Hotels.com Welcome Rewards – Book 10 nights, get 1 night free. More bang for your buck!

Anyone who talks to me or knows me would have an idea that I love travelling and especially, love hotels. For my last job that I quit about 2 months ago, I worked for a beautiful 5-star hotel (Fullerton Bay Hotel).

What I really prefer though, is enjoying a hotel!


Blog post on Bali for Rachel K’s birthday in April 2012 here.

I’ve stayed in so many, I’ve almost lost count. Sometimes I’m happy to be in a hotel alone, but other times I travel with a bunch.

But whether it was is for work or for play, part of the ultimate hotel experience for me has always been not just staying in the hotel. – The ultimate hotel experience should ideally include an easy booking process and being able to secure extra discounts.

I love to ask for discounts.

And the best room with a view for whatever category I book.

And a free breakfast. With a basket of fruits.

“Could I also have a free bottle of champagne?”

I know, I can be a pain! But even if you are not as thick-skinned as I am, I think most of you are still somewhat the same, and are happy to sign up for things knowing that you are getting more bang back for your buck.

I have used all sorts of loyalty programmes (and there are so many out there), but the best are those who keep things sweet and simple. Loyalty programmes should either 1) save you money, or 2) give you free stuff that is easy and hassle-free to redeem.

Nevermind getting 1 point of rewards for every USD$1 “that qualifies” for what I have spent, or rewards that are tied into my credit card calculations or air mile exchanges. Forget rewards that don’t apply for non-business trips, or that have a long list of “Terms and Conditions apply”. Sheesh, show me the freebies already!

I have been sent the press release for Hotels.com’s Welcome Rewards programme and the structure of their new loyalty programme seems rather straightforward so far –

For every 10 room nights booked, you get one free room night (excluding taxes and fees) via Hotels.com. The maximum value of the free night is the average daily rate of your ten (10) nights stay.

You can also claim a more expensive room for your free night – you simply have to top up the difference. So if your free night is valued at $100, but you want to book a room that costs $200, you simply have to pay the difference of $100.

THERE IS NO EXPIRY DATE, as long as you book one night every 12 months.

There are no points to calculate, but the best part is – NO BLACKOUT DATES! (There is nothing worse than trying to redeem a free room, and then finding out that you can’t because it so happens to be the Prime Minister’s 2nd son’s cousin’s birthday and a national holiday.)

Book 10 nights and get 1 night free… That’s getting us pretty excited.

Staying 10 nights and getting one free with Hotels.com’s new Welcome Rewards is an easy and effective loyalty scheme, just like those bubble tea shop cards that we all love. Except that redeeming free holidays or hotel rooms taste so much better than bubble tea!

If you like to travel or have a holiday coming up, why not check out updates on Hotels.com’s Facebook page OR their website to book some nights and get more bang……

… For your buck?

I will update this space again when I use Hotels.com to book my next holiday, and let you know my comments. Let me know your feedback too!

This is an advertorial for Hotels.com

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Questioning Villas: Crimson Resort and Spa, Mactan via Cebu Pacific Air

Villas. There isn’t as many words in the world that I love as much as this – not only as the second syllable rolls off my tongue, but for it’s underlying significance to ‘relaxing’, ‘having a holiday’, or ‘being by a beach’.


(The iconic Filipino boat with extra side wings for stability in the rough seas.)

Hello, Villa.

Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan does offer villas of sorts, and although I did not stay in one, the introductory accommodation (Deluxe Room) I was in already felt like it. I was officially on a relaxing holiday by the beach.







(Soap on seashells, woody interiors with earthy orange tones, Island-inspired decor and handicrafts as lighted lamps, all in a vicinity of newly trimmed lush gardens – the fresh air and little touches remind me that I’m not in the city anymore. The resort was all very romantic and also made me wish I was in love.)


I sat cross-legged and fully relaxed in my Verandah, squinting at the shiny sun and lush gardens that traced the edges of the evenly-stoned walkway in front of me. I rubbed my eyes – wait – how did I even get here?

I left work at 11pm, and Cebu Pacific Air got me directly from Singapore to Cebu in less than 4 hours via a daily midnight flight – almost as quick as it takes to say… “Mabuhay”!


Facebook page at Cebu Pacific Air SG
Tweet @CebuPacificAir

I was ready to take on a day of seeing Cebu. Although… My hair… It was a mess; and my head was still in a slight daze from waking up an hour too early (Damn you iPhone auto-correct timezones… You are not correct!). Some people say they wake up on the wrong side of bed – but as mine was soft, queen sized, full of plush pillows and in total, too comfortable, I guess I woke up in the wrong timezone instead.

(I love it when a hotel provides a full set of 2×2 pillows, and another 2 for good measure/decor. The blanket wasn’t the fluffy-thick sort with feather down that I love, but it was enough to shield me from bad dreams.)

My Deluxe Room is selling on the official Crimson website for 1,100 PHP/$230 SGD based on 1 room/2 person occupancy (max 5 pax), incl breakfasts, but not incl service charge and taxes.

Munching in my pyjamas and on my nutty banana bread that I squirreled off my Cebu Pacific flight, I must have looked like one as I grasped the bread with both my hands, cheeks completely chock-full, and eyes wide open. I barely managed a reciprocal smile as every single hotel staff who strolled past in front of me greeted me cheerily.

“Good morning/afternoon/evening ma’am!”

I heard not once, but always with resounding enthusiasm throughout my stay, even when we checked in at 5am. Clear internal training or pure friendly Filipino hospitality? This was a close tie.


I also tested the housekeeping and guest services for 3 bottles of water, one vanity kit consisting of cotton wool + buds and one towel – the delivery (driven via a golf buggy) was accurate and within 10 minutes. Being the klutz that I am, I also got locked out of my room – twice – and had to wait for and wave down the next staff who passed by. This always took seconds and help always came within minutes. Since my day job works me around the clock in a Singaporean 5-star hotel, I know the endless efforts that go behind excellent service, and I definitely appreciated every bit of it.

The food was good too, with buffet breakfast dished out with everything from muesli, cheeses, and cooked-to-order eggs, to local selections like fried danggit.

There was staff on hand, ready to cater to requests of dietary requirements and coffee tea. Amidst our activities that day, we also squeezed in their newly launched beachfront BBQ buffet dinner, complete with cultural show-fire twirling-dancing.

I couldn’t keep my comments to myself. Halfway through the fire-twirling session and a second glass of Chardonnay, I plagued the Area Manager – James – with questions, suggestions and feedback, sometimes touching on how he could improve the place. He looked at and listened to me, nodding with a smile as I went down another round of constructive criticism.

“You have such a lovely place! You already have a little beachfront bar with mood lighting, why not bring in some sofas or daybeds and create a Balinese Kudeta-style vibe? Fill up the cocktail menu and turn the music up… I’m sure your guests will love a late-night option.” I gushed and pushed, sparkling with gusto.

“I think so too – guests tell me they want more fun but when I start a party, they complain that the music is too loud.” The Area Manager explained. “What should I do?”

I was indignant about my beach lounge party. “They have a villa! Ask the boring sleepy couples to go back to their villas for some something-something. Isn’t that what villas are for?”

This was definitely a resort fit for falling in love.

*****END OF TRAVELOGUE*****

The Crimson Resort and Spa, Mactan is also TripAdvisor’s 2012 Winner of the Certificate of Excellence. Thank you to the staff at Crimson Mactan for an easy stay.

Thank you to the lovely team from Cebu Pacific Air for getting me there. Cebu Pacific Air is one of the national carriers in Philippines, offering some pretty great year-round fares for all flights. They not only fly from Singapore to Cebu, but to Manila, Clark and very soon – Iloilo (a new route opening November 2012)!

Cebu Pacific Air – click here for a uniquely upbeat flying experience

What to do in Cebu? Subscribe here for more blog posts and pictures from my trip.