New online travel portal offers up to 70 percent off luxury hotel and resort bookings.
By Yong Yung Shin
How would you like to book a week’s stay at Italy’s La Bandita, a farmhouse converted into a luxurious Tuscan boutique hotel for S$268 a night, instead of S$470? With the launch of The Luxe Nomad (www.theluxenomad.com), a new members-only website that offers weekly discounts on boutique and luxury hotel, resort and villa bookings, discerning travelers no longer have to break the bank to enjoy a bit of indulgence. The launch of The Luxe Nomad took place on Dec. 3 aboard The Equator Club’s luxury boat, Nymphaea, docked at Sentosa Cove’s 1Degree15 Marina clubhouse.
Set up by Malaysian model-turned-entrepreneur Stephanie Chai, The Luxe Nomad is based on the flash sale model that is already making waves in America and Europe. Each week, a new rotation of hotels is featured on the site with discounts up to 70 percent, but the deals are only available for seven to 14 days. Booking period ranges from three to six months, allowing buyers time to plan their vacations.
“Asia is one of the fastest growing markets for luxury travel, yet only 25 percent of bookings are made online. In more mature markets, such as the United States, this rate is over 50 percent—signaling an incredible growth opportunity. The Luxe Nomad is very niche as we represent luxury hotels only, with exclusive flash sales that offer prices lower than anywhere else,” says Chai.
Members will receive regular email alerts informing them of weekly sales after they sign up for free. They also earn credit towards their next booking if they recommend friends to book through the website. The only catch is that all bookings are non-refundable, unlike those at other sites such as Agoda.com. Currently, The Luxe Nomad has more than 200 partner hotels and villas around the Asia Pacific Region for members to choose from.
For the hotels, these new forms of travel arrangements are a new way of advertising, as compared to competing with numerous other sites for page one positioning on search engines or shell out huge amounts of money for advertisements in conventional mass media.
One of the hotels featured is the 30-suite L Hotel Seminyak in Seminyak, Bali, which offers personalized butler service, designer amenities like Kiehl’s and charming views fronting paddy fields. “Imagine having your hair washed at the hair spa as you lie facing the paddy field,” says L Hotel’s resident tastemaker Adeline Quek. It is also the only villa in the area that offers entire views of Seminyak, she adds.
Another differentiating factor from other travel booking sites is that The Luxe Nomad features reviews by celebrities like actor/host Allan Wu, male model Godfrey Gao and TV host Asha Gill.
“I created The Luxe Nomad to do three things: offer travelers exclusive rates to some of Asia’s most fabulous destinations, feature a curated list of hotels, and last, but definitely not least, to inspire people to travel,” says Chai.