By Buddy G. Recio
While there are no news updates on the latest hotel closures after Marco Polo Davao has been published, everybody is aware of the eventful crisis the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the hospitality industry. Other notices on developments, hopefully not bankruptcies, have yet to materialize.
This week, international chained hotels and homegrown luxury hotels strengthened government standards by engaging known suppliers of hygiene products and services to elevate their health protocols, and some:
Hilton has the Hilton CleanStay, described as industry-defining, in collaboration with Lysol and Dettol maker RB, and Mayo Clinic. It includes new procedures to help Hilton guests an even cleaner and safer stay to start by mid-July starting in the United States.
Savoy and Belmont’s #SafeStay…We Care Health and Safety campaign has a collaboration with long-time Diversey Philippines to assure guests of magnified sanitation methods.
Dusit Hotels has its Dusit Care – Stay with Confidence program that includes such features as check-in anytime and personal shopping service.
Richmonde Hotels in Ortigas and Libis are offering greatly reduced rates until July 30.
Shangri-La Cares banners their continued partnership with Diversey and enhanced sanitary features like UV lighting disinfection, no manual collaterals in each room, and no mini-bars.
Dine-In and physical distancing – an unexpected relationship
There is no doubt the hotel industry will survive, but how and when is the nagging question.
As lockdowns have eased somewhat, hotels are now scrambling to re-open their restaurants for dine-in guests besides various forms of take-outs. Even if a number of hotels have opened their rooms to host guests as the restaurants are the quickest way to recover some revenue, accommodations will still rely on lockdown dismissals and airport openings.
What was unheard of before in hospitality circles has developed into reality as the government only allowed 30% maximum capacity for restaurants who will offer dine-in; and, that means tables and chairs will have to be arranged according to physical distancing measures.
Besides following standard government health protocols from wearing face masks to physical distancing, some hotels, however, have been innovative to be able to maximize means to get the elusive disposable income that has greatly dwindled during the crisis.
Hospitality News PH asked some hotels in Metro Manila and resorts in selected provinces their added health protocols and these are the earliest responses:
Marco Polo Ortigas has opened its Cucina Italian restaurant and Lung Hin Chinese restaurant for dine-in. While Cucina will have a maximum of two per table with diagonal arrangements and no face-to-face. Lung Hin will have two dining rooms that can allow four to five persons maximum for each. This means that, with two adjoining rooms, the family dining of up to 10 persons is possible, physical distancing considered. Buffet service is still not available, so the excitement of putting food that you like on your plate repeatedly for as long as three hours is gone.
Diamond Hotel Manila has two of its restaurants open for dine-in and take-out, Corniche and Yurakuen Japanese restaurant and Teppanyaki eat-all-you-can. While Corniche offers ala carte (no buffet ) subject to the usual social distancing at two to a table with diagonal seating and no face-to-face, Yurakuen can have 3 persons per table (ideal for family or group dining with social distancing) but availing of the eat-all-you-can privilege is cut to only one hour and only a limited selection is available; however, the price has been considerably reduced to PhP1,900 from PhP3,000.
Shangri-La Group will introduce two daily seating times of 30-minute intervals to allow disinfection in between guests.
All of the hotels encourage prior reservations although walk-ins will not be turned away as long as there is availability.