DayAway: An Asian Hospitality Startup to Watch

The Singapore-based company has developed a new booking platform to connect luxury hotels with non-staying guests.

The Fullerton Bay Hotel is one of DayAway’s 14 partners in Singapore. (Photo: Fullerton Hotels)

The Covid-19 pandemic might have upended the world of travel and hospitality, but this crisis has also accelerated demand for hyper-local experiences and inspired leaders to think outside the box. Enter DayAway, an online platform that soft-launched in April, allowing users to browse and book curated daytime experiences at Singapore’s top hotels. It’s a boon for local residents who might not otherwise consider a full-blown staycation, while giving hotels an extra source of revenue by opening under-utilized spaces such as the spa, gym, and MICE facilities to non-staying guests.

To date, one of its most popular offerings is “Sunrise Spa and Swim” (from S$258) at Raffles Hotel Singapore, where “daycationers” enjoy an hourlong wellness treatment followed by two hours spent at the property’s rooftop pool. Vouchers can also be purchased online to treat friends and family.

Founded by Martha Waslen — who worked at Ralph Lauren New York before relocating to Singapore a decade ago for a senior position at cosmetics startup Luxola — DayAway is now planning to add several hundred hotel partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the USA in 2022. The next phase of DayAway’s expansion will see it rolling out daytime packages in Hong Kong and Thailand, with further new markets to be announced progressively. DayAway’s confirmed hotel partners in Hong Kong include The Langham and The Grand Hyatt, while those in Thailand range from the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok to Phuket’s Trisara and Hyatt Regency Koh Samui.

Residents of the Thai capital will get to book experiences such as “A Suite Day by Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok” (from THB9,555), which offers Executive suite and pool access, breakfast or a three-course lunch, and more. Over in Hong Kong, “A Day Downtown at The Langham Hong Kong” (from HK$1,250) grants users access to a Deluxe Courtyard room as well as the pool, gym, and wellness facilities; a complimentary bottle of champagne and a 20 percent discount across most of The Langham’s restaurants are also part of the package.

In addition to its global expansion, DayAway is set to launch an integrated payments system as well as loyalty and partnership programs with airlines and selected Fortune 500 companies. The company will soon debut an online magazine with regularly updated style, dining, and wellness content, and plans are afoot to launch a DayAway App sometime in the future.

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