Singapore hotels rip off travellers AGAIN

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 21 Jul 2010
at 14:02

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  • Anonymous


    Its Grand Prix time in Singapore the last weekend in September and unless you are a uncontrollable petrol head, my advice is to stay away. And its not just because of the noise, crowds, blocked off streets, no taxis etc etc. Once gain the hotels rub their hands with glee as they rip off those crazy enough to need a room that weekend. The InterContinental rate on Tuesday 10 August is US$250 but more than doubles to US$520 on Saturday September 25. And thats for a Single room (sleeps 1) … Even the Crowne Plaza at the Airport is asking US$375 a room .. But best of all is the Ascott Raffles Place. A studio apartment on Tuesday 10 August is SG$220 but reaches the skies at SG$1036 during the Grand Prix. Almost a 500% increase. I travel to Singapore often and I know which hotels I will not choose next time .. Of course, I know that all over the world hotels rip off travellers at fair time especially in Germany. But 500% increase? The joke is of course that last year most of the hotels had empty rooms during Grand Prix because they had simply priced themselves out of the market. Long may they have empty rooms!


    It’s a rip off – but then I don’t blame Singapore or its hoteliers.

    Supply and demand, the market will out, and the right price points will eventually be set!


    Singapore living cost is very high. Do you know a simple condominium apartment of about 100 sq m area and 99 years leasehold cost in excess of 1 million dollars? There people are happy (and queue up) to pay that much (forget about all rules about 5 to 7 times of one annual pay for max house cost). A simple car could cost $70000. Hotel and restaurants were cheaper earlier (as those cater for visitors and not locals), but as the general living cost is high – these cost are also going high. Also hotels on the F1 track road had to pay F1 tax to govt. – so they must charge the same to guest. As VK said – ultimately market decide everything, but one can fool many people for a short time.


    Ouch…..but if you think that is bad just wait till the Olympics hit London.!!!

    On the night of the opening in Athens in 2004, the Sofitel at the airport wanted over €2000 for room without breakfast.

    Supply and demand is one thing but such pricing strategies are damaging longer term. Athens, and indeed Greece as a whole, suffered in 2004 as people stayed away from both the mainland and the Islands for fear of being ripped off. Beijing and Sydney had similar problems on 2008 and 2000. I would suggest that most major sporting and cultural events have this effect with home grown version in Edinburgh every Hogmanay. £500 a night last year in a 4 star. This was ludicrous but instead of staying out of town we simply did not go to Scotland. The one exception was the Korea/Japan world cup where prices remained relatively static albeit still stratospheric.


    Perhaps someone should jump in there early and get Boris Johnson to spread the word to London hotels and tourist businesses before the Olympics, but then again he’s a market economist and probably wouldn’t get the message…


    There are numerous instances where hotels increase room rates to “unreasonable” levels but Singapore hotels during Grand Prix time is an exceptional case. I have myself experienced this (during last couple of years) and last year I had to postpone one of my training programs as the hotels were unaffordable. If you look at many websites (of the hotels) they not only jack up the prices but if you try to book a room for one night the rooms may be shown as “unavailable” and if you take it for 2 nights then the room would be available (during the Grand Prix time) as hotels do not want to sell their rooms for one night. Demand and supply is one issue and a broad indicator of Price but it is not the only variable. There are also the issues of consumer value and of fairness. Imagine, a scenario: “A hardware store had been selling snow shovels for $35. The morning after a large snowstorm, the store raises the price of its snow shovels to $45. Is this fair or unfair?” Many people would find it unfair. But was he not doing exactly what hotels do? The only difference being nature of product and services being sold. But that does not justify what hotels do as they not only cross the limites of fairness but also of the customer value.


    VintageKrug, if you dont blame Singapore or the hoteliers for the ridiculous increase of 500%, who do you blame? Rip them off when you can is supply and demand? Singaporean hoteliers have not learned from last year’s Grand Prix when most hotels had empty rooms (fact). So why do they try it again this year? Greed. They probably figure 75% occupancy at 500% increase is better than 100% at normal acceptable rates.


    If you want to apportion “blame” OzTraveller it would be the F1 organisers for the event it self. Sadly it is a fact of life that when demand is highest price usually increases.

    What the Singapore hotels are doing is nothing different to UK tour operators increasing prices during school holidays. A friend of mine was looking at hiring a caravan in Cornwall for a weekend at the end of the month, he was looking at prices generally and found the same caravan for a week in August was £860 but in June a week was £340.


    1 day a BA club fare can be £4500, the next less than £2000. First class can vary between £2800 and £12,000 (same destination). Love it or hate it, thats the free market.


    Same thing is happening at the World Cup in South Africa: empty seats, expensive flights, expensive hotels and, of course, the sense of insecurity.


    There is also the factor that even at 75% occupancy, the hotels (at the increased room rate) are making more than they would if they were 100% occupied at the usual rate. With of course, the added bonus that with less guests in the hotel there are less staff required, making the whole project all the more profitable.

    Making more, for less…nice work if you can get it.


    I guess if the hotels are overcharging then they will face the consequences, they will not be able to sell their rooms. However i would assume there are customer willing to pay to come and see F1 thats the reason why hotels are pricing that high…the customers coming to watch F1 see the value in paying for it. customer value is relative.. the hotels are not stupid to price that high if there is no demand. It i s in fact demand and supply. you cannot really blame the hotels..

    I cannot afford those rates and neither am i that big a F1 Fan so I would merely avoid that period to visit Singapore… I never complain when hotels are giving away $59 & $100 deals and 50% off, so why should i complain when they are charging too high… its demand & supply


    A further note to my post on 13/6/10

    Just recieved an email from Priority Club offering me 25% off my booking for the Singapore Grand Prix. 35% if I want to book 10 rooms or more!

    Rates start at SIN$550 (without discount) at the IC for a stay from Thursday before the GP for four nights. Four nights, four weeks later at the IC is SIN$260. With the a 25% discount, they are charging a little under a 50% mark up from a “regular” weekend.

    There are a few strings attached, i.e. minimum 3 night stay, however, the the fact that it is possible to book with this discount up until mid-August for an event that happens some 5/6 weeks later would suggest that forward bookings aren’t great, although even with the discount it’s a healthy room rate over what they would normally expect to achieve.

    Anyone had anything similar from any other hotel groups?


    You don’t need to be here for the F1 to be ripped off. I’m currently in Singapore leaving tomorrow. It’s dreadfully expensive. A snack meal for 3 adults and 2 children was over € 150 in our hotel. And here’s another warning. I’m staying in the Marina Bay Sands. Really wanted to experience that swimming pool, but talk about overcharging. Even the business centre “rents” computer to you for emails. You have to pay no matter the rate your’re paying.

    A 20 minute queue to check in. Impersonal. A construction site on both sides of the hotel and even the hotel itself is nto yet finished.

    Rooms in which you can not only hear your neighbour on the phone, but also their early morning trot to the small room!!! Talking to some other guests this seems to be common throughout. Good for a laugh but not at s$ 499 + 17% tax and service (or ++ as they say here) excluding
    breakfast! Oh, and wireless Internet is also charged for for good measure!

    By all means try one night for the pool experience, then stay elsewhere.

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