Basic economy, hotel edition: This luxury hotel wants you to pay up to access the pool and gym
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.
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.
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:
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.
Featured photo courtesy of Andaz.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees