As the first batch of international evacuees landed in India amid tight medical supervision, Le Meridien is one of the many hotels where some of them will be kept quarantined from Friday onwards. The hotel, which has been shut ever since the nationwide lockdown began, partially opened for this purpose with rooms being readied by people wearing PPE units.
The reception had a display saying, "Namaste! There's nothing like staying at home for real comfort. Welcome, Home." Rajiv Anand, the food and beverages manager of the five-star hotel where some of the evacuees will be kept quarantined against payment, told that a special menu is being curated for them.
"When you come from abroad the first thing you look at is your homely food. Besides that we also have international cuisine including Italian pasta and Thai curry that the chef has worked out," he said.
'We have a specially dedicated housekeeping team'
Anand added that as part of the hospitality sector, they will endeavour to make the evacuees and other corona warriors stay "comfortable". He informed that special floors are being dedicated to these select evacuees. "We have a specially dedicated housekeeping team, we have a special dedicated F&B service team," he added.
They will serve the quarantined batch who have been brought back to India through a special flight as part of a massive international effort to bring stranded Indians abroad back home. Anand said special equipment including PPEs are being provided to the teams who will be taking care of the quarantined batch at Le Meridien.
'We feel honoured and proud that we can contribute'
"They are coming back after a lot of hardships. When you are abroad, you always remember home. Now since the government of India has taken the initiative to bring them back, we feel honoured and proud that we can contribute."
On being asked about the financial strain in the hospitality sector, Anand insisted, " We will sail through." He said there have been past instances of pandemics or riots where the sector was equally hit hard but came out bravely, which he was certain will happen this time around as well.
National carrier Air India's first standalone evacuation flight under the Vande Bharat Mission landed at the national capital's IGI Airport from Singapore on Friday morning at around 11.50 a.m. with 234 passengers. A chunk of these passengers will be staying at Le Meridien and in other hotels across the national capital where they will be quarantined.