When we talk about staycations in Singapore, Sentosa is bound to come to mind. Just imagine: a little beach paradise featuring top-notch restaurants and several five-star hotels, not to mention a superb aquarium and a couple of theme parks – all just minutes away from the mainland to boot.
Seriously, what’s not to love? With all that it has to offer, it’s no wonder that Sentosa remains a top choice for staycations. But as any visitor to Sentosa probably knows, “cheap” things don’t really exist in this tourist hotspot. Indeed, Sentosa is also home to some of the most expensive hotels in the country, with rates that can easily run into the thousands.
Still, don’t be disheartened! Even if you’re on a tighter budget, there are ways of turning that dream of yours into a reality. So if you’d like to know more about how you can have a dream staycay without burning a hole in your wallet, read on!
1. Be flexible, widen your options
If you have a limited budget to work with, then you’ll have to be flexible and realistic. Capella Hotel may be incredibly luxurious and grand, but it comes with a hefty price tag – are you prepared to fork out something like $500-1000 a night? If that doesn’t sit well with you, then why not try another hotel?
After all, a staycation at Capella is really not the only way to have a great beach holiday! Instead, do consider Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa (about $200-400/night), Siloso Beach Resort (around $200-300/night) or even Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa (from $233/night), all of which are more affordable and just as charming.
2. Be on the lookout for deals and promotions
Okay, this one sounds like a no-brainer, but in all honesty – do you know where to look? While places like Groupon occasionally have special staycation deals for some hotels, do check places such as the RWS official site, which announces all the special deals that are on offer.
These package deals may not seem very cheap at first, but they just may get you more bang for your buck overall! A word of caution, though: do be sure to read the fine print very carefully.
Some ongoing offers at the moment include the 3D2N Hotel and Multi-Attractions Package, which includes both a hotel stay and 2 adult passes to Adventure Cove Waterpark, S.E.A. Aquarium and Universal Studios Singapore (price from $708), as well as a 3D2N Deluxe Room stay at Siloso Beach Resort, which comes with two full-day adult passes for Universal Studios Singapore (price from $515).
3. If you can, book your room on the hotel’s website directly
Although booking websites such as Hotels.com, Agoda and Expedia have made hotel searching and price comparison more efficient, they tend to be more expensive than simply booking from the hotel website directly as they charge an extra middleman fee. This is despite each website claiming to be the cheapest amongst all.
While the difference is often not a lot, there’s somehow a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you secured the best possible deal. I mean, you clicked on this article to find out how to save money, so every dollar counts in the long run!
That being said, these booking websites do have pretty good deals once in a while, so don’t dismiss them entirely. The bottom line is: don’t simply rely on one single website or app when it comes to booking. Keep checking and comparing if you really want to save up!
4) Book early (or earlier)
Again, this one sounds pretty duh, especially since everyone knows that the early bird catches the worm offer. The thing is, as little planning needs to be done for staycations, bookings tend to be more last-minute.
However, in order for you to do steps 1 to 3, you’ll need some time – researching is time-consuming you know! Plus, if you’re eyeing a particular date such as a long weekend or public holiday, chances are that demand for hotel rooms is going to be really high. So if you don’t book early enough and are dead set on that date, you may end up paying significantly more for the same room. Booking early will also mean a higher chance of securing better deals, not to mention getting what you want.
Amara Sanctuary’s advance special, for instance, can help you save up to 30% if you book 30 days in advance. Click here if you’re interested.
5. BYOB to the hotel
Wait, what did I just read? Surprised to see this in the list of advice? Well, we’ve given you so many tips on how to save money before your staycay, but here’s an interesting little tip to save some money during your staycay as well!
Of course, this one may be too cheapskate for some, especially if you’re a working adult, but for those who’re operating on a tight budget, it makes perfect sense.
If you’re planning on having a staycay with your SO or friends, chances are it’s a special occasion, meaning drinks may be in order. Instead of heading to the bar, which is gonna be pretty pricey (since it’s Sentosa), why not bring your own bottle?
You’re already in a nice room, and since there’s no one else around, the ambience is all the more intimate! No music? Simply bring along some portable speakers or play some chill tunes from your phone. There really isn’t a need to head to the bar (unless that’s really your thing) since the atmosphere’s already perfect.
Lastly, if you are going to BYOB, remember to plan and bring along other staycay essentials! Be it a movie to watch, some junk food to snack the night away, or perhaps even a Durex condom if it’s a staycay with your SO, do make sure you’re well-prepared to have a good time!
And there you have it!
Even though having a staycay at Sentosa isn’t exactly cheap, there’s still quite a bit you can take note of to save some money or at least, make it more worth the price. “Cheap” is relative, but no matter the budget, we’re sure every dollar counts in the long run.
Header image credit: Capella Singapore