The dictionary defines “staycation” as vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home involving day trips to local attractions.
The word was coined by the writers of a Canadian TV comedy show in an episode broadcast in October 2005, but some records also show that, a few months earlier, the word already came out in an issue of the Washington Post.
In our country, it simply means local residents checking in at any of our deluxe hotels, to avail of its facilities and services, while staying away from their usual sphere of activity.
Our Department of Tourism (DOT) recently announced that a survey on 3,000 residents of the National Capital Region revealed that the top three activities when quarantine restrictions are no longer imposed would be: domestic travel, staycations, and international travel, in that order.
It is obvious that, even when the government allows us free movement to wherever we want, people will still be apprehensive about COVID-19. This display of caution is expected to prevail until such time that the vaccine will be made available to everyone and the threat of infection will no longer be perceptible.
This is the reason why outbound travel agencies, which are expected to open for business by month-end, are instead preparing all kinds of tour packages to domestic Philippine attractions.
They have also obtained special rates from local luxury hotels to offer attractive staycation packages for those who prefer to be away from home but still be within the metropolis. Local hotels are also expected to open to leisure business by the end of this month.
These travel agencies have to train their sights on these local vacation packages so they can stay financially afloat while waiting for the resurgence of international travel, which is expected to happen starting the middle of next year.
If you want to break free from your many months of detention in your residence and enjoy a new ambience, take a staycation. I know that the following hotels, located in every section of Metro Manila, have already given out very special staycation rates which are available only through licensed and DOT-accredited travel agencies.
If you want to be in the heart of the Ortigas Business District, there is Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites which prides itself on being the only hotel not used as a quarantine facility for returning OFWs. It also has the biggest rooms, in floor area, among other hotels in the metro, and each room has its own steam bath.
This mid-scale deluxe serviced residence with 229 fully furnished and pet-friendly suites has a fitness center, temperature-controlled swimming pool, an all-day dining restaurant, and is a short walk from large shopping malls.
Then there is my favorite seaside hotel, Conrad Manila. The 347-room luxury property banners an architecture shaped like the bow of a ship, which sits on top of the S Maison retail complex and is right beside the country’s biggest shopping mall.
At Newport City, there is the new Hilton Manila, the 356-room deluxe hotel which is connected via a skybridge to the Resorts World casino, entertainment and shopping complex. It also has another skybridge that connects it to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
For those who want to get away from it all and stay at the northern tip of the metropolis, there is Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa which has 238 contemporary designed rooms and is a leisurely walk away from the Quezon Memorial Circle, popular for its gardens, museum, shrine, and amusement park. The hotel is also connected to one of the largest shopping complexes in the country.
If you prefer to enjoy the facilities and services of “the jewel by the bay,” any of Diamond Hotel’s newly refurbished 500 rooms would be the perfect choice. The guest’s front-seat view of the world-famous Manila Bay golden sunset is the best stress reliever one can find. And, be ready, because the hotel’s culinary offerings are always difficult to resist.
There is also the new Seda Residences Makati, which boasts unparalleled views of the metro from its Sky Lobby on the 19th floor and from the roof deck bar on the 35th floor. It has 293 luxuriously furnished rooms and sits on the Ayala North Exchange Mall, which offers casual dining options and shopping.
As you can see, anywhere you want to be in the metro, there is a staycation hotel waiting for you. Book yourself early so that when these hotels will be allowed to open for leisure bookings, you’re already on your way! Staycations are for everyone!