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The global lockdowns and border restrictions have dealt the travel industry a colossal blow. Hotel owners are struggling to pay their staff – many of whom rely heavily on tips – and exotic summer trips are looking increasingly unlikely for us all. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The travel industry has always been a reservoir of resilience, and clever initiatives are well underway to keep the lights on and people’s dreams of future escape alive. Hotels are extending their flexible booking periods, issuing travel vouchers, gift cards and irresistible offers that stretch so far into the distance that when they come around the holiday might feel as good as free. While we wait to find out when we can travel, here are the best hotel vouchers and flexible booking options available right now.
From Anguilla’s white sands to the Brazilian side of the pounding Iguazu Falls, Belmond’s spectacular locations across the world are a fine launchpad for exploring the local town or natural wonders. Taking into account the unstable travel situation, Belmond has launched a Tomorrow Time Travel Pass, essentially a gift card or banked future Belmond currency with unlimited expiry date. Belmond will also top up the value of each purchase, for example were a guest to spend £500, they will receive an additional £100 voucher, and for £1000, they will receive a £200 voucher.
Awasi, Argentina and Chile
Education and adventure lie at the heart of Awasi, a collection of three smart, low impact lodges in South America, which blend seamlessly into their equally stunning landscapes – Chile’s Atacama Desert,Torres del Paine in Patagonia and Argentina’s Atlantic Rainforest. Combining tasteful contemporary interiors, beautifully cooked local produce and exemplary excursions into the wild, Awasi has set the gold standard in South America for high end adventure holidays. The collection is now allowing future guests to confidently book and secure a trip with just a ten per cent charge and unlimited flexibility to change the dates of the trip until the end of 2021. The full balance is due 30 days prior to check-in. Visit their website for additional lodge specific deals.
An Aman electronic gift card – whether swapped for a day on the slopes of Jackson Hole at Amangani or exploring the coral reefs around Amanyara – is the gold standard where gift cards are concerned. Ranging from $10 to $25,000, the cards can be exchanged for any sensational slice of the Aman experience (spa, restaurant, rooms and cultural or sporting adventures) and have no expiry date. Utah’s Amangiri, an architecturally triumphant desert retreat, has recently announced its reopening date for 21 May 2020, with its new tented accommodation, Camp Sarika, launching on 1 July 2020.
Lime Wood, Hampshire
Hampshire’s elegant country house retreat, Lime Wood, is offering gift vouchers starting at £25, valid for 24 months from 1 August 2020. These can be exchanged or used in part payment for stays in the Regency hotel’s decadent rooms, delectable organic meals and afternoon tea at the stylish, buttoned-down restaurant, Hartnett Holder & Co, or relaxing treatments at the Herb House spa.
Set high above dazzling Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands, this brightly-coloured boutique hotel and villa retreat is louche and lovely in equal measure. Candlelit al fresco suppers with a soft cicada accompaniment and sunsets with crimson hues melting behind volcanoes across Lake Atitlan should be sufficient temptation for future guests. But with the things as they are, Casa Palopó has rolled ‘A Gift for Giving’ offer where guests book one night and receive a second complimentary. The booking can be modified twice at no extra cost for all stays up until March 24 2021 and the deadline for booking is 15 October 2020.
Hotel Esencia, Mexico
This Riviera Maya jungle-chic hotel, once an exotic retreat for an Italian duchess, has created a limited set of 200 advance-purchase certificates, which when redeemed across the various accommodation, food, drink and spa-treatment options, are worth 50 per cent more than the purchase price. As if the ivory sands of Mexico’s Caribbean coast weren’t enough incentive to book ahead, Hotel Esencia’s certificates are valid for two years from date of purchase and can be combined with any other promotions or discounts the hotel offers within the two years before the expiry date. They are non-refundable and available on a first-come, first-served basis, each at either $2,000 or $5,000 (with a value of $3,000 and $7,500 upon redemption).
LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives
LUX* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is one of a collection of hotels from across the world subscribing to the Buy Now, Stay Later programme. This initiative sees guests purchasing hotel bonds in increments of $100, which after just 60 days mature in value to $150.
Casa de Uco, Argentina
Valle de Uco sits at the foothills of the Andes, just south of the city of Mendoza, and is carpeted in pretty vineyards. One of them is Casa de UCO, a boutique winery and contemporary, eco-friendly hotel whose food and, of course, drink offerings all honour its magnificent surroundings. The hotel is offering 20 per cent off flexible booking rates for all room categories, with the opportunity to modify bookings twice with no extra cost for a minimum of two night stays up until September 2021. This offer runs from 15 May 2020 until 31 July 2020 and stays must be taken between 1 September 2020 and 30 September 2021.
Grantley Hall, Yorkshire
This sprawling Palladian beauty on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales has issued a number of voucher options to mentally (and hopefully soon physically) lure future guests up North. These are valid for 12 months following purchase and include overnight stays amid Relais & Châteaux five-star splendour, dinner at star chef Shaun Rankin’s signature restaurant and spa days for post-lockdown release.
Bushman’s Kloof, South Africa
Set in the foothills of South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is a smooth, contemporary launchpad into the African bush with a string of activities, including hikes, fly-fishing and canoeing, on the adrenaline-fuelled menu. With more than 18,000 acres to explore, the reserve – custodian to ancient rock-art, crystal-clear rock pools and breath-catching wildlife – allows you to reconnect with nature and offers the space and wild beauty to help restore a sense of balance post lockdown. Sweeten an otherwise strange summer with the promise of perhaps an escape to Koro Lodge, one of the hotel’s villas with a private chef, a hot-stone massage in the airy gazebo or food and wine discovery evenings along the River Boma.
Terre Blanche, Provence
More country club than resort, Terre Blanche hotel inhabits Provence’s rolling hills and laid-back spirit. With its villas scattered throughout the manicured gardens of the estate, a formidable spa and an 18-hole golf course, there’s plenty to spend a voucher on. Terre Blanche vouchers are valid for up to a year from the date of purchase.
With hotels in over 30 countries around the world – each with its own distinct identity, all unquestionably grand and spoiling, like Grand Hotel des Bains here in St. Moritz – Kempinski is one of those hotel groups whose level of service and comfort has created a loyal group of disciples. Kempinski’s new ‘Make A Travel Promise’ campaign allows guests to book ahead for themselves, or as a gift to others, with bookings made until 10 June 2020 for as far ahead as 31 March 2021. The offer includes a room upgrade, a bottle of sparkling wine, a Kempinski breakfast and a 25 per cent discount voucher for the hotel restaurant and bars, along with flexible arrival and departure times. Being acutely aware of the current uncertainty surrounding lockdown, Kempinski’s cancellation and rebooking conditions have been generously reconfigured.
Rocco Forte Hotels
Look forward to a much-needed dose of la dolce vita with Rocco Forte Hotels’ 20 per cent discounted bookings offer across its portfolio (in Italy of course, but also the UK, Germany, Belgium and Russia), with the added freedom to change the date and destination twice before March 2021. From the fragrant, rolling hills of Sicily’s Verdura Resort to Masseria Torre Maizza’s sun-baked setting on Italy’s Adriatic coast, there’s a trip in there for every nomadic appetite. This offer expires on 31 July 2020, is non-refundable and stays must be booked seven days prior to arrival and taken between 1 June 2020 and 31 March 2021.
The Doyle Collection
After weeks of bedding down, we could all do with a change of scenery to look forward to, and while the countryside may spring to mind, cities also trade in escapism. The fabulously charming, family-owned Doyle Collection is offering 10 per cent off gift vouchers bought before 31 July 2020 for stays and experiences at its hotels in Ireland and London. Whether you intend to get lost in the Coral Room’s eccentric cocktail menu at The Bloomsbury, sip and nibble on high tea at The Kensington, relax into a facial at The Marylebone’s health club, relish seafood and Champagne in The Westbury’s imposing Gallery room in Dublin or tuck into an Irish cheese board on The River Lee’s terrace in Cork, the vouchers don’t expire until five years after the purchase date, leaving you ample time to plan a post-quarantine treat.
Peru Sol y Luna
With its series of charming casitas stippled across pretty gardens in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas, Sol y Luna is a rustic oasis to make for once long-haul flights are back on our radar. Food and drink adhere to Relais & Chateaux’s lofty standards and intrepid types are rewarded with horseback rides and hiking excursions to the nearby ruins. Sol y Luna is offering 20 per cent off room bookings including breakfast, with the option to change the date twice in the next year. This offer expires on 30 September 2020, is non-refundable and stays must be booked seven days prior to arrival and taken between 1 June 2020 and 31 March 2021.
The Beaumont, London
This grand Mayfair hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, with its Art Deco interiors and Roaring Twenties spirit is donating 20 per cent of all vouchers for stays or spa use purchased until 31 December 2020 to NHS Charities Together, supporting the work of the NHS frontline staff during the Covid-19 crisis. Look forward to a cleanse in the spa’s hammam, settling in for a long steak supper at the classic Colony Grill Room or a snooze in Antony Gormley’s sculpture-cum-suite, ROOM.
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