Chennai: CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has introduced some key initiatives and safety measures across its serviced residences in India, to take care of its guests during the lockdown.
Ascott’s current guests include expats based in India, those who are in Chennai for medical treatment and guests who are affected by border closures or city lockdowns due to COVID-19. Ascott has stepped up to provide a true home away from home, with the management rolling out various initiatives to keep the guests’ and staff’s morale high during this tough time.
The 187-unit Somerset Greenways Chennai and 269-unit Citadines OMR Chennai feature standard rooms and suites with a fully equipped kitchen, allowing guests to cook for themselves if they wish, or order from the in-room dining menu. The Guest Services team is providing grocery shopping services to help guests stay indoors and stay protected. Guests share their grocery list and one of our property staff will purchase the items and deliver to the guests’ rooms. This ensures we have only one person stepping out of the property for essentials, instead of one guest from each occupied room having to step out.
The team designed an innovative activity chart with recommendations of free mobile apps and web-based activities that guests can access during the lockdown. The posters are displayed in the elevators and common areas and feature links to online language classes, trivia games, yoga sessions etc. Guests may access these platforms by simply scanning the QR code provided on the poster.
The Guest Services team used their time effectively to upcycle old magnets to make vibrant new refrigerator magnets for the guestrooms. The magnets carry the message “Stay Home, Stay Ascott”, brighten up the living space and also serve as souvenirs that guests can take home with them when they checkout.
The management arranged for a mobile ATM to be parked at Ascott’s properties for a day, for the benefit of our guests. Although ATMs in the city continue to operate, the mobile ATM helped guests stay within the safety of our properties and avoid violating the lockdown rules. Guests could access their bank accounts to withdraw cash in a hassle-free and safe manner.
Easter, Tamil New Year / Vishu and Earth Hour was celebrated by decorating the lobby, to keep our guests in good spirits
In addition to levelling up on service standards, Ascott has also implemented the following precautionary safety and sanitation practices at its properties to ensure a high standard of care.
Guests arriving at the property are required to sign a declaration detailing their travel history and health status
All guests and staff are screened for fever, cold or cough before entering the property and symptomatic visitors are sent to the medical centre for further assessment
Social distancing is followed at the property – guests are discouraged from gathering in groups in public areas
Sanitizers are placed in convenient locations for guests and staff to access – front desk, lift lobby, cafeteria, staff corridor etc.
All bed and bath linen are washed after every use and curtains are sent for wash and sanitization after every guest checkout
Surfaces of frequent contact like lift buttons, doorknobs, reception desk etc. are sanitized hourly. Entire property is sanitized four times a day
Posters and videos on coronavirus awareness and hand-washing techniques are displayed in the staff areas like lockers, cafeteria etc.
Ms Supriya Malhotra, Area General Manager for Ascott, said: “We currently have over 200 guests staying with us at Somerset Greenways Chennai and Citadines OMR Chennai, trusting us to take care of them. Throughout this challenging period, our resilient team has been working hard round-the-clock to ensure our properties are coronavirus-safe and that these guests are well taken care of. I am heartened to see the commitment shown by the India team and am certain that we will make it out of these challenging times.”
In India, Ascott owns and operates the 187-unit Somerset Greenways Chennai and 269-unit Citadines OMR Chennai. The international brand will extend its portfolio in India with Ascott Ireo City Gurugram and Citadines Paras Square Gurugram that are slated to open later this year while Citadines Calangute Goa and Citadines Candolim Goa are set to open in 2021 and 2022 respectively. In total, Ascott has a portfolio of seven properties across four cities with more than 1,200 units, making it the leading international serviced residence owner-operator in the country.