This is why Novotel Hyderabad Airport's staycation should be your next weekend vacay!
When you realise that there are barely six weeks left for 2020 to end, you are hit by a wave of remorse at all the birthdays, anniversaries and paydays that went by, without celebrations. “We have now geared up 360 degrees to bring back #LoveForTravel and #MissedCelebrations. Before you express doubt, let us tell you that we have over 100 safety precaution protocols in place to ensure safety from COVID-19,” says Rubin Cherian, general manager, Novotel Hyderabad Airport.
The safety protocols begin right at the entrance when the guard does a temperature check, offers you a generous dose of hand sanitiser — although the masked hotel cab driver has already done that before you board the vehicle. Everything from the time you get down from the car goes contactless. Your details are sought via mail or WhatsApp before arrival and payments are digital.
Should you want to swipe your cards, it is handed back after it is sanitised too! No more than two people are allowed in each lift, with standing order earmarked with circles. Vijay Tharavath, director of rooms and in charge of guest checkins says, “The sentiment to get back to normalcy is present, and we are doing all that it takes to ensure safe progress. Every room is sanitised using an advanced UV Trolley and the operator uses a PPE helmet, goggles and mask. The room is then marked as sanitised and sealed. The first person who enters the room after it is labeled is the guest.” In the 292 rooms and the suites in the 70,000 sq.ft hotel, the safety measures are quite noticeable. The Square, the in-house restaurant with a capacity of 120, is now seating only 40 guests at a time. Also, while dinners are buffet meals, all lunches except Sunday brunch is A la carte.
“All these are part of the Accor group’s AllSafe certification protocol. It took us three months to set up these processes. We all spent days being trained online to understand the new normal. In fact, we have an internal app where the personnel need to upload photographs of the day’s work, so that it can be monitored and studied to ensure the highest safety,” he adds. Incidentally, the 100 safety pointers are set by Bureau Veritas, a company that specialises in testing, inspection and certification.
I felt at peace watching how the staff sported their masks and gloves with ease as though we have lived this way all through. Although I missed the general bonhomie in the lobby, the new normal is reassuring. Watching film crew back to shoots and an increase in walk-ins for their Sunday brunch was heartening.
As part of the new measures, there are fewer towels (to prevent contact) and are given on request. And the heartbreaking change is that the minibar is now empty and filled only on request. There is also an in-room dining which happens via a QR code. The pool is closed too. However, the hotel is offering the open area under ‘the patch’ a garden in the backyard for small gatherings or couples to make the most of the pleasant Hyderabadi winters. The staycation packages contain lunch, high tea, dinner, besides breakfast and brunch the next day.
“We want guests to celebrate life and live in the present. We aim at bringing back the joyous moments in our guest’s lives. Our teams are working towards rolling out several offers for our guests as a part of our ‘For the love of now’ campaign, our ‘Missed Celebrations’ offer, we want our guests to enjoy the varied range of restaurants, bars, and lounges that NHA extends. Price per staycation: Starts from Rs. 7,000 per night.