The first phase of lockdown had come as a surprise to a lot of people. The sudden announcement did not give people time to prepare.
So, with the start of the first phase of lockdown in India, Om Niwas had 14 guests staying, some who could not leave and few who did not want to leave. They were all age groups from a 11 year old child to an elderly couple in their seventies and from across the world including Indians, Asian, Europeans and Americans.
Housekeeping and Linen Change were reduced to once a week. Team Members entering the Guest rooms, for cleaning or maintenance were to follow hygiene guidelines. The Front Desk was however available 24 hours for any support the guests might need. We tried to have up to date information on the front Desk all the time, on Corona Cases in the country and abroad along with State and National Policy about Lockdown.
The guests were requested not to go out to buy provisions, instead to let the front office know of their requirements and then we helped them get whatever they requested from trusted vendors, followed by Hygiene protocol to enter the property. The Guests were asked not to use public spaces inside the hotel as well, and if at all with masks only.
Staying indoors could cause a lot of anxiety to people. But thankfully Om Niwas is designed for guests to stay for longer period of time. The indoor space available to guests are larger and has living space, kitchens, some have balconies as well.
As owners we were in regular contact with guests as to their health and emotional well being. The team members staying away from their families were our biggest asset in these tough times who were making this possible for us and the guests. It was crucial to maintain a relaxed environment and keep the team motivated. The Gardens were maintained and the lobby was kept alive with music.
Who would have thought the world would go topsy turvy over a health issue in these modern times.
Three weeks into the lock down and not only we all survived, we were now stronger and thankful to whoever was around us. By the end of third week, Om Niwas had operated like a fortress allowing none to enter, none to leave. It slowly dawned upon the team as well as the guests, whoever were inside were absolutely safe and hence everyone began relaxing inside the premises. The guests and team members all became like a family and we saw bonding and supporting each other like never before.