Launched in Singapore in 2021, the new DayAway online destination for booking hotels by the day is now available in Australia.
If you’re going to launch a luxury hotel experience concept, then Raffles Hotel Singapore makes for a formidable first hotel partner.
In 2021, leading lifestyle and technology entrepreneur Martha Waslen created her DayAway concept in Singapore – commencing with Raffles Hotel Singapore as well as The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. The idea came to Martha during the height of the pandemic in 2020 when Singapore’s hotel leisure spaces, shut off from international visitors, were largely sitting dormant. Martha began to explore ways that could provide locals with the opportunity to enjoy much-needed getaway moments of indulgence in luxury hotels.
“I’ve always enjoyed spending time in beautiful hotels whether it’s for lunch with friends or for an indulgent spa treatment. I thought that there should be an easier way to offer and access daytime experiences at some of the world’s best luxury hotels on a single digital platform,” says Martha Waslen, Founder and CEO of DayAway.
The benefit for hotels, says Martha, is the ability to generate revenue and maximise use of under-utilised hotel spaces by creating experiential and ‘recharging’ activities for visitors while at the same time, creating brand awareness and loyalty. The concept was recognised as a Skift IDEA Award Winner 2021 for Tech & Innovation.
Martha has spent her career working in luxury consumer goods, starting out at Ralph Lauren in New York. She was instrumental in the growth of online beauty platform Luxola – eventually acquired by Sephora, owned by LVMH.
The DayAway concept and locations
The B2B2C DayAway digital platform is the first of its kind, creating a new market category around daytime hotel experiences that can be booked through a seamless online experience using SaaS technology. In several cities around the world, individuals can book dining, spa or other lifestyle experiences at several luxury hotels, regardless of whether they are staying as guests at that hotel. The experiences can also be booked in your own home city.
DayAway launched in Australia earlier this year, with four luxury hotel partners signed up in its initial stages – including Park Hyatt Sydney; The Langham, Sydney; Victoria’s Jackalope Mornington Peninsula ; and COMO The Treasury Perth in Western Australia.
At Park Hyatt Sydney, you can book through the DayAway platform for its Signature Afternoon Tea in the Living Room; or a 60-minute Aromatherapy Escape that includes a full body massage (read on for our feedback about this experience). Alternatively, book a 90-minute Sensory Organic Facial.
In Sydney’s Rocks district, you can book a signature high tea in the Palm Court at The Langham, Sydney; or a Kitchens on Kent Lunch or Dinner experience.
The art-driven Jackalope Mornington Peninsula is set on the private Willow Creek vineyard in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula wine region, an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Soak up the ambience here by booking a three-hour DayAway Body Bliss experience at Jackalope’s Spa. For the wine lovers, there’s a Wine Immersion and Lunch that includes a vineyard tour, a wine tasting, blending session and lunch.
At contemporary boutique hotel COMO The Treasury, Perth, a masterful redesign of a mid 19th-century state building by Australian designer Kerry Hill, guests overlook Perth’s Swan River. Spend time here in either a Heritage or a Heritage Balcony Room with a dining credit to dine on lunch at one of its two restaurants. Or visit the Spa for a COMO Shambhala Treatment; or book a Seasonal Lunch or Afternoon Tea.
In Singapore, DayAway experiences can be booked at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Andaz Singapore; in Hong Kong at Rosewood Hong Kong and in Thailand at Rosewood Hong Kong and the Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.
DayAway experiences can also be booked in several United Arab Emirates hotels. The group is poised to soon launch experiences in the United Kingdom.
Our DayAway experience at Park Hyatt Sydney
With an enviable location alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge and with views of the Opera House, the Park Hyatt has long been a hub of understated luxury and consistent service in Sydney.
After pulling into the curved driveway entrance, I’m escorted to the lifts that take me up to The Spa – passing sculptures, artworks and framed photographs by Australian artists that line the hotel’s walls and public spaces. Stepping inside the hotel for a 90-minute Aromatherapy Massage, passing other guests visiting from interstate or overseas, I too feel like I’m having my own, mini luxury getaway that’s a welcome deviation from the everyday.
The spa’s interiors envelop visitors with a sense of calm, furnished in warm, earthy and neutral tones and textures; and subtle, native floral arrangements. I am ushered to a lounge area where staff greet me and ask me to fill out a form that allows me to nominate my massage preferences, desired pressure and areas I’d like my therapist to concentrate on.
While sipping on lemon and myrtle native tea, I’m offered the choice of different base oils for use in my massage, all by NSW botanical skincare brand, iKOU. Options include Tranquility (Turkish rose and rose geranium); De-Stress (geranium and lavender); Renewal (bergamot and may chang); and Muscle Relax (eucalyptus and kunzea).
My therapist, Tanatcha, leads me to a treatment room. All are fitted with private bathrooms and showers. While getting ready, I wash my hands with the heavenly-scented iKOU Australian lemon myrtle and Tahitian lime hand wash. From my room, I can see glimpses of the harbour and the sandstone structures that form the supports of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For the next 60 minutes, I’m figuratively transported away by the skilful and soothing hands of Tanatcha. As usual, I initially struggle to switch off my monkey mind that is internally looping my ‘to-do’ list in my brain. Yet, there’s something otherworldly and almost spiritual that happens once I give way to the experience and be present in the moment. The arresting and evocative fragrance of Australian eucalyptus is used throughout the session. A soundtrack of serene music plays, includes a symphony of warbling birds. At one point, I truly feel as though I’m lying in the heart of the Australian bush or a rainforest, absorbing its scents and sounds.
Afterwards, while sipping on a post-treatment herbal tea and munching chocolate biscotti, I think what a clever gift idea this could make. It’s easy to book for family and friends and would give them a slice of an ‘Away’ experience that, all told, is just a couple of hours out of your day, but is so restorative in providing a moment of self-care in calm surrounds.