Time for a break. In style

All you need to do is check out all the offers and booking. Go ahead. Reward yourself. You deserve it

pic by TMR FILE

AFTER three months of being cooped up in our humble abode, it is only natural for us to want to be away for a bit, do a bit of stocktake, so to speak, before moving on to reclaim all that might have been lost during the gruelling phases of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

The good news is, with the current Recovery MCO, state borders are opened and short vacations within the country are now possible — as long as you follow all the standard operating procedures (SOPs), that is.

The best part is, if you have a little bit more to splurge, this is the time to explore places that previously might have been beyond reach.

This might be the time for you to try all the five-star hotels and resorts that are currently priced way below the usual rates.

Just imagine, you can now check into Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for as low as RM500 per night, which is 50% of its usual lowest rate.

Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang, which was charging some RM1500 per night, is now offering rooms at RM595.

If you’re in Langkawi, you might be able to stay at Pelangi Meritus for just over RM200. Its usual rate was around RM1,400, mind you.

For that extra privacy, you might want to try Andaman, which is offering rooms for as low as RM500 per night. Prior to the MCO and Covid-19 pandemic, only big rollers could perhaps afford the resort’s rooms that were priced around RM2,000 per night.

Some of Melaka’s favourite hotels are also offering fantastic prices. For instance, Hatten Hotel is now available for slightly over RM200, 75% lower than the usual price.

Casa Del Rio, which is located by the scenic Melaka River, is now within reach for RM300 per night. Prior to the MCO, one would have to fork out at least RM800 per night to stay there. A room by DoubleTree by Hilton Melaka is now slightly above RM200 per night. It used to be a minimum of RM600.

These are just some of the examples. If all these expensive brands can slash up to 75% of the usual rates, you can imagine the prices for other mid-range hotels. This is definitely a great time to travel locally.

Still, one can’t help but wonder about all the “expensive” outlets that did not seem to care much about locals.

You know, the type that seems to be more interested in foreign tourists (particularly Europeans)?

Would they treat the locals with more care these days, now that they do not have a choice but to serve all?

You might have read about one particular place in Kuala Lumpur (KL) that only allows mainly non-Asians in.

Apparently, bookings from Malaysia, India and several other Middle Eastern countries are also not accepted by the outlet.

Security personnel at the outlet seem to have been trained to also not allow anyone who looks local to go into the premises.

Many horror stories have been shared about the place on the net, and one has to say that it is rather sad to admit that such a mentality does exist in a time when the entire world is screaming “Black Lives Matter”.

Without all the usual “clients that mattered” who now can’t travel out of their countries, one can only imagine how quiet that particular outlet could be at the moment.

Could they now say “No” to Malaysians? Well, it doesn’t really matter as there are five-star hotels and more reputable places that could be explored.

Even if you’re a KLite who just needs to unwind within the city, you can check into one of those luxurious hotels at all your favourite spots as the rates are also very attractive at the moment.

For instance, E&O Residences, which used to charge RM1,752 per night, is now going as low as RM290. The Penthouse KLCC, which used to charge the lowest at RM894 per night, is now available for a little of RM200.

In Johor Baru, Renaissance Hotel that used to charge over RM1,000 is now offering its rooms at below RM300, while rooms at the popular Amari Hotel is now priced at just above RM200 per night compared to RM800++ before the MCO.

For vacationers who prefer the islands or various other green spots, some of the offers are just too attractive to resist. Options are in abundance.

All you need to do is check out all the booking platforms and all the related websites. Go ahead. Reward yourself. You deserve it.


Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor at The Malaysian Reserve.