Chennai hotels welcome guests with new norms

Chennai, Sep 3 (IANS) Star hotels in the city are welcoming guests with new health safety standards like touchless check-in, offering immunity booster drinks, welcome kit containing sanitiser, mask and other such items, sanitising cars, bags and asking the restaurants to maintain social distancing, said industry officials.

Chennai, Sep 3 (IANS) Star hotels in the city are welcoming guests with new health safety standards like touchless check-in, offering immunity booster drinks, welcome kit containing sanitiser, mask and other such items, sanitising cars, bags and asking the restaurants to maintain social distancing, said industry officials.

They said that handling Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) guests was a great learning experience.

“The guest cars, bags are sanitised when they come in at Days Hotel OMR Chennai. Our modified software enables touchless check-in. The guests are given a welcome kit containing mask, sanitiser, liquid handwash. The welcome drink is now an immunity booster which can be had in the lobby or in the room. Room service orders can be placed from mobile phones,” Yangya Prakash Chandran, Founder and CEO, Crossway Hotels and Resorts told IANS.

Crossway Hotels manages the Days Hotel OMR Chennai and several hotel and resort properties in and around Chennai, Andamans and Sri Lanka.

He said the staff have also been trained in health safety aspects and are given masks, gloves and other such items.

“The restaurant is also open but the number of covers has been cut by half to 30. Guests can also order food from their room with QR code enabled menu,” he added.

Chandran said it is only Days Hotel that is accepting guests now and other properties in its fold will open soon.

“Our safe practices start with pre-arrival check-in, safe car ride, security personnel in PPE, hand sanitisers at touchpoints, luggage sanitisation, remodelled receptions with Welcome Separators, deep-cleaned and sanitised room allotment,” said Zubin Songadwala, General Manager, ITC Grand Chola, Area Manager – ITC Hotels, South.

ITC Grand Chola has 600 guest rooms, suites and luxury service apartments.

An official said all high touchpoints like elevators, knobs, taps etc are disinfected every hour while floor markings enable social distancing.

The ITC Grand Chola official said rooms are rented after 24 hours between each guest, after stringent deep cleaning and sanitising protocols.

It is contactless dining for both in-room and restaurants. The hotel crockery, cutlery and trolley that carry in-room dining orders are sanitised.

At the salons, the treatment stations have been remodelled for safe distancing and there will be an interval of 30 minutes between guests for deep cleaning of stations.

“It will take at least two/three years to return to normal operations. The industry has been set back by five years,” Chandran said.

According to him, a lot depends on the resumption of international and domestic flights.

Industry officials said there are not many enquiries for booking rooms.

“Pricing is also under pressure while the Covid-19 safety precautions add to our costs. Rates are being renegotiated with institutional clients with new rates going down by about 30 per cent,” Chandran said.

According to him, the number of guests under VBM is also declining.

“There may be some negative reviews of some properties by VBM guests. But it may not impact business as everybody knows the challenging times,” Chandran said.

Hoteliers said the VBM guest tariff ranging between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner is a government fixed rate and properties accepted the same in order to meet the minimum running costs.

“Such rates will not have any negative impact on a hotel’s regular rates nor on its branding,” Chandran said.

According to him, hosting VBM guests was an immense learning experience in meeting the demands of various people.

“One of our properties had 19 pregnant women. There were old people and others with lifestyle ailments. Catering to their needs was a challenge as well as a learning,” he said.

Managing the supplies, getting back workers to the property was also a challenge during the initial phase of the lockdown, he added.

–IANS

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