OVERSEAS holiday destinations such as Bali, Thailand and Vietnam that were very popular with Australians pre-COVID are back on the radar as travellers are enticed by special deals at luxury hotels.
And according to Adam Schwab, CEO and co-founder of travel company Luxury Escapes, top hotels in Asian hot spots are offering extras such as restaurant meals, spa treatments, longer validity periods on deals and greater flexibility with bookings.
Luxury Escapes was established in 2010 to provide easily accessible, luxury accommodation online and over the phone. It partners with four-star and five-star hotels and resorts around the world which offer Luxury Escapes exclusive limited time offers at “insider” prices.
“Today we have some of the best-value packages that we have ever had in some of the world’s best-known hotels,” Schwab told The AJN.
“Luxury Escapes curates packages with as many inclusions as possible to give members the best holiday experience.
“While COVID was incredibly difficult for the industry, it also forced us to adapt really quickly, and we created lots of automation tools which makes it easy for our customers. If you want a credit or refund you can do it in one minute with a few clicks and not have to speak to anyone.”
When COVID hit around the world in 2020, international travel ground to a halt due to restrictions by governments, but Luxury Escapes continued to offer lots of packages within Australia.
“During the pandemic, Australians still wanted to holiday domestically – we actually sold more packages than ever,” said Schwab. “When borders reopened last October there was an initial surge to destinations such as Fiji, but then Omicron hit and things slowed down. It seemed people were far more concerned about how governments may react than of COVID itself.”
Schwab said in recent months, as restrictions have been removed almost everywhere, many more people are travelling and taking advantage of the great value deals being offered.
“At one time people booked their holidays at least six months or 12 months ahead, but we are finding that they are now booking for September school holidays and summer holidays in places such as Bali, Fiji and the Maldives. They are a lot more confident about travelling,” he said.
“Almost every country has now removed COVID testing requirements for travellers.”
Schwab said that currently there are great deals available for luxury hotels in countries such as Bali and Thailand.
Some of Luxury Escapes’ most popular packages include the Apurva Kempinski Bali resort in Nusa Dua, a small-group tour in Canada and to the recently renovated Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger hotel in Hawaii.
According to Schwab, the key is locking in your holiday now, especially for the September and December holidays.
The luxury Apurva Kempinski Bali resort features a 60-metre outdoor pool with sunbeds beneath palm trees, health and beauty treatments at the Apurva Spa and a choice of dining spots including the Koral Restaurant which is set inside an aquarium with stunning underwater views of marine life.
The Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger is located on Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Honolulu’s shopping and entertainment precinct and only a short stroll from Waikiki Beach.
“Smart travellers are booking two, three or even four trips now, locking in those incredible prices and having the next year to plan and look forward to their well-deserved holiday,” said Schwab.
For Luxury Escapes deals, go to luxuryescapes.com