queenstown 9300
New Zealand

For shopaholics who miss the city life…

We recommend: Sixty SoHo, The US

What about: Located in the SoHo district – one of the most stylish neighbourhoods in downtown Manhattan – Sixty SoHo is one of the more popular hotels, given its close proximity to restaurants, galleries and boutiques, along with the One World Trade Centre. The hotel’s aesthetic can be described as chic with a mix of moody – think horizontal shuttered window panels, patterned carpets and dark wooden flooring. It also features the artwork of Harland Miller, who’s most notably known for his giant canvases of Penguin Book covers.

Robb tip: Sixty SoHo houses a French restaurant, a club room with a fireplace, and a rooftop bar that doubles as a vantage point for sunsets in the warmer months. The hotel is also selling travel credit. – pay US$50 (S$70) for US$65 (S$90) credit or US$200 (S$284) for US$300 (S$419).

Sixty SoHo
60 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

For families with young ones in tow…

We recommend: SO/ Sofitel Hua Hin, Thailand

What about: It’s hard not to love SO/ Sofitel Hua Hin. The resort gets you in the mood to relax with its three swimming pools, large cabanas with colourful throw cushions and beanbags, along with lounge music to further liven the atmosphere. But best of all, there’s plenty to keep children occupied from dawn to dusk. There’s a floating obstacle course for them to conquer, and a Kids Tent, where ambassadors will take them through activities such as canvas painting and even Muay Thai.

Robb tip: The resort is offering a two-night family room weekend package (from S$586), which includes daily breakfast, kids activities and a set lunch for two. The package is available till 8 June 2020, and can be redeemed until 23 December 2020. 

SO/ Sofitel Hua Hin
115 Moo 7 Tambol Bangkao
Cha-am District
Phetchaburi 76120
Thailand

Don’t have a fixed travel plan?

We recommend: Sicily, Italy

What about: The stunning Mediterranean Island makes a great summer vacation spot with its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and jagged lava coasts. But it’s not just a spot for beach lovers. Sicily is also known for its numerous historical sites like Valley of the Temples, Byzantine mosaics at the Cappella Palatina and the Greek theatre of Taormina. It is also home to Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes.

Robb tip: In a bid to welcome tourists to the city, the Sicilian government has announced that they will be providing vouchers to tourists, which will cover half of their post-coronavirus airline tickets. Additionally, for every three-night stay at a hotel, you can enjoy the third night for free, with compliments from the government. Travellers will also enjoy free entry to certain museums and archaeological sites. 

For Culture Vultures…

We recommend: Tanah Gajah, Resort by Hadiprana

 What about: For something a little closer to home, check out Tanah Gajah, Resort by Hadiprana, formerly known as The Chedi Club. As its name suggests, it pays homage to the late Indonesian architect, Hendra Hadiprana, who designed the property. Twenty club suites and villas are spread across over five hectares of lush rice paddy fields, which means you’ll probably never see your neighbours. The Hadiprana Estate, a two-bedroom, 570sqm villa, was built by Hadiprana for him and his wife, and features paintings and antiques from his personal collection. Guests who book this estate will enjoy a sprawling garden, an outdoor Jacuzzi tub, and a 10m swimming pool.

Robb Tip: While there are multitude offers, we’ve our eye on the Extended Stay for Greater Value package, where guests stay for 14 nights; prices start from IDR20 million net (S$1,955) for a one-bedroom suite. Bookings can be made by 30 June 2020, and can be used for stays until 31 March, 2021.

 Tanah Gajah 
Jl. Goa Gajah
Tengkulak Kaja Ubud
Gianyar, Bali – 80571
Indonesia

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