After months spent sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not surprising that people have had the urge to head out on the road for a longer stay than usual, a trend that should continue into the fall with many offices and schools operating remotely. Given hotels’ need to make up lost revenue from the months of closure during the onset of the virus and the cost of enhanced cleaning measures in place now, it’s a trend they want to continue as well. As a result, many are coming up with special offerings geared to encourage travelers and their families to check in for at least 30 days—the first 14 of which might be exclusively on the grounds of the hotel depending upon shifting entry requirements of different countries. (Always check beforehand.)
The “Extended Family Staycation” plan at the Relais & Chateaux Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic is available now through December and includes accommodation in a two bedroom beachfront suite plus daily breakfast, lunch, and a three-course dinner at Blue, Mediterraneo or La Palapa restaurants. Other extras include an office setup if needed, piano and Spanish lessons, bike tours, a pizza cooking class, a BBQ with live music and karaoke and a movie night at the Kids Club. (As an added incentive to reboot the country’s tourism industry, the government has also just put in place a program to pay a traveler’s expenses in case he/she contracts the coronavirus while there including telemedicine, flight rebooking and hotel expenses for an even longer stay.)
The most basic extra offered is a discount. Starting Labor day on Nantucket, guests who check in for a long stay at the Residences or Lofts at the White Elephant (until December 6th), the three bedroom Anchorage House at The Wauwinet (until November 2nd) or The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin (until October 18th) receive a 25% discount. In Jamaica, a 30+ day stay at James Bond author Ian Fleming’s former home GoldenEye will cost 30% less. Gurney’s Montauk (starting October 2nd) and sibling Gurney’s Newport, both known for their seawater spas, are charging 20% less. And Rosewood Bermuda is offering a golf cart to get around the resort along with discounts on laundry, spa treatments and golf on the renowned Tucker’s Point Golf Club course. Since Bermuda is now offering one year residencies, that stay could be longer than a month.
Kamalame Cay, the private island in the Bahamas, is reopening November 5th with a program called “Splendid Isolation” available for 30+ nights in one of their one-to-four bedroom villas. Included are a meet and greet fast track service through customs and immigration in Nassau, roundtrip seaplane transfers from Nassau or Ft. Lauderdale, a 90 minute weekly in villa spa experience, fully stocked breakfast pantry curated to guest preferences, a private chef for lunch and dinner preparing meals from ingredients grown on the farm, freshly caught seafood or accessed from local purveyors and other dedicated household staff. And for breaks from work or school: weekly lessons in activities such as scuba, fishing or coral restoration.
Ireland’s Dromoland Castle is the perfect place for guests who wants to brush up on their golf came while settling in for a long residence. Guests who rent the two bedroom Grania O’Brien Suite with a full kitchen, fireplace and terrace for a long stay also receive access to The Golf Academy, the state of the art golf practice facility along with a golf cart to get around the 450 acre grounds. Other extras include a welcome artisan food hamper, breakfast each day, all laundry, 24 hour IT support, a personal host and no delivery charges on room service.
One & Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives started a program for 28+ day stays after noticing immediately after the country opened to international visitors that guests were asking for arrivals within days of booking and were asking to stay that amount of time. Anyone who has been to the Maldives and been surrounded by that turquoise water will not find that surprising. Their “Stay A While Longer” program includes daily breakfast, one other meal on a half board basis and roundtrip airport transfers.
The Relais & Chateaux property Secret Bay in Dominica is ideally set up for social distancing on its own, comprised of 11 secluded hilltop villas separated by lush rainforest. Its 30+ day program called “Six Star Workcation Retreat” in a one bedroom Ylang Ylang Villa is devoted to encouraging guests to work well, be creative and recharge in a serene environment. Also included are daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, weekly couples massages and bespoke yoga, private cooking class with the executive chef and a choice of excursions including horseback riding, whale watching and fishing for lionfish.
The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico offers an immediate benefit for booking a month long stay: a free week in their one-four bedroom villas and standalone residences. Other add-ons include a private chef once a week, complimentary admission to the Kids Club for two children, complimentary breakfast daily, 20% discounts on other meals and spa treatments, butler service and reliable high speed WiFi and tech support.