Necessity has inspired the hard-hit travel industry to get creative during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and one result is you can score some great hotel deals at the moment. These credits or bonds offer future travel at a discount, with flexible terms and, in some cases, no blackout dates.
It’s a win-win for everyone. Travellers get an experience to look forward to, while hotel groups and tour operators get crucial revenue streams to keep them afloat and better support their staff.
If you’ve been daydreaming, checking flight schedules and country re-opening plans, these ‘pay now, stay later’ offers are a worry-free way to begin trip planning again. Read on for the best hotel deals for future travel worth booking now.
Belmond: 20 Per Cent Bonus Credits
Belmond, a luxury hotel and tour operator, is luring guests back with a generous Tomorrow Time travel pass. Purchase 500 credits (which equate to either US dollars, euros or British pounds) and receive 100 credits in bonus – or a 200 bonus if you purchase 1,000 credits. With no expiration date and the flexibility to redeem the credits for any of Belmond’s hotels, train trips, river cruises and safaris, it’s practically a no-brainer.
Where to Stay Later: Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao features teak wood and a fabulous swimming pool overlooking the Unesco World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos. It’s remarkably under-touristed (even in non-coronavirus times) and remarkably charming, with a walkable downtown punctuated by gilded temples and French colonial buildings converted into cafes, galleries and shops selling local textiles.
Marriott Bonvoy: Members Get Up to 30 Per Cent Off
It’s complimentary to join Marriott Bonvoy, and members save up to 20 per cent off room rates for bookings at Asia-Pacific hotels made by 31 August 2020, valid for stays up to 12 October 2020. Members also enjoy up to 30 per cent off at restaurants and bars across participating hotels – even if they’re not staying – in addition to earning membership points. Plus, Marriott Bonvoy is extending all members’ elite status until February 2022, regardless of how many nights you complete in 2020, and giving extra elite-night credits and perks that will help to boost you towards the next Bonvoy tier.
Where to Stay Later: Seoul’s Ryse Hotel – a part of Marriott’s boutique Autograph Collection – is a fitting recent addition to the artsy Hongdae neighbourhood. Rooms feature art prints along with a complimentary mini bar and, in typical Korean fashion, face masks. It’s just one example of Seoul’s ever-evolving cityscape.
Club Med: Kids Stay Free
Most families are overdue for a holiday break, and Club Med is already a favourite for its all-inclusive packages, which account for meals, free-flow drinks, accommodations, activities and access to a Kids Club. Now Club Med is upping the ante with its Kids Stay Free offer (one child per two paying adults). It applies to all Asia resorts (Sanya, Kani, Bali, Phuket, Bintan Island, Cherating Beach, Kabira, Guilin, Beidahu, Yabuli and its two Hokkaido resorts) and is valid for stays until April 2021 – notably, that includes Christmas, New Years and Chinese New Year. Just be quick as you have to book by 31 July 2020.
Where to Stay Later: Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s major islands, is famous for the soft quality of its snow. At Club Med’s Sahoro Hokkaido, families can ski and snowboard the same slopes where the Sapporo Olympic Games occurred in 1972 – and go horseback riding or learn about the culture of the indigenous Ainu.
The Peninsula: Up to 20 Per Cent Off Bookings
The Peninsula Hotels group is offering up to 20 per cent off room rates on stays until 31 December 2020 if you book through its website. Depending on the property, you may also receive additional privileges such as free breakfast for two and access to the Peninsula’s Keys to the City programmes showcasing insider local experiences.
Where to Stay Later: In Tokyo, the Keys to the City programme unlocks privileges such as private shopping, advance tickets to the Nezu Museum and guided tours of the Imperial Palace Gardens. Plus, you get to luxuriate within the spacious rooms at The Peninsula Tokyo, walkable to the swish neighbourhoods of Marunouchi and Ginza. The hotel delivers impeccable service and brand signatures (pick-up in a green Rolls-Royce; afternoon tea) as well as a Pokémon experience and karate for kids or cutting-edge spa treatments for adults.
Six Senses: Certificates With a 20 Per Cent Bonus
Bangkok-based Six Senses has built its brand around ‘barefoot luxury’ and a dedication to wellness and sustainability. If you’re more than ready for some pampering, know that 14 of its resorts are reopening with ‘Plan Now, Play Later’ certificates that provide a 20 per cent bonus good for a room upgrade or spa treatments, dining and activities. The minimum certificate is US$1,000, which comes with a US$200 bonus, and is amazingly flexible – valid for three years from date of issue, with no blackout dates. Purchase certificates by 20 December 2020.
Where to Stay Later: Six Senses Con Dao awaits within a protected national park in Vietnam’s archipelago islands – just a 45-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City. When not lounging around your private oceanview pool villa, you can put that bonus cash to good use by joining a Vietnamese cooking class, snorkelling or yoga sessions, or treating yourself to a massage or detoxifying body scrub. There’s a Kids’ Club to keep the littlest ones busy too.
Rosewood Hotels: Extra Night’s Stay
The More Rosewood programme offers travellers added value with an extra night’s stay at hotels across the US, Caribbean, the Middle East, Mexico, Europe and Asia – and in some cases, credit to spend on dining or in the spa. Valid for stays up until 19 December 2020.
Where to Stay Later: With museum-worthy art and lavish interiors, Rosewood Hong Kong is a welcome addition to the Victoria Dockside complex along the Kowloon waterfront. This More Rosewood offer extends your stay with a complimentary third night (the hotel is also offering staycation deals for locals). Over in the UK, Rosewood London resembles an Edwardian country estate set down in Central London. Your fourth night is complimentary, and you get a GBP75 credit per paid night to put toward cocktails at Scarfes Bar and spa treatments.
Hyatt: Members Get 20 Per Cent Off
Hyatt promises ‘a warm welcome’ and ‘peace of mind’ for when you’re ready to check in again – and is throwing in complimentary breakfast as well as a discount, provided you’re ready to stay by 20 December 2020. You’ll get 15 per cent off room rates, or 20 per cent for World of Hyatt members. All stays can also be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance with no penalty. Just be sure to book this offer by 8 September.
Where to Stay Later: Expect a dazzling view from pretty much anywhere at Park Hyatt Guangzhou – be it the gym, indoor pool, rooftop bar or the rooms themselves. The hotel spans the 53rd to 70th floors of a skyscraper in southern China’s most populous city, which is both a centre for hi-tech innovation and the spiritual home of Cantonese cuisine, with a fantastic restaurant scene. Also be sure to explore the Dongshankou area’s art spaces, boutiques and bars in restored red-brick mansions.
Buy Now, Stay Later: 50% Bonus Credit Hotel Bonds
Travellers can purchase US$100 worth of credits which is then redeemable for US$150 after a 60-day maturation period thanks to this hotel bonds initiative. Participating hotels span the globe; you can browse the options by region. Bonds must be purchased by 31 August 2020 for your property of choice (you can purchase multiple bonds).
Where to Stay Later: An appealing choice on Thailand’s best-known holiday island, The Pavilions Phuket has 93 villas and suites strung along the lush hills above Layan Beach. Tear yourself away, and it’s easy to access elephant sanctuaries, golf courses and watersports. In the evening, regroup for sundowners and tapas at the hotel’s outdoor 360° Bar. Click here to browse more Thailand hotels and experiences redeemable with these travel bonds.
Porter & Sail: Bonus Credits for Hotels Around the World
New York-based mobile concierge app and e-commerce company Porter & Sail is offering the ultimate flexibility with its new Hotel Credits platform. Travellers can purchase one of two tiers: US$120 later redeemable for US$150, or US$200 later redeemable for US$300 at more than 90 independent hotels worldwide. Credits will be valid for up to two years.
Where to Stay Later: Noted hotel designer Bill Bensley dreamt up the 15 luxurious tented camps at Shinta Mani Wild, which is so integrated into Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom National Park that you arrive via a zip-line ride over the treetops. That’s just the first adventure; depending on the season, you might forage for ingredients for your next meal, manoeuvre kayaks through rivers, go mountain biking or fly fishing. Another tempting option is Indonesia’s Nihi Sumba, a beachfront resort with big breaks for surfing.
Mandarin Oriental: Hotel Stays With Extra Perks
A homegrown Hong Kong brand with 33 properties worldwide, Mandarin Oriental won the ‘best service in Asia’ category in the 2019 Marco Polo Club Members’ Choice Awards. Now it’s rolling out flexible packages valid for travel through 31 March 2021, including Get Togethers by M.O., which combines daily breakfast, a unique local activity and a 30-minute spa treatment. Reservations made directly on the hotel site can be cancelled or rescheduled without penalty up to 24 hours before arrival. Members of the loyalty programme Fans of M.O. can expect additional benefits.
Where to Stay Later: Sanya, along the southern stretch of China’s Hainan Island, draws comparisons to Hawaii for its balmy weather, surfing, and luxe beach resorts, notably the Mandarin Oriental, Sanya. The 12-hectare retreat features tropical gardens, three pools, and rooms with a private terrace or balcony. Book the Get Togethers by M.O. offer and, for the local activity, take your pick between yoga or shaolin kung fun (an ancient style of Chinese martial arts) followed up a tea ceremony.
Asia Miles: Early-Bird Offers
Asia Miles has partnered with six travel brands to create early-bird offers, including hotel stays and a select number of flight-and-hotel packages through Cathay Pacific Holidays. Book by 18 July 2020 for stays through 31 December 2020, and you’ll enjoy free hotel cancellation and extra privileges, from room upgrades to free breakfasts or afternoon tea. You’ll also score a bonus 1,000 Asia Miles per booking.
Where to Stay Later: Two participating hotels show off Macao at its flashiest and most serene. Morpheus at the City of Dreams has a cage-like webbing structure designed by starchitect Zaha Hadid. A dramatic lift ride whisks you up to restaurants, 772 accommodations and a rooftop infinity pool. To the south, The Grand Coloane Resort is a relaxing escape near Hac Sa beach; every room has a terrace and facilities include an outdoor pool, a golf course, a spa and kids’ club. Among the hotel-and-flight packages, one of the most indulgent puts you up at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur.