The Oberoi, Mumbai, the Trident, Nariman Point and Trident, Bandra Kurla opened on July 8, and all the hotels are now open for guests to stay in. ET HospitalityWorld spoke to Devendra Bharma, the Executive Vice President at The Oberoi Group about the reopening and the plans that lie ahead. This is an excerpt from the interview.
ET HospitalityWorld (ETHW): What areas at The Oberoi Group Mumbai Hotels are operational now?
Devendra Bharma (DB): As per the government directive The Oberoi, Mumbai; Trident, Nariman Point and Trident, Bandra Kurla are now open for guests to stay. Our resident guests can dine at our all-day dining restaurants in each hotel as well as have the option of in-room dining. We have also introduced QR code accessible menus and contactless payment methods to ensure a seamless and safe dining experience. Also, prior to the hotels being opened, we had started offering special take-away menus with our signature dishes to sustain our strong and personal connection with all our guests by creating a unique and memorable at-home dining experience for them.
ETHW: What kind of business are you expecting? From what we have been hearing, the staycation as well as the small wedding related functions are what is moving the occupancies and business, will this be the same for you?
DB: Our hotels will expect more domestic travellers in the post-pandemic world. Currently, travellers certainly prefer domestic travel over international trips and would choose to stay with well-established, reputed hospitality chains where they can feel assured about their safety and hygiene. Our efforts are aligned to create a safe, secure and memorable experience for our guests who have been longing for a small yet relaxing break.
A ‘staycation’ serves as a wonderful option for rejuvenation without travelling out of the city. We have introduced exciting ‘Weekend Escapes’ packages and ‘Staycation Experiences’ across The Oberoi, Mumbai; Trident, Nariman Point and Trident, Bandra Kurla for our guests for wholesome relaxation and solace. From flexible booking options, contactless services to strict adherence to safe distancing norms, a luxurious escape at The Oberoi Group properties makes for a perfect weekend getaway.
In the near future, we also look forward to hosting smaller meetings and more intimate events for our guests at our hotels.
ETHW: The Oberoi is known the world over for its superlative service, how is that being fine-tuned to fit the new normal?
DB: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts have always been recognised for providing exemplary service which is intuitive, caring and heartfelt. Whilst the sincerity and genuine care from staff will remain undiminished, our hotels will use new-age technologies to minimise contact, whether it is for guests checking in or checking out of hotels or for dining in the restaurants or in their rooms. Every effort has been made to ensure our award winning hotels continue to be the safest and most desirable option for our guests and our employees with a new normal coming into place. As always, our guests are at the forefront of our thoughts. We will continue to enhance our standards in accordance with any new guidelines and best practices on the basis of feedback and suggestions we receive from our guests.
ET HospitalityWorld: What have you done to ensure guest and associate safety while opening up post the Covid-19 lockdown?
DB: The Oberoi Group has always prioritised the health and wellbeing of guests and team members with exacting standards of cleanliness and hygiene. As we enter a new era post Covid, we have implemented even more detailed and stringent measures as per WHO and Ministry of Tourism guidelines. We have also partnered with Bureau Veritas, the world leader in testing, inspection and certification services, to validate and review our safety and hygiene measures.
At our hotels, the fleet of hotel owned and operated cars are thoroughly sanitised before and after each trip. The accompanying chauffeurs, like all, have guest wellbeing as their highest priority. Our team members at the hotels are meticulously sanitising their hands, and wearing disposable gloves and face masks at all times. They also have their body temperatures checked daily before starting work and also during their shifts. We have implemented contactless check-in and check-out procedures with contactless payment options to ensure guests’ safety.
Apart from this, we have also introduced QR code accessible menus and offer guests a wide spread of immunity-boosting dishes made with farm-fresh ingredients.
ETHW: Tell us a little bit about your F&B options. Are you also offering home delivery/ take away options?
DB: We have introduced special take-away menus that offer our guests a wide array of signature dishes from our award winning restaurants. Guests can choose from a diverse culinary offering and a wide range of gourmet hampers. In line with our commitment towards ensuring absolute safety and well-being of our valued guests, our teams across all three Oberoi properties in Mumbai are completely focused on adhering to the highest hygiene and sanitation protocols, as guided by leading health experts.
The significance of strong immunity has increased manifolds today more than ever before. The chefs at our hotels have researched and overhauled menus to add healthier options for guests with special emphasis on immunity-building dishes and drinks that balance flavour and nutrition. The recipes are cooked with finest, farm-fresh ingredients that are seasonal and organically grown by local farmers.
ETHW: Lastly, what have you been doing with your associates during the lockdown period?
DB: We are very proud of the commitment shown by our team members who have been at the frontline during the Covid crisis and have worked tirelessly even during the lockdown. We also appreciate the innovative ideas shared by our teams operating out of their homes.
We have been conducting various e- learning sessions for specific roles and levels through multiple platforms. Various fitness and physical training programmes are also being conducted on an ongoing basis to keep our teams fully motivated and engaged at all times.