Things you should know when booking a staycation

Spending most of our days at home these past months made us crave for a change in scenery. While some local destinations have already opened doors to domestic tourists, not everyone is comfortable enough to head out of the city just yet. And for people who are a bit weary of traveling longer distances, staycations are the perfect choice to unwind outside of our homes.

With the changing times, booking a staycation entails more steps compared to pre-pandemic days as health and safety have become a primary concern today.

Here are a few things to remember when booking a staycation in Metro Manila: 

1. Choose a hotel that is allowed to operate for staycations  

While there are hotels in almost any part of the Metro, only select hotels are authorized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to operate for staycation purposes.

Under DOT Administrative Order 2020-006-A or the “Amended Guidelines on the Operations of Accommodation Establishments for Staycation Purposes under a General Community Quarantine”, all accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under GCQ must secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation (CAOS) from the DOT prior to accommodating any guests for staycation.

At present, there are 13 hotels in Metro Manila that have been granted a CAOS.

Among these are Aruga by Rockwell, The Peninsula Manila, Sheraton Hotel Manila,Grand Hyatt, Makati Shangri-La, Okada, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel City of Dreams(COD), Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites, EDSA Shangri La, Solaire, Hyatt regency COD and Nuwa COD.

2. Number of guests in a room

While staycations were popular among families and groups of friends under the old normal, staycationers today need to consider the maximum allowed number of individuals that are allowed to stay in one hotel room.

Under the DOT guidelines, one or two individuals from the same household are allowed to stay in a hotel room with a floor area of up to 20 square meters (sqm).

Similarly, 20 to 29 sqm rooms can accommodate up to two guests.

Three persons are allowed to stay in a 30 to 39 sqm room, four persons in a 40 sqm to 49 sqm room, and five individuals can stay in 50 sqm and above rooms.

3. Contactless payments

The pandemic has boosted the for establishments to adopt digital payment services and the hotel sector is not exempted from this.

Under the DOT guidelines, it is mandatory for hotels to provide cashless methods of payment, online transactions and other options for contactless transactions to promote minimal physical contact.

4. Antigen tests   

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat undergoes a mandatory swab testing during an inspection inside The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, last Oct. 14. Photo by EDD GUMBAN

Operating under the new normal entails a lot of health and safety protocols to ensure the protection of everyone. One way for hotels to ensure guests safe and secure stays is to ensure that all guests have tested negative for COVID-19.

In line with this,each staycation guest shall be required to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.  

5. Follow health and safety protocols

Apart from complying with all the requirements needed to booking a staycation, the responsibility of the guest to comply with all the health and safety guidelines does not end there.

It is vital for guests to follow health and safety protocols all throughout their staycation, especially in public areas of the accommodation facility. By doing so, they are not only protecting themselves, but are also ensuring that every guest will have a safe and fun staycation.