How service apartments in Chennai are faring during the lockdown


In mid-March, Aartee Ramsahye — visiting Chennai from Mauritius for her husband’s medical therapy — checked right into a service condominium. Plans to return dwelling every week later fell by when the lockdown was introduced on the day of her departure. “This is my first visit to Chennai, but we have been inside our room for the last two months. We miss being outdoors, but the staff has been keeping us in good spirits,” says Ramsahye, who pays the room fare each 15 days in the hope the state of affairs will ease and so they can fly dwelling quickly.

While apartments and gated communities have put lockdown guidelines in place — no guests, no meals deliveries, and many others. — we have a look at what serviced apartments house owners are doing to sort out the disaster.

Safety first

At Ascott, which runs Somerset Greenways and Citadines OMR, a number of precautionary security and sanitation practices are in place for his or her 200 visitors (principally expats who work in India, individuals right here for medical therapy, and stranded travellers). “Guests who arrive at the property are required to sign a declaration detailing their travel history and health status. They are screened for fever, cold or cough before entering the property and symptomatic visitors are sent to the medical centre for further assessment,” says Supriya Malhotra, Area General Manager – Chennai.

Taking me by extra measures, Malhotra says visitors are discouraged from crowding in public areas, sanitisers are positioned at a number of spots, and the total property is cleaned usually. Guests can cook dinner in the connected kitchen or order from the in-room eating menu. “We provide grocery shopping services; our staff buys the items guests need, sanitises them and then delivers them to their rooms. Food ordered outside is collected at the gates, sanitised and delivered.” Both properties are being run with round one-third the common operational workers. “A majority of the workers is accommodated at the property, whereas we have now managed to acquire passes for just a few others to have the ability to journey to work every day. All workers are supplied with meals, medical care, yoga classes and the occasional film night time.

Staff morale

Two visitors from Sri Lanka and Australia are caught at Corporate Inn in T. Nagar and Anna Nagar, after flights have been cancelled. “The different 4 visitors are common shoppers who work in IT firms,” says proprietor Rajesh N. Dave. “No one has dealt with such a situation before and it will take the hospitality and serviced apartment sector at least six months to get back to normal, albeit with heavy losses.” His on-site workers has been supplied with lodging, meals and necessities, and visitors are being supplied a reduced room tariff.

The administration of Lifestyle Residences in Adyar advised visitors to make preparations to return to their hometowns/ nations. “We currently don’t have any guests staying on the property; this was a deliberate decision on our part,” says co-promoter Nalini Radhakrishnan, including, “However, we have four staff members who weren’t able to make it back to their hometowns. They are staying in the staff quarters and have been provided with essentials, sanitisers and masks.” The administration has used the lockdown to triple-sanitise rooms, surfaces and linen. Radhakrishnan, who stays shut by, visits the workers usually and has supplied them with board video games and many others.

Bookings hit

Explaining how the lockdown has impacted Ascott’s short-stay and teams section, Malhotra says visitors have needed to cancel journey plans till May finish. “Over 3,100 room nights have been cancelled at both our properties in Chennai between March and May 2020. We have had to close our swimming pool, gym, bar and restaurants, and have also suspended travel desk services during this period,” she says.

For Radhakrishnan, it’s been worse clearly as a result of they determined to shut down as quickly as the warning alerts got here. She says, “As March to June is the holiday season, followed by the wedding season, we were actually booked out for weeks. But we have had to cancel those and future bookings too in light of the uncertainty.”

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