Hello soon, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia — we just can’t wait to fulfil our wanderlust.
But how about more air travel bubbles (ATBs) with places that have their whole pandemic game down pat? We seriously believe that efforts in identifying areas and facilitating reciprocal leisure travel with them is going to do a whole lot of good. Not only will it bring relief to those who are hurting from not being able to travel (that’s all of us), but also do wonders for airlines and the tourism industry.
Here are the air travel bubbles and destinations we hope to be able to see in the new year.
The implementation of the air travel bubble with Hong Kong may be delayed, but safety remains a priority. Some patience will put us in good stead; it’s not a matter of if, but a question of when.
To welcome travellers from Singapore again, The Upper House is offering a third night of accommodation free. The Upper House remains one of the most luxurious hotels in Hong Kong, with the most attentive guest service and spacious rooms and suites anywhere in the territory. The Stay 3, Pay 2 deal is valid till 31 August 2021, and includes daily breakfast.
Recognising that we’re all due a little adventure, The Upper House is organising special excursions called Hong Kong Safaris. These are an amazing way to explore the city, led by members of its own team. The excursions are designed to cater to a variety of interests. Options include The Food Guru, The Explorer, The Connoisseur, The Shopping Diva or The Local.
More information about The Upper House here.
Of course we are jealous that New Zealand succeeded in containing the virus before we did. We’re also jealous New Zealanders can already visit here, while we’re still waiting for an ATB for reciprocal leisure travel.
New Zealand has always been a favourite holiday destination for Singaporeans, promising opportunities to experience the great outdoors as well as food, culture and life in a different city.
Ahead of any air travel bubbles, we’re checking out the new Park Hyatt Auckland, which has New Zealand’s distinct heritage woven into its design. A collaboration between Ali Reda of AR+D in Singapore and Bossley Architects, the hotel is conceptualised to be a Māori wharenui (house) to evoke a sense of family and community spirit. Naturally, there are Māori accents in abundance, from tukutuku panels to the stylised wool rugs.
Take advantage of opening offers here.
An ATB with Australia as a whole is still in the works, but we have to argue the case for immediate direct travel between Singapore and Tasmania, where Covid-19 cases (233) and fatalities (13) are well under control. This will be a boon to adventure and adrenaline seekers, from anglers to rock climbers who will relish the opportunity to scale the stunning Totem Pole. The city of Hobart also has much to offer in terms of culture and history, with food trails that will appeal to any traveller to boot.
Learn more about Tasmania here.
Tanzania’s Covid-19 record stands at 509 in cases and a mere 21 in fatalities. As such, we feel it should totally be considered for an ATB to enable folks who have been meaning to visit the African continent, or looking for a sanctuary to write their next best-selling novel in.
And let’s make no Tarzan assumptions about African countries, because andBeyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is where Maasai meets Versailles. The property is ultra-luxurious and Instagram-perfect, being dramatically perched right at the edge of the ancient Ngorongoro Crater. Situated below the larger North and South camps is the intimate Tree Camp, with just six standalone suites – no problems with social distancing here. The views are jaw-dropping, and the ambience unapologetically romantic with raw silk curtains, gilt mirrors and beaded chandeliers. It’s veritably an African fairytale that belongs on every bucket list.
Download brochure and start planning here.
With far fewer cases per million than Singapore, we’re rooting for an ATB with Sri Lanka as well, especially after visiting the Aman resorts in the charming country last year. We have our sights set on Sisindu T next. Situated just outside of Galle, this elegant estate boasts six spacious suites, extensive living and dining areas, a large rim-flow pool, a beautiful kitchen and a rooftop terrace offering stunning ocean and jungle views. Definitely dream-worthy.
Learn more about Sisindu T, here.
To read about our Aman adventure in Sri Lanka, see here.
Unfortunately, India still ranks among the most COVID-19 infected places on the map, and it would be unwise to suggest, let alone push, for an ATB just yet. Still, looking at the gorgeous properties across states like Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, with wide open spaces aplenty, we can’t help but wish for exceptions to be made for safer regions that are ensconced in the mountains.
One such awe-inspiring property is The Kumaon, which has earned a spot in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection. Surrounded by undulating hills and imbued with simple elegance, The Kumaon comprises 10 luxurious suites. These are nestled in pairs across five structures, all with private overlapping terraces that offer panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan range.
Check out The Kumaon on the Mr & Mrs Smith Collection.
This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore.
(Main and featured image: Dan Freeman/ Unsplash)