You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

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

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 12/12/2020 Chris Dong
a body of water with a city in the background © Provided by The Points Guy
MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

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.

a bedroom with a large bed in a hotel room: Andaz Singapore room (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy) © The Points Guy 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:

Video: This All-inclusive Resort Is Offering Free COVID-19 Insurance Through 2021 (Travel + Leisure)

This All-inclusive Resort Is Offering Free COVID-19 Insurance Through 2021
What to watch next

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:

graphical user interface: (Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines) © The Points Guy (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. 

Featured photo courtesy of Andaz. 

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


More From The Points Guy

The Points Guy
The Points Guy
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon