Terror turns luxury hotels into fortresses
6 Dec 2008, 0318 hrs IST, Rachna Singh, TNN
JAIPUR: The luxury hotels in the city have virtually turned
intto fortresses. So now, if you plan a meal at any five-star
properties, ensure that you carry some kind of identity card
A Jaipur-based NRI settled in the US was stopped at the Rambagh
Palace Hotel gates for not carrying any document confirming
his identity till someone from the salon accompanied him inside.
Obviously, he was simply going to the salon for a haircut before
leaving for the US.
Soon after the Mumbai incident, all the city hotels have taken
stringent measures to ensure the safety of their guests. And
nobody minds it. While the Taj group is once bitten twice shy,
other hotels too are not leaving anything to chance.
Both, people as well as equipment related security, are going
through a major metamorphosis. So watch out, now even the flutter
of a leaf is recorded at these hotels.
Walk in to the Rajputana Sheraton lobby and there are four
cameras recording your movement. “We have set aside a
budget of about Rs 1 crore to upgrade the hotel security. This
would involve hi-tech equipment including car scanning and baggage
X-ray machines. About 20-25 more staff has also been added to
the existing fleet,” said its general manager Sunil Gupta.
So till the X-ray machines arrive, the hotel is manually checking
the baggages. Each guest is requested to furnish their details,
identity card and a landline number. “Earlier we used
to simply register a couple by a single name. But now we also
ask for the spouse’s identity,” said Gupta.
And most important, while being escorted to the rooms each
guest is also made familiar with the emergency exit, just in
case. Besides, all recruitments done in the last six months
are now being re-scrutinized by a private agency after the police
has cleared them.
Hotels in the city are now largely using reflectors and hand
held metal detectors to ensure there are no lapses. While by
and large no walk-ins are encouraged, even those booked through
travel agents are thoroughly scanned. “Now guests don’t
mind it because they know it is for their security only,”
said a securityman at Rambagh.
And it is not just the guests. Every hotel has their service
entries under tight vigil. At the Rambagh Palace, a Saras van
driving in with supplies was checked with reflectors. The driver
was checked with a hand-held metal detector. The rear van door
was opened and contents checked till the security was satisfied.
But since hospitality is all about providing service par excellence
with least discomfort to the guests, you would see a lot of
fresh young faces at the Sheraton. To provide a soft touch to
the existing harsh environ, “we have hired few women guest
relation executives who will escort the guests and also assist
through the guest scrutiny,” said Gupta.