Quarantining in Singapore can be a dismal or luxury experience — but you won’t know until you reach your hotel.
The majority of current arrivals to the sovereign island city-state are required to quarantine in a hotel room for 14 days, to ensure they do not spread the coronavirus. But the quality of hotels varies widely and assignments are based on little more than luck.
But one family — a 42-year-old interior designer and her toddler — believe they may have recently won the health emergency-induced lottery-like system.
“We hit the jackpot,” Joy Van Dee told The Wall Street Journal of her recent experience quarantining in Singapore after a 12-hour flight from Amsterdam.
Van Dee had dreaded the government-mandated quarantine, but it ended up being relatively decadent, thanks to the five-star hotel room in which she was placed at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, featuring a huge bathtub and panoramic views.
The pair were not permitted to leave their room, with hotel workers dropping off fresh towels, sheets and food outside their doors, but they stayed entertained by blowing bubbles and enjoying the cityscape outside their many windows.
Most arrivals pay approximately $ 1,600 per room for their mandatory quarantine two-week stay, but the Journal found that Van Dee’s experience usually goes for far more: The most inexpensive room available for a two-week stay the Ritz-Carlton next month is almost $ 5,850, according to Booking.com.
Van Dee said they were not told where they would spend two weeks lodging since the bus drivers who shuttle travelers from the airport to their assigned quarters don’t reveal where they’re going in advance.
While fate was on Van Dee’s side in terms of quality quarantine amenities, IT sales manager Ketan Mangal, 38, was placed in far worse accommodations when he returned to Singapore from India.
While other Ritz-Carlton quarantiners have proudly posted the meals left outside their doors, Mangal said he threw out most of the food brought to him, as it all had the same ingredients. In addition, the windows in his room at an unnamed hotel wouldn’t open.
“It wasn’t pleasant, but somehow we survive,” he told the Journal of those made to quarantine at his hotel.