The news has been awash with Australians returning from overseas grumbling about being in lockdown on their return to Australian shores, however, the narrative at Hyatt Regency Sydney tells a very different story.
On 29 and 30 March 2020, the CBD hotel welcomed 400 guests that arrived on international flights and were placed in mandatory self-isolation. The guests were confined to their rooms for fourteen days, unable to roam the hotel or have visitors, which included exposure to hotel staff. It was an unusual time, servicing these guests under strict non-contact restrictions, whilst still ensuring that our ethos of care and delivery was of a standard that we were proud of.
The staff at Hyatt Regency Sydney watched the guests go through the various stages of acceptance with mixed emotions of confinement and frustration and also appreciation and positivity. One overriding thing that was displayed during this time was the true Aussie spirit of battling on, humour, mateship and an appreciation of being safely home in 'The Lucky Country'.
Whist social media is overflowing with people being inventive at home with how they keep themselves entertained, the Hyatt Regency Sydney guests had extremely limited resources available to them and this is when creativity thrived. When asked to share inspiration for other isolated guests as to how they could pass the time, it was a delight to see so many people get on board to help others out and share their innovative ideas. Here are just a few favourites:
- Meet Quatro the Quazbot and friends- one family made creative sculptures out of recycled material from food deliveries. And so he was not alone in isolation, they even made some mates
Aussies are artistic and active
- Many used material from inside their rooms as canvasses for their creations
- Others used their time to create quarantine skits with Disney themes and I will Survive soundtracks:
- Numerous ideas for in-room workouts were also shared, showing that guests were keen to keep their minds and bodies active whilst in lockdown.
Hyatt Regency Sydney is extremely proud to be able to help Australians in a time of need, as travellers navigate their long journeys home. Given the restrictions in place, the hotel experience was not the norm for those in mandatory self-isolation, however, the Hyatt Cares ethos was applied to all interactions with visitors. Guests received a daily limit of AUD$90 for food and beverage from an adapted In-Room Dining Menu (think comfort food and healthy options), with orders dropped outside doors along with fresh linen when required. Care packages with fresh fruit and snacks with letters with some ideas to help them pass the time such as in-room exercises, puzzles, links to virtual tours and audiobooks were also regularly distributed. Whilst there is no denying that there were a handful of upset guests (mainly directed towards their despair about being in isolation), we were overwhelmed by the optimism that resonated and have received an abundance of positive feedback regarding the level of care and service they received during their stay at Hyatt Regency Sydney, only reaffirming that Australian travellers are a buoyant and thankful bunch.