Enjoy Your Stay: Pandemic Pivot Opens New Doors for Hospitality Industry

SINGAPORE: “We have a job in the hotel industry. It’s to make the people who walk through our doors happy.”

Mr. Marcus Hanna, General Manager of Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, takes this goal seriously.

He has seen it rise to the challenges of recent years – first when borders were closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and visitor arrivals plunged to a four-decade low, then when Swissotel been asked to move from a luxury hotel to the quarantine facility.

“In March 2020, the STB (Singapore Tourism Board) called all the hotels to their office auditorium and asked if we would be willing to do this. And obviously the hotels were a bit nervous because it was something different, something we’ve never done before,” Hanna said.

The move from a luxury hotel to a quarantine facility has brought about many changes in operations.

“We have had up to 1,600 guests (in quarantine) at any one time staying at the hotel. So you can imagine the challenges of delivering 1,600 meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Mr. Hanna said.

He added that on some days the hotel received around 1,000 packages for its customers, all of which had to be delivered to rooms in the 73-story hotel.

These deliveries weren’t just food items – the hotel has already taken delivery of a piano. However due to sanitary protocols, it was not possible to send the piano to the quarantined recipient.

Peter M. Doran