Singapore Opens World’s First ‘Bubbled’ Biz Hotel

Meeting room at Connect@Changi.
Meeting room at Connect@Changi.

It’s a long way from Canada’s quarantine hotels.

Pandemic peer-to-peer interaction is the name of the game at a hotel in Singapore that’s taken ‘bubble’ travel to a whole new level to bring back face-to-face business meetings.

Connect@Changi Courtyard.
Connect@Changi Courtyard.

Connect@Changi has installed innovative meeting pods that let people safely conduct ‘in-person’ business without the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The hotel inside the Singapore Expo Hall doesn’t look a lot different from a standard business hotel. But it uses prefabricated room pods outfitted with airtight glass panels and even special compartments with ultraviolet lights to sanitize documents so they can be shared between participants in in-person meetings.

The measures are designed to reduce the risk of transmission and bring biz travel back without a risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Singapore is set to host the World Economic Forum this summer, and the bubble hotel has been floated as a way to facilitate business meetings during the event.

The hotel welcomed its first guests on Monday, with execs coming from as far as France, Germany, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates to conduct bubbled biz meetings.

“Given that we have operations in Singapore, I need to be able to travel to conduct face-to-face meetings with the team based in Singapore, as well as process some paperwork,” Olivier Leroux, who was among the first guests when he checked in on Monday after his flight from France, told Reuters.

As a bonus, staying at the hotel allows business leaders to avoid the mandatory two-week quarantine at a designated hotel. But it’s not a free pass to explore Singapore. Visitors to the bubble hotel are not permitted to enter the city-state and must leave directly via the airport.

Anna Kroupina

Journalist

Anna's day starts at 5:30 a.m. each morning to scour daily travel news headlines to find the most relevant stories for Canadian travel advisors. She contributes to writing the daily news and covers events. The Alberta Rockies, Hawaii and France's Provence region are among her favourite destinations. She's a proud cat mom and a terrible snowboarder.

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