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Following early signs of recovery and eased lockdowns after the coronavirus spread in China, Kempinski Hotels has reopened all its hotels in the country. New strict safety and hygiene procedures have been put in place to comply with local government authorities and WHO guidelines to guarantee guests’ and employees’ safety and wellbeing. In addition, innovative services have been introduced as a business enhancement and guest experiences.

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Michael Henssler

Chief Operating Officer Asia

“Our hotels in China have done great work in ensuring the health and safety of our guests and employees during the past weeks and months, and we are closely following the recommendations of global and local public health authorities, including the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People here no longer look for the best hotel, the greatest dinner or the lowest price, but for the safest experience,” said Michael Henssler, Chief Operating Officer Asia and Member of the Management Board for Kempinski Hotels. “These are unprecedented times for the hospitality and catering industry. Travel is not a question of price, but a security issue. Kempinski is focusing on visible hygiene, and we have launched the “Kempinski White Glove Service” recently. Hotels must meticulously follow a 70-page guide that affects all departments. The rules apply to procedures for the arrival of guests, the furnishing of public areas, food and drink, and housekeeping.”

The new measures include among others mandatory temperature checks for everyone entering the hotel at each hotel entrance; the posting of public health certificates in public areas; daily air purification in the dining outlets; rigorous enforcing of ingredient regulations; frequent disinfection of all equipment; obeying local laws on social distancing in all restaurants and public areas; and complimentary sanitiser and masks for guests and employees.

Takeaway and online ordering programmes are nothing new for most restaurants in China. However, for luxury hotels, focusing on the highest level of service and guest experiences, a takeaway service is a new business approach. In response to the social distancing rules and ever-changing situation, Kempinski hotels in China have partnered with Meituan and Eleme APP, the two leading food delivery companies, and launched online food and beverage sales to ensure contactless services for their guests’ convenience. Kempinski culinary teams have carefully selected high-quality dishes, best suited for long-distance delivery, and have worked on improved packaging to ensure freshness.

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A great example of creative business initiatives has been implemented by Kempinski Hotel Hangzhou, with its elegant, luxurious design and unparalleled views of the Grand Canal, the hotel is the ideal venue for affluent photo shoots. In collaboration with Taobao Sellers, one of the largest online shopping website, the hotel has introduced the ‘Taobao Concierge Programme’ for fashion retailers featured on the shopping site. The programme allows retailers to choose from a number of venues at the hotel, like a luxurious suite, the Executive Lounge or the spa as the photo-shooting setting to best complement their products. Further supplements can be added to the programme, with gastronomic packages like an afternoon tea or champagne and canapés.

“The hospitality and leisure industry is experiencing a big impact as countries have been locked down in response to COVID-19. We switched our business efficiently, focusing more on the local market and cooperating with popular local food delivery companies, as well as planning various promotion packages for local residents. We always need to look ahead and be prepared for the rebound of the market,” said Ilja Poepper, Vice President Sales & Marketing – Asia Kempinski Hotels.