Skip to content

Basic economy, hotel edition: This luxury hotel wants you to pay up to access the pool and gym

Dec. 12, 2020
4 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Prior to the pandemic, "unbundling" was one of the biggest buzz words in the airline industry.

Unbundled fares typically just include a seat and little else, with each optional amenity (seat selection, checked bag, etc.) an additional cost a passenger can choose. Ultra-low-cost-carriers such as Spirit have always unbundled fares but in recent years, major airlines followed suit with basic economy. Even some business class products are now going the way of unbundling.

Now, imagine something similar -- but for hotels. As first reported by Milelion, this Andaz in Singapore seems to be repurposing the unbundling scheme for the hotel world.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more TPG news, deals and credit card tips delivered each morning to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

The 'room only' rate

The Andaz Singapore is a luxury, five-star property near Singapore’s famous Marina Bay at the intersection of the city’s Kampong Glam, Little India and Bras Basah Bugis districts.

Amenities include a 25th-story rooftop pool with sweeping views and a state-of-the-art fitness center. During the pandemic to ensure appropriate social distancing, both are open but require reservations (for the pool) and a special access keycard (for the gym).

However, both of those amenities are off-limits if you book the lowest "room only" rate in December through Klook, a popular Hong Kong-based online travel and activities agency.

Andaz Singapore room (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

Yes, that means you can stay in the room -- but won't have access to the hotel's prominent public spaces including the gym and pool.

Here's the exact verbage from Klook about what's included in this unbundled room:

Room Only Package: Kindly note that this package is only entitled to a 1-Night Stay in a King Bed / Twin Bed Room with in-room minibar, once per stay and all day refreshments at Sunroom on Level 25. This package does not include Breakfast, Swimming Pool Access and Gym Access

The rate further states that the gym and pool are already fully reserved for the month of December, hence the restrictions. However, as Milelion notes, this isn't the case as bookings for both amenities are still available as of this writing.

This is the first instance I have seen of a room rate at a full service, premium hotel that didn't include specific on-property amenities that you'd typically be eligible for.

Related: 3 ways to do Singapore on points

Does this signal anything about the future of hotel pricing?

With just one example to note, probably not. But this shows the possibility that properties may pilot similar pricing schemes to maximize revenue at a time when travel demand is low.

In this instance, the gym and pool have little added cost to a hotel for an additional guest. But if implemented correctly, hotels can incentivize a potential guest to "upgrade" to a rate that does include those amenities, for example.

After all, that's how basic economy has been marketed by airlines thus far. Carriers don't necessarily want you to be booking basic economy -- what they want is for you to pay more for the privilege of a standard economy ticket.

That's why you see messages that are so clearly skewed to upgrading during the booking process, such as this below:

(Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines)

Related: The best cities for first-time visitors to Asia

Bottom line

The Andaz Singapore seems to be testing a "room-only" rate through a third-party channel. While we don't know the future of hotel pricing, in the current environment of limited travel, I wouldn't be surprised to see other creative solutions to spur more bookings.

We reached out to Hyatt for comment and will update this story should we get more information.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees