It’s almost an understatement to say that Hongkongers have a travel bug: Eagerly jetting off to gorgeous locations both near and far multiple times a year is a norm for many. In doing so, we’re always on the lookout for ways to take advantage of our public holidays and time off work, not to mention finding the best holiday packages possible.
While it’s become a habit for many of us to track the latest flight deals (Cathay fanfares, anyone?), it’s not often we get alerts for the hottest accommodation packages as well. Just launched in Hong Kong is Luxury Escapes, an Aussie-based travel concierge that offers flash sales for some pretty serious accommodation deals and travel experiences.
Rather than just booking you the hotel room, Luxury Escapes packages its offerings with much-needed inclusions, from airport transfers to breakfasts, complimentary spa treatments to ski passes or safari tours. Each of the hotels, resorts, tour providers and partners are handpicked by the LE team. They even offer curated tours that take you through multiple cities to make the most of your time. And after a quick browse on the site, you’ll find that some of the offers can be shockingly good value.
We’re looking at attractive sales that take you to Bali with nightly dinners, complimentary massages and cocktails; a glam getaway with five-star VIP club access at the Grand Hyatt Dubai; an indulgent stay in Margaret River, wine country in Western Australia; a swish, sun-soaked holiday in Mykonos; and a quiet, luxurious retreat in the idyllic Blue Mountains, just an hour and a half from Sydney — all at the same prices or less than what would typically just get you accommodation when booked elsewhere.
Available as an app or online, Luxury Escapes certainly makes holiday planning a more convenient affair. Unlike other flash sale models, you don’t even have to pick your dates immediately at the time of purchase. You can buy first, book later; but of course, there are typically surcharges during special dates. What’s great about the platform is its transparency from the start: You won’t have to spend time clicking through to the end of the booking only to find hidden charges popping up on your bill before you click confirm. There’s also a 7-day money back guarantee should you change your mind, though this isn’t available for curated tour packages (such as through Scandinavia or Morocco) as they are in such high demand.
There are a few drawbacks, however. Packages are sold with fixed night durations — such as 3-, 5- or 7-nights — so there’s not much flexibility. Naturally, one thing that’s missing is flights: Luxury Escapes have partnered with Australian flight search company Skiddoo to offer aggregate searches for cheap flights right on the platform itself, but you might want to find your own preferred travel means, and that is often a whole other beast of research required. Still, it’s fantastic to be able to piece together the ultimate holiday, with all the perks and pampering of a five-star experience, in just several clicks rather than needing to arrange all the moving parts by yourself.
Since launching in 2013, Luxury Escapes has catered to more than 1 million high-end travellers to date, with its carefully curated list of hand-picked hotels and resorts. Started in Australia, the platform has also launched in India and Singapore in recent years to positive feedback.
With this launch in Hong Kong, hopefully those of us who are constantly daydreaming about our next getaway will be able to keep wanderlust at bay with greater, quicker and more affordable access to some of the most sought-after holiday destinations on earth.