Our resort in Bali, Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana, has long been recognized as a romantic destination, drawing couples for honeymoons and to celebrate anniversaries. From 2010 that started to shift as more families began to book stays with us, attracted by the abundance of space and outdoor activities. During the pandemic the whole industry was flipped upside down as international tourism came to a halt. Domestic travelers became our mainstay. Now that we’ve re-opened to the world, we have realized a new phenomenon: More and more guests are booking stays for one.
‘Revenge travel’ is what they’re calling it. The term has come into the Post-COVID hospitality lexicon, and the vengeful are showing up on our threshold. As more travelers want to visit places they’ve dreamed of, we’ve found that they’re not willing to wait for others to join them.
Over the past few months we have sat down with a couple of our solo guests to find out more about why they chose to travel alone to Bali.
One Singaporean guest, Ms. Goh, had plans to meet friends on another part of the island but wanted some dedicated me-time during her time away. She mentioned that for solo travel she was most interested in staying at a resort. because of the spa experiences on offer. Finding interesting, delicious food is also an essential element when deciding where to book.
“Traveling solo gives me the joy of running away because I have the freedom to do whatever I like,” said Goh. “It started when I was frequently traveling on business trips overseas. When I got back to my hotel, I spent my ‘me-time’ exploring. I am now married. My husband is quite busy with work, so I travel solo when he is away on a business trip.”
She believes that when traveling alone, we need peace and quiet. “When I looked at Tanah Gajah online, the first thing that drew me to the property was the generous space that the resort offers as well as the serenity of its surroundings.”
Another solo traveler, Ms. Hilda, an Indonesian now residing in Singapore, agrees that the grounds and the surrounding nature of Tanah Gajah enticed her into booking her remote-working stay at the property. According to Hilda, a solo trip allows you to be more aware of the little memorable moments that happen during your time away.
“I booked a villa that is facing a lotus pond. One afternoon when I was working on the desk, I was gazing out the window to the pond, and suddenly a beautiful white egret gracefully landed on the pond right in front of me, which was a refreshing sight and a beautiful moment to remember,” she said.
Another point she noted was that safety is an important aspect to consider when traveling alone, especially for solo women travelers. This makes smaller boutique properties with attentive staff looking out and checking-in on guests important.
Mr. Aschberger, a Swiss-native who enjoyed a long holiday at Tanah Gajah, is also making up for lost time.
“Bali has been on my bucket list for the past ten years. I haven’t been able to visit because of work and then the pandemic. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, I’m finally able to visit and tick Bali off my list,” he said.
“Since the pandemic, the solo traveling trend has picked up a lot because a lot of people were instructed to work from home. With COVID restrictions, you were basically at home 24/7. After spending such a long time at home, you just need to get away and people cannot wait longer to travel to experience new culture, scenery and surroundings.”
Ninety percent of the trips Aschberger goes on have been solo and he prefers to stay in family-owned hotels or resorts compared to hotel chains, as generally he gets more personalized service and it is more comfortable staying in smaller properties.
“I saw Tanah Gajah in a magazine around 3-4 years ago and the surrounding nature and the serene main swimming pool have imprinted the property in my mind.”
Inspired by our solo travelers, we launched a special two-night stay package designed for one, called “The Art of Solo Serenity.” We considered our solo guests’ feedback and decided to include spa experiences, and also half board so they could enjoy being on-site, while also having time to explore the surrounding area.
Solo travel is predicted to continue to grow and we will continue to make sure that bookings for one are welcomed and well-accommodated at our property here in Ubud.