Latest Update: 24th October 2021
Only those returning from Category 4 countries will have to serve their 10-day SHN in a hotel for arrivals from 27th October 2021. Full details are available here.
For those of you returning to Singapore from your travels, or more likely from essential family trips or studies, a travel history involving many countries in the world will sadly mean one thing – 10 days of quarantine in a hotel room.
Singapore, with its love of acronyms, calls it a Stay Home Notice (SHN), or more accurately a Stay Home Notice in an SHN-Dedicated Facility (SHN in an SDF).
At one point in 2021 the hotel quarantine period was hiked to 21 days, but thankfully since then that’s been reduced to 14 days and most recently to a 10-day isolation for those returning from higher-risk countries.
For those needing more space and wanting to choose a specific property of their choice, there’s the option to pay extra and spend your mandatory quarantine period in a suite from a list of options, rather than rely on the arrival room allocation ‘lottery’.
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 18 months or so, with random assignment on arrival.
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 for 10 days, you can now pre-book a specific suite type at one of 18 hotels, including the Swissotel, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental 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 10-day hotel SHN?
The exact requirements for SHN based on your travel history in the last 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore is continually updated given the ever-changing COVID-19 situation globally.
As of 26th October 2021 23:59 hours, SHN requirements will be as follows:
Singapore SHN requirements
(from 27th October)
|14-day travel history
(can include Singapore)
Partially vaccinated /
||7 days SHN at home
||10 days SHN at home
|Category 4||10 days SHN in hotel|
As you can see 10-day hotel SHN is currently imposed for arrivals with travel history to any Category 4 country prior to arrival in Singapore.
For a full list of which countries are in Categories 1 to 3, and therefore exempt from the hotel SHN requirement, click here.Important! Remember that while SHN periods have been reduced to 10 days in most cases, your travel history is based on the consecutive 14-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 10-day hotel SHN costs
|1 pax||Per extra pax*|
|Standard SDF Room
|Extra Large Suite||>200||S$14,300||+S$450|
* 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$3,600 for a 10-day stay.
At the top end, 10 nights in the Presidential Suite at The Regent, for example, costs S$14,300.
While that might sound ridiculous, the same suite would set you back S$50,000 for a 10-night stay in April 2022 as a regular guest.
For those with deep pockets, S$1,430 a night (S$14,300 ÷ 10) for a 220 sq m presidential suite, easily the size of two average condos in Singapore, is a steal!
At the time of writing there are 18 hotels participating in the SDF Suite option.
When the scheme was first introduced, there were travel history restrictions for some hotels, but these have since been removed, giving you more chance to secure a suite at additional cost for your stay.
Here’s how the list looks as of 24th October 2021.
|Suite SDF Options
|Four Points by Sheraton|
|Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium|
|InterContinental Robertson Quay|
|JW Marriott South Beach|
|Marriott Tang Plaza|
|Park Avenue Rochester|
|Royal Plaza on Scotts|
|Swissotel The Stamford|
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:
- Junior (S$3,600): Executive Suite
- Large (S$9,300): Harbor View Suite
- Extra Large: (S$14,300): Presidential Suite
- Junior (S$3,600): Marina Bay Suite
- Standard (S$5,350): City Suite
Swissotel The Stamford
- Junior (S$3,600): Swiss Signature Suite / Signature King Suite
- Standard (S$5,350): Stamford Crest Suite / Crest Suite King
- Standard (S$5,350): Executive Suite
- Large (S$9,300): Ambassador Suite
- Extra Large: (S$14,300): Presidential Suite
InterContinental Bugis (see Suites)
- Junior (S$3,600): Junior Suite, Premier Suite, Heritage Suite, Executive Suite
- Standard (S$5,350): Royal Suite
- Large (S$9,300): Ambassador Suite
- Extra Large (S$14,300): Presidential Suite
InterContinental Robertson Quay (see Suites)
- Junior (S$3,600): Quayside Suite King, Quayside Corner Suite King, Executive Suite
JW Marriott South Beach
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)
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 to be made).
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:
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 5 days of your 10-day SHN in a hotel room assigned on arrival at the regular S$1,450 cost (for 10 days, already paid), but then move to a Junior Suite for the remaining 5 days of your SHN period, you’ll be charged:
- an additional S$345 on check-out from the first hotel; and
- an additional S$1,075 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 10-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.
With mandatory SHN periods for those arriving in Singapore now set at 10 days for those arriving from Category 4 countries, these SHN suite options are worth considering for those who can afford it.
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.
Many of our readers have reported very limited hotel SHN suite availability, especially within the immediate couple of weeks, so it’s a good idea to start contacting hotels to try and secure one as early as possible once you know your arrival date in Singapore.
To complicate matters, several hotels aren’t letting you book SHN suites too far in advance, because they have not confirmed their status as an SHN dedicated facility beyond a certain contract date.
Let us know your experiences booking SHN suites in the comments section below.
(Cover Photo: Accor)