Five-Star Hospitality Gets Smart
Epicure Magazine|February - March 2021
From chaos to change, One Farrer Hotel’s GM Gilbert Madhavan shares how they have turned things upside down to make it right, ready and responsive for Covid times.
Esther Faith Lew

Fast and furious would be apt in describing the way the Covid-19 pandemic has swept through the world. But it is also apt in describing how businesses have responded to the chaos and turned the challenges into opportunities. As the world waits with bated breath for international travel to find its wings and to plot safe flights, the hospitality industry has been kept on their toes looking for ways to navigate the challenges brought upon events, F&B and travel activities. Since Singapore’s circuit breaker in April, One Farrer Hotel has been busy transforming itself and has unveiled a comprehensive $2m refurbishment that puts it ahead of the game in facing Covid times.

“In a pandemic, obviously hygiene and sanitisation issues become a top priority in people’s minds. So, when you are staying in a hotel that has undergone complete renovation using antivirus, antibacterial and antimicrobial materials for the flooring, the walls, the ceiling and the corridors, it gives a good sense of assurance in terms of safety. This will be a very attractive USP for future travellers who will be looking out for such criteria, and at this point in time, I don’t know of any other hotel that has invested quite so extensively into it,” says Gilbert Madhavan, GM, One Farrer Hotel.

Both hotel- and hospital-ready

One Farrer has spared no expense in its refurbishment and has sought the expertise of medical practitioners at Farrer Park Hospital to recommend detailed changes from top to toe. As a result, One Farrer has removed carpets from guest rooms and common areas; put in custom gapless vinyl flooring; treated wall coverings for antiviral properties; installed antimicrobial blind fabrics; retrofitted guest rooms with moveable furniture for easy sanitisation and functional configuration; and implemented housekeeping procedures to disinfect guest rooms and amenities with ultraviolet-C (UVC) lamps and chests. These changes have been implemented for the 176 rooms in the newly launched Mint Hotel, previously branded as Urban Hotel.

However, Gilbert stressed that the essence of hospitality remains, with these changes addressing key safety concerns as well as a luxe experience. The ambience of the guest rooms remain warm and vibrant, with earthen tones and mood lighting to welcome guests into a relaxing space. On top of that, One Farrer has taken the typical pillow menu offered by luxury hotels one step further.

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