“We have introduced an Absolute Care program”

To get an insight into how Grand Xenia is handling the COVID-19 situation we did an e-interview with Jaydeep Bhat, AVP, Gupta Prime Resorts Pvt Ltd. Excerpts

How do you view the current COVID-19 situation?

COVID-19 has affected every sector across the globe, and the hotel industry is among the hardest hit – a pandemic never experienced before. These times will be challenging, but it will be imperative that we stand united, as an industry working towards the future. We want to assure our guests those who are travelling during this pandemic time that their safety and comfort remain our highest priority and we are always there to take special care of them.

At Grand Xenia, we have always practised being open and transparent with our guests and colleagues. We have always placed the highest emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of our guests with exacting standards of cleanliness and hygiene. With the risks associated with COVID-19, and in keeping with WHO and MoT guidelines, we have implemented a number of additional measures.

How will you ensure a safe experience for the guests?

We have introduced an Absolute Care program which encapsulates every minor detail within our operating standards to ensure that we are looking at the safety and security of our guests and associates and covering every single element /touch point in our protocols. This is our promise to our customers as they feel comfortable to engage with us again.

We are strictly following government advisories and guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness. We are conducting awareness sessions on COVID-19 for the entire staff and organizing regular training sessions for our housekeeping staff to follow high standard hygiene protocols. Our staff is taking the utmost care with regards to handling of food / bed n bath linen / common area sanitization / garbage disposal as per latest guidance and hygiene protocols, we assure you that they are well trained to handle situations that may occur at any of our hotels and we have confidence in their abilities.

Post COVID-19 would you focus on staycations?

Absolutely. We have already tied up with large online platforms for booking tours and other activities and experiences, as selling experiences will be key to success, creating compelling stories on blogs and social media of Ajmer and Rajasthan would encourage guests to travel back to Rajasthan.

How about MICE?

The ongoing lockdown in the country and pause in all domestic and international travel has impacted all segments — domestic, inbound and outbound; and all verticals – leisure, MICE, heritage, adventure and niche. We have adapted below practices to handle MICE/ Wedding Segment. These are – Limit attendees (1 person per 2 square-meter space; Body temperature screening (use of a track and trace app); Distancing practice at the MICE venues, elevators, restrooms, restaurants and canteens; An efficient tracking system in case a delegate becomes ill after visiting the venue; Queuing system with the separation of waiting areas before entering the venue.

F&B is vital. How do you take care of the gastronomy of your guests?

Food will never go out of fashion and the future trends in the food segment are going to be experimental. During lockdown our food production team was busy experimenting new fusion food, we are coming up with new food menus which offer a modern touch on Indian cuisine through the use of molecular gastronomy. We have introduced destination dining experiences in our staycation packages like dinner at the sand dunes with Rajasthani folk dance, tea at the lakeside.

Any philanthropic spirit from the group?

We have not just supported our own team and their families but also reached out to various government bodies to provide shelter or quarantine facilities for frontline Covid-19 warriors by offering free stays and meals. Our group properties have become the new shelter for frontline health workers who are risking their lives to keep us safe.

On a personal front why have you chosen to pursue a career in the hotel industry?

The hospitality industry allows you to develop yourself – professionally and also as a person. Not only do you improve on the professional skills you already possess, but with time and commitment you learn others due to the variety of colleagues, clients and situations that will put you to the test. I enjoy interaction with my guest and also like the satisfaction that comes after helping them solve a problem. It is a worthwhile reward to me as a service provider.

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