Luxury Hotels are Lending a Helping Hand to Tackle the COVID-19 Crisis

Luxury Hotels are Lending a Helping Hand to Tackle the COVID-19 Crisis
Food being prepared at JW Marriott Kolkata for distribution, Photo Credit: JWM Kolkata

Luxury hotels in India and abroad, known for their pampering of the wealthy and the elite, are now offering their rooms for free to doctors and health professionals, providing food to the underprivileged, even making masks for the lay public, to battle the pandemic crisis

Uttara Gangopadhyay
April 28 , 2020
09 Min Read

Ratna Ghosh, a resident of south Kolkata, was wondering how to celebrate her mom’s 80th birthday in the middle of April, something the old lady was looking forward to. Culinary skills were not quite her forte and she was not sure how safe it would be to order in. That is when a friend told her that several high-end hotels in the city were operating their kitchens on a limited scale and offering home delivery. In fact, she was spoiled for choice when she picked up the phone to order—THE Park, Hyatt Regency, Taj, etc. were offering a selection of dishes from their special menus.

Instead of pondering over what the future holds in the post-pandemic world, the luxury hotels of India have been keeping themselves active and relevant through various ways during this COVID-19 crisis. From offering recipes and culinary tips on their social media handles to operating home deliveries of dishes from their speciality restaurants, from offering packed meals to the frontline workers and the underprivileged to arranging for sanitisers and other required products, the hotels are chipping in with a variety of services.

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A post shared by Hyatt Regency Kolkata (@hyattregencykolkata) on Apr 15, 2020 at 1:08am PDT

Many of the luxury hotels with a pan-India presence have been offering home delivery of meals across a limited area in their respective cities and even though the volume may not be large, most are happy with the trust that their patrons have placed on them. For those with a yen for cooking, check out if you favourite restaurants at these luxury hotels are offering a DIY package delivered to your home. Hyatt Regency Kolkata and Ritz-Carlton Bangalore have been delivering a recipe and fresh ingredients for the same.

Distribution of food packets for the underprivileged, medical and health workers, the police, etc. has been a priority for many hotel chains with pan-India business. ITC Hotels, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, THE Park Hotels, JW Marriott hotels, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, and many others are providing fresh packed meals often in collaboration with the district administration or organisations to reach out to a large number of people.

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A post shared by The Oberoi, Gurgaon (@theoberoi_gurgaon) on Mar 30, 2020 at 4:37am PDT

Some have even gone the extra mile with their efforts. The Westin Kolkata came to the aid of several stranded students from Nagaland by providing them with food and cooking ingredients. Clarkes Shimla was quick to note that the differently-abled people were facing enormous problem with the lockdown and ensured they received food and other essentials. The Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Goa units of THE Park even sent out a message that anyone living within a five km radius of the respective hotels could contact them in case of emergencies. In Kolkata, the hotel offered 20 rooms for the use of medical staff and healthcare workers. ITC Grand Chola, Chennai and ITC Kohenur Hyderabad have also offered rooms to enable stopover of asymptomatic international travellers as and when required. While the Oberoi Grand Kolkata has been reaching out to the underprivileged through the Missionaries of Charity, their Bengaluru hotel collaborated with St Philomena’s Hospital. IHCL through its Taj Public Service Welfare Trust collaborated with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor to provide nutritious meals to doctors and medical staff at hospitals. Many of the Taj Hotels have also been opened for medical professionals and quarantine centres.

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A post shared by Taj Hotels (@tajhotels) on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:18am PDT

Some are chipping in with supplies of masks and sanitisers. Grand Hometel in Mumbai and the Muse Sarovar Portico in New Delhi pitched in with hand-made masks for distribution among various groups in their areas. ITC hotels in Jaipur and Goa provided shower caps and sanitisers for doctors and health workers.

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A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Apr 6, 2020 at 6:15am PDT

Not only in India but abroad also hotels are pitching in with support, including raising money for medical research to offering accommodation to the homeless, etc. Hilton Hotels have partnered with American Express to donate up to one million hotel room nights ‘so that these healthcare heroes have a comfortable place to stay between shifts and a way to protect their families from potential exposure to COVID-19’, they wrote on their Instagram handle.

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A post shared by Howletts Wild Animal Park (@howlettspark) on Apr 18, 2020 at 7:00am PDT

Four major hotels on Italy’s Amalfi coast—Le Sirenuse, Hotel Santa Caterina, Palazzo Avino and Il San Pietro—have come together to raise money for research on vaccine against COVID-19 by issuing a set of vouchers, which include specified accommodation, dinner at a Michelin star restaurant and other perks. Claridge’s in London, which never shut in the past two hundred years, had to bow down to the pandemic but reopened a part of this luxury Mayfair property for doctors and nurses from the St Mary’s Hospital. According to reports, other hotels have also joined the initiative. The Pig Hotel in Kent, UK, are not only delivering free fresh eggs and vegetables to neighbouring villages but also lunch to the gorillas at Howletts Wildlife Park. Hostels in Germany have been providing accommodation to the homeless, reports said.

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