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You can now choose your Singapore SHN quarantine hotel… if you book a suite!

If you're willing to pay more than double the usual rate, you can now serve your 14-day SHN in Singapore at a hotel of your choice, in a suite!

Latest Update: 12th July 2021

Another hotel is now offering pre-bookable SHN suite options, for a total of 12 across the city, which should improve your chances of securing a more comfortable stay on your return to Singapore:

  • JW Marriott South Beach

For those of you returning to Singapore from your travels, or more likely from essential family trips or studies, there has been another change in the quarantine (Stay Home Notice or SHN) requirements effective from 24th June.

That means some changes to our analysis of the option to spend your mandatory quarantine period in a suite at a specific property of your choice from a list of options, rather than rely on the arrival room allocation ‘lottery’.

Thankfully the 21-day SHN period has been done away with, so it’s back to a 14-day isolation for most travellers.

Those with travel history including South Africa or the UK can now also book suite SHN stays at eight additional hotels they were previously excluded from, including the Fairmont, the Westin and The Regent.

We’ve therefore updated this article with the latest costs and process, for those of you based in Singapore still travelling for a variety of reasons over the coming months.

How it usually works

Unlike some other countries, where you can (and in some cases must) pre-book a specific hotel to serve your quarantine period on arrival, in Singapore it’s been a case of ‘pot luck’ for most returnees over the last year or so, with assignment on arrival.

Many hotels in Singapore have been accommodating SHN guests since the COVID-19 pandemic began

Some people have certainly lucked out with a balcony room at the Shangri-La overlooking the beach on Sentosa, while others were cooped up in a smaller 220 sq ft room with windows that don’t open, no couch to sit on and no bath tub to luxuriate in.

In February this year the government hinted at the possibility of allowing arriving travellers to choose their specific SHN hotel, under a potential ‘tiered pricing’ model, and to some extent they have made the first step towards this.


 

 

You can now book an SHN suite in a specific hotel

If you want more space to spend your mandatory SHN period in Singapore, previously for up to 21 days but thankfully now for 14 days, you can now pre-book a specific suite type at one of eight hotels, including the Swissotel and The Regent, at a higher cost.

This will guarantee you the hotel and suite category of your choice, so you can be sure to have features like a balcony, separate living room, large working desk and a bathtub, for example, assuming the suite you choose has those features.

For many travellers with business to attend to, a preference for fresh air and the mental well-being of separate personal spaces to break up the day, this is a very welcome option some are gladly pay for.

Suites are subject to availability for your date range, and you’ll have to contact the hotel of your choice directly to book, but more about the exact process later in the article.

Which countries require 14-day hotel SHN?

The exact requirements for SHN based on your travel history in the last 21 days prior to arrival in Singapore is continually updated given the ever-changing COVID-19 situation globally, so you should always refer to the latest official requirements provided here.

At the time of writing SHN requirements are as follows:

Travel History SHN Requirement
Australia (excl. VIC state)
Brunei
China (excl. Guangdong province)
New Zealand
No SHN after negative arrival test result
Australia (VIC state)
China (Guangdong province)
Hong Kong
Macau
7-day self-sourced SHN*
Israel
Taiwan
14-day self-sourced SHN*
All other countries   14-day hotel SHN

* Can include your private residence under certain conditions

As you can see 14-day hotel SHN is currently imposed for arrivals with travel history to any specific country not listed above prior to arrival in Singapore (e.g. India, USA, UK, South Africa, UAE, etc…).

Important! Remember that while SHN periods have been reduced to 14 days in most cases, your travel history is still based on the consecutive 21-day period prior to your arrival in Singapore.

How much does it cost?

Regardless of which hotel you choose, the pricing is streamlined across the properties based on suite category, as shown in the following table.

Singapore 14-day hotel SHN costs

Room Type Size
(sq m)
Cost
(inc. GST)
1 pax Per extra pax*
Standard SDF Room
(normal SHN)
~25 S$2,000 +S$600
Junior Suite <80 S$5,000 +S$600
Standard Suite 80-100 S$7,500 +S$600
Large Suite 100-200 S$13,000 +S$600
Extra Large Suite >200 S$20,000 +S$600

* To cover food
Note: COVID-19 testing costs are in addition to the above

As you can see, the suite option isn’t cheap!

Even the smaller suites on offer, like a Signature Salon Suite at the Fairmont (which falls under the ‘Junior Suite’ category) will set you back at least S$5,000 for a two-week stay.

At the top end, 14 nights in the Presidential Suite at The Regent costs S$20,000 for two weeks.

While that might sound ridiculous, the same suite would set you back S$65,000 for a two-week stay in January 2022 as a regular guest.

For those with deep pockets, S$1,400 a night (S$20,000 ÷ 14) for a 220 sq m presidential suite, easily the size of two average condos in Singapore, is a steal!

Which hotels?

At the time of writing there are still eight hotels participating in the SDF Suite option, though to complicate matters not all are accepting guests with a travel history to certain countries in the last 21 days.

Here’s how the list works at the time of writing, based on your travel history.

Except travel history to:
Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Hotel Suite Types
Junior Standard Large Extra Large
Swissotel The Stamford
InterContinental Robertson Quay
Royal Plaza on Scotts
The Regent
The Westin
Conrad Centennial
Marriott Tang Plaza
JW Marriott South Beach
Except travel history to:
Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines
Hotel Suite Types
Junior Standard Large Extra Large
Fairmont Singapore
Grand Hyatt
Only available with travel history to:
Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Hotel Suite Types
Junior Standard Large Extra Large
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
Park Avenue Rochester

As you can see, travel history restrictions vary by hotel. The most relaxed include the Swissotel and The Regent, allowing anyone to serve their SHN in a suite there (except those with travel history to the current high-risk countries).

In this latest update, those with 21-day travel history to South Africa or the UK are now eligible to book an SHN suite stay at nine additional hotels:

  • InterContinental Robertson Quay
  • Royal Plaza on Scotts
  • The Regent
  • Fairmont Singapore
  • Grand Hyatt
  • The Westin
  • Conrad Centennial
  • Marriott Tang Plaza
  • JW Marriott

Previously these travellers were restricted to SHN suite stays only at the Swissotel.

Note: It is not our intention to keep this list 100% up to date. Please check the ICA’s SDF suite upgrade options for the latest pricing, hotel list and country restrictions.

Room types

In order to correlate room categories you see on the hotel website to the ICA’s ‘Junior’, ‘Standard’, ‘Large’ and ‘Extra Large’ categories, you can equate it roughly based on available floorspace, or contact each hotel individually to clarify.

In our discussions with a few hotels, we confirmed the following equivalence:

Fairmont Singapore

An Ambassador Suite (90 sq m) at the Fairmont falls under the ICA’s ‘Standard Suite’ category. (Photo: Accor)

Swissotel The Stamford

The 50 sq m Signature King Suite at the Swissotel provides twice as much space as the average standard SHN hotel room. Yours for 14 nights at S$5,000. (Photo: Accor)

The Regent

InterContinental Robertson Quay

  • Junior (S$5,000): Quayside Suite King, Quayside Corner Suite King, Executive Suite

The Westin

Conrad Centennial

JW Marriott South Beach


 

 

The process

Assuming you’re still outside the country, the process to secure a suite for your Singapore SHN stay goes like this:

Obtain entry approval (if required)

Contact the hotels listed to directly enquire and book your preferred suite. No payment is taken at this stage.

Submit your booking details and confirmation at go.gov.sg/sdfsuite, at least 48 hours before your arrival, for transport to be arranged

You’ll pay for the full cost of the suite directly to the hotel during check-in. If you have already paid the default SDF cost when applying for entry approval, you will only pay the difference in cost for the suite to the hotel during check-in.

You can upgrade after arrival

Halfway through your hotel SHN and going stir crazy in your small room? Good news, if you can afford it, is that it’s possible to upgrade to one of these suite options and serve the rest of your ‘sentence’ in more luxurious surrounds.

Simply contact the hotel of your choice from the list to book your preferred suite, subject to availability and with a minimum of 48 hours notice before your move (for transport arrangements).

In need of a balcony and a better view than your current SHN allocation provides? It is possible to ‘upgrade’ part way through, subject to availability. (Photo: Accor)

Assuming you are able to secure the availability you want, you’ll have to pay an additional one-time fee of S$345 (S$300 for specialised cleaning costs for the vacated room, plus S$45 per vehicle for transport from your current hotel to the new hotel).

You’ll then be charged the pro-rated cost of the suite based on the number of days SHN you have remaining to serve.

Here’s how it works:

Contact the hotels listed to directly enquire and book your preferred suite. No payment is taken at this stage.

Submit your booking details and confirmation at go.gov.sg/sdfsuite, at least 48 hours before your intended move, for transport to be arranged

Your existing hotel will contact you about the transport arrangements to the new hotel and will collect payment for the additional S$345 at check-out

The pro-rated cost of the new suite will be paid directly to the new hotel during check-in

For example, if you’ve already spent 7 days of your 14-day SHN in a hotel room assigned on arrival at the regular S$2,000 cost (for 14 days, already paid), but then move to a Junior Suite for the remaining 7 days of your SHN period, you’ll be charged:

  • an additional S$345 on check-out from the first hotel; and
  • an additional S$1,500 on check-in at the new hotel.

While this might sound like a good strategy to have a ‘two centre’ SHN and save some money along the way (vs. a full 14-day ‘Suite SHN’), be careful – there may be limited or no suite availability after you’ve started your first SHN block!

When we spoke to the Swissotel in late April, for example, their earliest SHN suite availability was more than two weeks away, so you may be disappointed if you’re aiming to move hotels part-way through your SHN period, since there might simply be no availability by then.


 

 

Summary

With mandatory SHN periods for those arriving in Singapore now reduced to 14 days for most travellers, not only has the standard hotel room cost dropped by 33% but so have the new suite options.

It’s still an expensive decision, but it does bring with it significantly improved certainty, a little (or a lot) more space and increased luxury on return to Singapore.

A Crest Suite at Swissotel The Stamford falls under the ICA’s ‘Standard Suite’ category. (Photo: Accor)

The country’s desire to open borders to overseas visitors later this year, especially those vaccinated and arriving from low-risk countries, will probably require a quarantine hotel booking system (e.g. for a 3, 5 or 10-day stay) like those seen in other countries, for individuals to make their own reservations prior to arrival.

Convincing tourists to come to Singapore with quarantine in the first place will be difficult. Telling them they’ll only find out which hotel they’ve been allocated when the bus rocks up at the door will make it impossible!

Hopefully this ‘Book an SDF Suite’ policy is the first step towards Singapore opening up its entire SHN hotel arrangement for arriving travellers to a choice-based booking system, potentially spelling the end of the current ‘hotel lottery’.

Such a setup would be good for travellers, who can potentially choose from cheaper options if they are budget-constrained right through to suites for those who desire space and amenities, while worrying little about the price!

It would also be good for SHN hotels, who can maximise takings by picking up more optimised revenue based on room type.

(Cover Photo: Accor)

5 comments

  1. Excellent and timely article … hopefully for travelers, the Singapore Government will reduce the SHN for vaccinated people as there is a great need for businesses and the country to open up again. Safely of course.

  2. Well, all hotels are already booked by PR and singaporians who don’t need approval for re-entry. Call the hotels, in august everything is booked for a month already.

    1. Yeah SHN suite availability is tight now that everyone knows about the option.

      I’m surprised the latest SHN hotels haven’t also started offering their suites via this scheme (e.g. JW Marriott, Pan Pacific, Conrad, Westin).

      Perhaps they’ve worked out the increased revenue isn’t worth the admin hassle.

  3. As Pagis said they are all full. Spent the day trying to book one and only the Regent allowed me to even go on a waiting list. So yeah nice idea but in practice there’s no choice but to accept the room you are given on arrival.

    1. The Westin, Conrad Centennial and Marriott Tang Plaza were added to the SDF suite list of options today.

      Hopefully this improves the situation.

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