Bengaluru’s five-star hotels are once again rolling out the red carpet to guests. The hospitality sector had gone into a state of suspended animation in the last couple of months with the COVID-19 pandemic freezing all travel and other activities on which the hospitality sector breathed.
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), the operator of the Taj Group of hotels, and the ITC Group, that operates a chain of hotels, will see the curtains go up first on their Bengaluru properties after the lockdown.
With the national lockdown confining everyone to their homes, the people had been starved of travel, and travel has never been so sought-after and never been more exhilarating than now for the sector. The five-star hotel chains are making the best of it. IHCL’s ‘The Dream, Drive, Discover, Delight’ gives guests the perfect opportunity to drive with families and friends to discover, unwind, and be one with nature once again.
Karnataka offers myriad choices from colonial charm to coffee plantations and dense rainforests at breath-taking destinations such as Kodagu and Chikmagaluru. “Guests can choose from exclusive villas, bungalows, cottages, or suites across hotels,” said Somnath Mukherjee, Area Director – Karnataka & General Manager - Taj West End. He added, “Karnataka is home to a variety of beautiful sights and experiences. With summer vacations in full swing, we want to offer guests private living spaces, recreational activities and culinary experiences, just a drive away from home.”
Following the government relaxations on reopening hotels, ITC Hotels-South comprising ITC Gardenia, ITC Windsor, ITC Kohinoor, ITC Kakatiya, WelcomHotel Bengaluru and WelcomHotel Grand Bay, Visakhapatnam are all set to welcome guests again, from June 8.
In the prevailing New Normal, ITC has launched ‘WeAssure’. In a first for the hospitality industry, ITC Hotels has an accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), the standards organisation for sanitation, hygiene, safety, and infection control practices. ITC Hotels has also partnered with DNV GL Business Assurance, a global certification body, to ensure stringent hygiene and safety.
Specially-curated training programmes have been conducted for staff, and precautions taken for personal, social, and workplaces for all associates.
“We have re-engineered our guest experiences with end-to-end protocols to give our customers the confidence that their safety is our primary focus. This includes minimal associate engagement (including digital ordering and e-payment solutions) and remodelled hotel layout to support safe distancing,” said Zubin Songadwala, Area Manager South, ITC Hotels, & General Manager, ITC Grand Chola.
Over the last two months, it has seen its Flavours takeaway proving popular. The all-day dining pavilions and key signature restaurants too are all ready to serve familiar flavours and inventive cuisine featuring healthy, delectable fares.
“We now welcome guests with a promise of providing optimal well-being and safety though responsible practices that are immensely relevant in the unprecedented circumstances we face today,” says Mr. Songadwala.
Kadambini Mittal, General Manager, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, said “Well-being of all our stakeholders including our guests is of paramount importance and we have reinforced our protocols to address the current public health scenario. We are also going to ensure periodic monitoring of employees’ health through temperature screening and intensified sanitisation protocols for rooms and high traffic areas in the hotel. In addition to this, we are also enabling seamless guest movement within the hotel premises through aesthetic markings, restricted entry and exit points, along with strict social distancing policies.”