Zoom with the zoo: Guests at Millennium Hotels and Resorts get free virtual zoo visits from their rooms

Moe, the capybara, is one of the animals featured in the virtual programme. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Fancy a chat with zookeepers and their animals from the comfort of your hotel room?

All guests who stay at hotels run by the Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) group now have access to virtual visits to zoos run by Wildlife Reserve Singapore (WRS).

The hotels are Orchard Hotel, M Social, Grand Copthorne Waterfront, M Hotel, Studio M and Copthorne King's Hotel.

Through Zoom video sessions dubbed Hello From The Wild Side, guests can view animals such as the River Safari's capybaras and great white pelicans, or the Night Safari's owls, otters and racoons up close.

Members of WRS' animal care team serve as hosts during these 40-minute sessions, and give insider tips on the animals' behaviour and daily activities.

Guests have a chance to ask the hosts any questions they have about the animals and their lives in the zoos. They can also test their knowledge about animals through quizzes during the sessions.

The virtual zoo experience, a partnership between MHR and WRS, was initially conceived as an initiative to support the mental well-being of guests serving their Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) and quarantines.

The free service is now available to all guests. It has also been offered to London hotels such as Millennium Gloucester, Millennium Knightsbridge, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington, The Bailey's Hotel London and The Chelsea Harbour Hotel.

Last weekend, members of My Millennium, MHR's global guest rewards programme, also joined the virtual zoo experience from their homes.

"The virtual zoo experience is a great way to engage our guests in a fun and educational manner without them leaving the comfort of their rooms. It also makes for a wonderful wet weather contingency plan given Singapore's year-end wet season," says Mr Saurabh Prakash, MHR's group vice president, marketing.

"We are always looking for creative ways to engage our guests. This is one of the reasons why we extended this initiative to our London hotels even as we ride out the pandemic environment," he added.

Orchard Hotel's new Family Themed Premier Rooms are ideal for families with young children as they come equipped with a tepee, otter plushies and kids amenities. PHOTO: MILLENNIUM HOTELS AND RESORTS

Still, for guests who prefer to see zoo animals in person, MHR also offers staycation packages that come with curated experiences at WRS' wildlife parks.

These include behind-the-scenes and up-close encounters with orangutans and pandas. Other options are personal tour guides and private buggy rides at Singapore Zoo or the Jurong Bird Park.

Meanwhile, Orchard Hotel is going big on otters.

Families with young children can consider Otter Family Christmas Adventure, a staycation package in the hotel's new family-themed premier rooms.

These come with a tepee, otter plush toys and kids' amenities. Kids who spot otters around the hotel stand to win an otter keychain if they post photos or videos on Instagram or Facebook .

For more stories on exploring Singapore, go to the SG Go Where page.

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