As the unlock process has been happening in India, hotels and restaurants have been opening up for stay and dine experience and I had an opportunity to stay at one of the premier hotels Novotel in Bangalore.
I have visited this hotel many times in the last many years and I have truly liked the experience here, however, after the lockdown and rising number of Coronavirus cases in India and also in Bangalore, I was sceptical about the visiting the places or venturing outside. However, I made up my mind to visit and experience the stay at Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road (ORR).
The Novotel opened its doors to tourists and visitors where they followed all the safety practices and are welcoming guests to its secure and friendly environment. The main priority of the hotel brand is hygiene and well-being of everyone and at these difficult times, they are welcoming guests following the highest safety protocols from the world of hospitality.
Being a brand of ACCOR hotels and hospitality services, Novotel is abiding their ALLSAFE guidelines which now has one of the most stringent cleaning actions and operational procedures in the world of hospitality. The hotel adheres to all the safety protocols and rules from the government and has a well-trained team who will make your stay here safe and memorable.
Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President Operations India and South Asia in a press meet said “Guests are looking for a change from their monotonous schedule of being at home and eager to take a break. It is a good indication for the hospitality industry that people have re-started travel for short vacations, and we have observed a trend of staycations among our guests. Since the launch of our campaign ‘Let Us Take Care of You’, we have noticed growth in the footfalls, together with an increase on food and beverage deliveries to homes and offices, this gives us confidence, travel and the tourism industry will rebound. For MICE, executive corporate meetings and small-scale events, we are closely following the government guidelines and social distancing norms. Moreover, some of our hotels have hosted events and intimate weddings and we are ensuring seamless and safe coordination. We are looking eagerly forward to welcome guests at our hotels.”
In this ’new normal’ of living, the hotel has a passion for serving the guests with exemplary hospitality standards. Keeping the safety of both the guests and employees in mind, the team will always wear masks, harnets and gloves to cater to all the needs that the guests demands. Along with safety in place, the hotel also takes regular temperature checks and a medical record is maintained which is updated daily.
I decided to experience my staycation at Novotel amid the rising coronavirus cases as I have complete believe and trust in the hygiene maintained here. And here are the situations and places where we had to follow guidelines which are meant to be helpful for both staff and guests.
EntranceUpon entering the hotel, the well-trained security staff checks our body temperature via infrared thermometer and as per governmental rules, the ’Aarogya Setu’ application will be checked for any recent contacts or safety. Later we will be allowed to enter the hotel premises. Later entering into the hotel premise, our footwear and baggage will be scanned and footwear will be sanitized and checked, there would be an automatic sanitizer dispenser which is where the guests can disinfect their hands. As social distancing is the key, everyone needs to maintain and there are places which are marked as handshake free zones which is where we can stand.The hotel has now made it a mandatory thing that every guest needs to self-park, use masks, sanitizer at relevant touchpoints and restricts public gathering of people as it is helpful for guests and visitors.
The hotel lobby is the place where most of the guests will be present before COVID-19, I used to explore the place and enjoy meeting new people. However, things have turned out different and immediately I started noticing the changes. After sanitizing ourself and the baggage is scanned and sanitized, we check-into the lobby were we see floor decals present and also queue managers who help to maintain social distance while at reception. The reception check-in has ACCOR Allsafe sticker and perplex sheets are present at the reception centre so that the staff will be safe and also the visitor. You will be greeted with a smile and will be provided sheets for the check-in process.
The check-in and check-out process requires minimal contact with the pens and keycard will be sanitized after every usage, keeping safety in mind, the digital payment option is also available for check-in.
Post-check-in, a welcome kit with details of safety measures that need to be followed and an in-room QR code for the menu of the restaurants will be present which we can order sitting at our room.
As we begin to check-into our room, the staff guides us to the elevator and at times only two guests will be allowed to board the elevator and the elevator will be thoroughly sanitized at regular intervals and these would have maximum human visitors. There is an assisted luggage delivery service which is available upon request. Also, at the time of check-out, the keycard can be placed in the box that is kept at the reception which will be sanitized for next consequent usage.
Here is the main part which excited me the most after a thorough check-in and sanitized process. Upon nearing my room I noticed a door sticker which meant that the room is thoroughly sanitized and cleaned and it is an assurance for the next guest to check-in. Essential commodities and disposable products are kept in the room which helps to minimise contact with the staff. Novotel gives a contact where we can order our favourites from the comfort of our room and the QR code menu where we can order just from the tap of our cellphone.
After a guest checks-out, the hotel room will be completely sanitized with fogging and the room is not accessible for any guests to check-in for a minimum of 24 hours.
Food is one important that everyone needs and one of the places where masks need to be removed. However, Novotel has arranged the table and chairs with social distance in mind. Before entering you need to get sanitized with pedal sanitizer and the entry and exit points are marked. If not ordering food from the hotel room, you can check the QR code menu which is placed at every table and for payment, a QR code will be provided.
The chef and the team are checked for temperatures and are given training to strictly adhere to safety guidelines. The food handlers, in particular, are checked for temperature regularly and multiple contacts of food handlers are avoided. The entire restaurant follows social distancing which is a need of the hour now.
Each meal is freshly prepared and food-safe sanitizing agents are used in the kitchen area. Cutleries and silverware are washed in sanitizing solution and are dried in the dishwasher itself. Single-serve items such as ketchup, salt are provided as per the guest’s request.
The chefs at Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road (ORR) are exploring healthy local ingredients and also keeping menu from the guest in mind are providing healthy, nutrient-rich food and the team follows stringent safety protocols to deliver tasty and healthy meals for guests.