Friday, September 22, 2023

How Hotel Groups Are Dealing With the Latest COVID-19 Measures

This article is part of our Planning a Wedding in a Pandemic: Covid-19 series.

This is a follow-up article to the recent update in rules and regulations for weddings in Singapore, in particular the need for Pre-Event Testing (PET) for celebrations with 50 to 250 attendees.

Following this update, we’ve reached out to Marriott International to get an insight on the procedures they are implementing across their portfolio of hotels and how they’ve modified their offerings to accommodate celebrations done during a time like this.

Marriott International & Marriott Bonvoy

For the uninitiated, Marriott International owns a popular Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program that allow couples to earn valuable points when they host their celebrations at a Marriott Bonvoy property. These points can be redeemed for free nights, flights and much more!

Marriott Bonvoy properties in Singapore include JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, The St. Regis Singapore, W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview, Sheraton Towers Singapore and The Westin Singapore. Given their diverse and unique range of properties, you might have considered hosting your celebration with one of their brands yourself. Read on to find out what some of these properties are doing now!

PET Procedures Across Marriott Bonvoy Portfolio of Hotels

Given the increase of guests allowed to 250 pax, are there any changes that have been made to wedding packages, standard procedures, or policies?

Wedding packages across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels in Singapore generally remain the same in terms of offerings – with the only change being the minimum number of guests. Hotels continue to remain flexible in their approach and work closely with couples to customize options.

At W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, if the attendance is guaranteed at 200 pax, the hotel upgrades the couple’s wedding packages with a lot more value-added inclusions such as an additional suite night stay, alcoholic beverages etc.

In addition, as a standard procedure, the hotel’s talents (associates) are briefed on the arrival details of the wedding couple and guests to ensure they check for PET results, vaccination status or exemption notice. All hotel guests at the W Singapore – Sentosa Cove are encouraged to take the PET offsite at a clinic of their choice and convenience.

W Lawn for 100pax – Demarcated into 2 Zones
For a wedding with more than 50 guests, how involved are you in handling the PET if it is done on-site.

Across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels in Singapore, wedding planners share with couples in advance, the process of conducting the PET should they wish to increase the attendance beyond 50 guests.

The main focus of the hotel team is to ensure a hassle-free process for the couple. Apart from that, couples would only need to ensure that their guests who are not undergoing the PET have undergone 2 dosages of the Covid-19 vaccination 2 weeks prior to the wedding.

Pandemic Wedding Across Marriott Bonvoy Portfolio of Hotels

How is the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels managing the current zoning requirements?

We are heartened that many Singaporeans have been playing their part and strictly adhering to the safe management practices that are in place at our hotels.

At Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, the Grand Ballroom is divided into 5 zones, with a minimum of 1-meter social distancing between tables, and 3 meters demarcation between each zone. Each zone has a maximum capacity of 50 persons.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

At The Westin Singapore, the Grand Ballroom space can accommodate a maximum of 3 Zones with 50 persons and two points for arrival and departure of guests.

The Westin Singapore
To what extent is the venue flexible in terms of accommodating changing guest attendance?

To ensure our guests have the perfect day planned, each of our hotels caters to every need and preferences of our guests. However, the safety of our guests and associates has always been our highest priority, and while we do try to accommodate changes in guest attendance, we ensure that it is in line with stated government SOP’s and safety management measures on the property

Are there further measures the venue is taking on top of government measures?

In line with Marriott’s Commitment to Clean program, all our properties have enhanced cleaning protocols and implemented several initiatives such as offering virtual site inspections showcasing function spaces and hotel facilities via Video Call and Google 360, Safety briefing prior to wedding receptions including Safe Management measures undertaken by the hotel and more to ensure the safety of all our guests.

Are there permanent restructuring or improvements you’ve done to prepare for the new normal/future pandemics?

Cleanliness and hygiene have always been a priority across Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels and resorts and now, this has become an even more important factor in our road to recovery and will certainly be of utmost importance to guests in the post-pandemic world.

At our hotels, we have introduced protocols that are in line with Marriott’s Commitment to Clean program. While there hasn’t been any permanent restructuring of spaces, all our hotels have adapted some of the ballrooms to accommodate life in the new normal; for example, as pre-dinner cocktails are no longer permitted, The Westin Singapore has enhanced the foyer area of the Grand Ballroom with draping and creative decor to give guests a warm welcome to the ballroom as they arrive at the wedding.

As you can probably already tell, venue plays the biggest part when it comes to your wedding celebration. Be sure to check with your venue manager on the procedures!

A special thank you to Marriott International for these insights. For more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit their website.

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