Colombo Court Hotel & Spa Our Journey Through The Covid-19 Pandemic
Covid-19 has hit businesses of just about every shape and size hard, but those in the hospitality industry felt the effects quite strongly. In the face of spiraling occupancy rates and surging cancellations, instead of crumbling, boutique hotels are adjusting their approaches, refocusing their efforts and doing everything they can to adapt to the new normal. Here’s a synopsis of CCH’s roller-coaster journey during the pandemic and their plans ahead.
Here in conversation with Kevin Schumacher.
1. Introduce yourself, your role and the hotel briefly.
My Name is Kevin Schumacher and I am the Assistant General Manager at Colombo Court Hotel & Spa.
Colombo Court Hotel & Spa is your urban hideaway amidst an elite neighborhood in Colombo.
The cosmopolitan vibes have been seamlessly blended into a tranquil, private ambience that sets the pace for a memorable experience at this exclusive boutique hotel in the city.
Built upon the core foundation of being a sustainable and an eco-friendly hotel, Colombo Court Hotel & Spa is a haven of comforts and modern luxuries waiting to be savored by the discerning traveler.
Being certified as a “Carbon Neutral Hotel” this was voted as “Luxury Green Hotel – Indian Ocean 2014” at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2014.
The beautifully appointed rooms and suites are designed to suit the modern day traveler decorated with a contemporary touch to mark its cosmopolitan presence.
The dining options at the Colombo Court Hotel & Spa will take your taste palate on an exquisite journey around the world with a hidden touch of local flavors.
Colombo Court Hotel & Spa offers an oasis of guilt free luxuries that will transform your travel experience and inspire you to embrace a lifestyle of eco-friendly living.
2. How have you navigated the Covid-19 situation in your hotel?
In March 2020 when the Island wide lockdown was implemented all our in-house guests left back to their home countries. Even though the hotel did not have guests in-house we made sure that our local guests experience our culinary delights through our food delivery platforms.
We kept in touch with our return guests and checked on them to make sure that they and their families were safe. Once the island wide lockdown was taken down, our main market was the local market. We had attractive day packages for families and couples, food and beverage packages and special functions and event packages.
In January 2021 once the countries boarders were opened the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority had implemented the Level 1 program for a selected hotels in the country to regain tourist arrivals to the island. We were a part of this program until October 2021 which was a big challenge for us.
Now that the country is opening up gradually, the government of Sri Lanka has decided to remove the quarantine requirements for the fully vaccinated traveler. With this implementation we see a progress in the number of tourist arrivals to the Island and we are excited to welcome our loving guests to Colombo Court Hotel & Spa to experience a exquisite home away stay with a homely feel.
3. How was the rhythm or routine of your day changed since the Covid-19 opening?
When the Island went in to full lockdown back in March 2020, my team and I had very much less to do since we had no guests staying with us for 3 months straight.
99% of the staff stayed at home while a skeleton team along with me stayed back at the hotel to make sure our daily maintenance schedule is completed.
We had a small team from the kitchen to work on our food delivery to our valued local guests.
The proper covid-19 work schedule commenced at the hotel in the beginning of 2021 as we converted to a Level 1 hotel in the city.
In order to get on board the Level 1 hotel we had to convert the hotel in to a full safe and secure environment for guests and to our staff.
Therefore, there was a lot of re-organizing and re-doing our operational setup. Everyone was back on shift to welcome guests back to the hotel.
We also had to let go 20% of our staff due to closure of our 3 restaurants. Which was a hard decision to make but given the situation we had no choice in order to keep the operation going.
However, we hope to be back with our full force as we are looking to open up our restaurants in October 2021.
4. What are the challenges you faced during this time and how did you overcome this process?
The past three years has been very challenging. In 2019 we had the terrible Easter Sunday bombings and 2020 and 2021 with Covid-19. My challenge was to make sure the hotel never gave up on this fight. These are times that most large to small scale hotels and resorts had to shut down operations or close down permanently.
But as a team we were able to keep our doors open and sail through this tough period. Although the hotel had no guests for over 3 months due to the lockdown we still ensured that our hardworking staff is paid and appreciated for their work. I would also like to take a moment to appreciate the owners and the board of directors for their immense support and encouragement during these hard times.
The best part during all this chaos was the positive mindsets and the continuous support of the existing staff members no matter whatever the circumstances were. I believe the main reason we were able to get through these unpredictable times mainly because we worked together as one big family.
5. What can we look forward to for your hotel?
Colombo Court Hotel & Spa looks forward to welcoming our guests back. My team and I have made sure that we have made a safe and secure environment to all our guests. Our restaurants and facilities will be back as usual from October 2021.
6. What is the most important thing hoteliers should keep top of mind throughout the journey to recovery from Covid-19?
Never give up and always have a plan. Stay updated and be proactive. Storms are always temporary. They never last long.
This too shall pass.!
CCH is the ultimate urban getaway amidst the lively city of Colombo where contemporary design meets rustic charm to give you the best holiday experience of both worlds. As one of Colombo’s best-kept secrets, it offers a unique lifestyle experience of sustainable holidaying with an array of end-to-end exclusive facilities including bright and earthy toned air-conditioned rooms with wood accents feature flat-screen TVs, plush beds, free Wi-Fi, safes, minibars, tea, coffeemakers and much more. Upgraded rooms and lavish suites have more opulent facilities including added seating areas and balconies that open up to spectacular views. Other hotel amenities include an Italian bistro, a cocktail bar in addition to a laid-back wine and tapas bar and much more. Situated in close proximity to the beach, CCH also has an outdoor plunge pool, a spa and a gym whilst offering free parking and laundry services to all its guests!
CCH continues to deliver the true essence of the paradise island via its refined sustainable and nature-friendly hospitality to all its loyal patrons. The brand embodies a passion for inspired living and promises a holistic eco-luxury experience whilst maintaining exceptional standards in the hospitality industry in a safe and secure certified environment.
Colombo Court Hotel & Spa – 32 Alfred House Ave, Colombo 03
+94 114 645 333