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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sip and Indulge - W Singapore Sentosa Cove

I signed up for the Sip & Indulge membership by W Singapore Sentosa Cove. There wasn't much information on the official website. It is not by invitation. If you have the money you can join. It costs SGD500.00 + 7% GST for 1 year and you will get 1 main card and 1 supplementary card.

You can either collect the package at the hotel or they will send to your house by registered mail (no additional cost).. so I chose for them to mail it to me.

It includes the following vouchers:
  • SGD500.00 Indulgence certificates for dining
  • SGD200.00 Spa certificates
  • 50% off best flexible room rate certificate
The benefits of having the card are:
  • 25% discount on selected spa treatments from Mondays to Fridays 10am-6pm
  • 25% discount on your total bill at the Kitchen Table, Woobar and WET Bar
  • 15% discount on your total bill at SKIRT (Exclude Saturdays)
  • Free entry to Endless Summer parties at WET if you bring one paying guest
  • 10% off flexible room rate for hotel
  • Complimentary parking
  • Birthday month privileges
I guess this is one of the most popular reason why people will consider getting the membership. In fact, this point was highlighted many times by the agent who I spoke to when I called in to enquire on the membership.
  1. It sounds good to be paying SGD500.00 then receiving SGD500.00 worth of vouchers. However you have to pay 7% GST on the SGD500.00 and when you are dining, you still have to pay 7% GST on the total bill. So technically you are paying twice the GST, so you are already paying more for the vouchers because it's not 1 to 1.
  2. You cannot use your membership card discount to deduct the bill then use your vouchers. Meaning, if the bill is $120 and you want to use $100 vouchers, the 25% discount only applies to the remaining $20 on your bill. And you still have to pay for service fee and GST.
  3. For the past few months after I signed up for the card, The Kitchen Table has been having 1 for 1 promotions for Sip & Indulge members and SPG members. SPG members also get the same discounts dining at SKIRT. You can sign up to be an SPG member for free, so what's the point of paying for the Sip & Indulge membership when there's no additional value added?
50% off room rate voucher
This voucher was the main reason why I signed up for the card in the first place because by having 50% off the room rate, it saves me a few hundred dollars if I am planning a staycation at the hotel. I am aware that the voucher is only applicable for full flexible rate, meaning the discount only applies if you are paying the full rate rack which is the most expensive hotel rate, however I was not aware of the following points until I tried to make a booking.
  1. It is very difficult to get a room on Friday/Saturday. I called 3 months ahead and had 8 dates in mind but only 2 dates were available and "selling fast".
  2. Even though you can see the best flexible rate on their website, it doesn't mean that the room is available for you to book using the discount voucher. I wrote in to complain and received a nice email from the Sip & Indulge Team (who are separate from the room reservations team) explaining that there's some quota about the rooms -- something not highlighted during the sign-up call.
  3. Room rates fluctuate depending when you call in to ask. I actually did a table to record the prices. I called in 4 times in a span of a month and got different rates for the 4 room categories on the 2 same dates each time I called in. The rates varies between $10 to $150 even though the room inventory is the same (I checked).
  4. The savings for a room/suite after the discount is not substantial. In fact, I found that some of their offers online were even better than using the 50% discount because the rates were way lower and had a lot of inclusions like breakfast, dinner and even transfers. If you use the 50% discount, it's just room only without breakfast... depending on room type and dates you may save a few hundred dollars off the total, but I feel they could have made the rates more attractive
Defeats the purpose of touting the 50% off room benefit since all the important dates I want in September & October were not available. (Birthdays, anniversaries, etc). I guess I will sell it off in Carousell since it's transferable (good thing).

Spa Certificates
These are a big joke. Seriously.. I was told it was exclusive and all that, but guess what? During our staycation in July with Nathaniel (voucher cannot be used on that date due to unknown reasons even though the hotel was not running on full capacity), we received SGD50.00 Spa vouchers. When I was emailing the Sip & Indulge team about the difficulty of booking a room, they highlight again how wonderful the membership is and I have spa vouchers I can use. I told them any Tom Dick or Harry who stays at the hotel also receive the exclusive SGD50 voucher and they were actually surprised because they did not know that. Ha ha ha. So yes, these are also sitting there waiting for expiry because there's not much value added too. By the way if you are looking for the spa prices (not shown on the hotel's website), I took a picture of the menu during our staycation.

So, if you are considering signing up for the membership, think twice. Unless they do some MAJOR changes to their 'benefits' next year, I am definitely not renewing my membership. 

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