SUNBIZ

Suva Hotels Drawing On Innovative Ideas To Stay Open

Hoteliers in the capital city are drawing on innovative ideas to stay open. While some hotels may not earn income, others remain hopeful for an immediate end to the deadly
25 Apr 2020 12:45
Suva Hotels Drawing On Innovative Ideas To Stay Open
Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) recorded a 100 per cent loss in bookings for events. Photo: Laiseana Nasiga

Hoteliers in the capital city are drawing on innovative ideas to stay open.

While some hotels may not earn income, others remain hopeful for an immediate end to the deadly virus so that business can return to normal.

Sunbiz spoke to some hotels and filed this report.

Grand Pacific Hotel

The Grand Old Lady, restored to its past glory, has reduced rates and is offering discounts on cakes and beverages, in a bid to draw in more customers.

The hotel’s new operating hours are 6am to 6pm.

Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) has 113 rooms, although only three or four rooms are occupied.

“Areas that are open are accommodation, Levuka restaurant, bakery and the bar,” acting general manager Syresh Chandra said.

All workers have been retained on reduced working hours, he said

“We hope this will pick up as we are offering our special rate of $199 a night until May 31.

The hotel will continue to provide home food deliveries.

Earlier this week, owners Fiji National Provident Fund said GPH was to be rebranded with an international hotel chain ,managing it.

Tanoa Hotel Group

Suva’s Tanoa Plaza, which is part of the Tanoa Hotel Group, is still open, despite the odds.

Reddy Group are owners of the hotel group.

Tanoa Plaza contains 60 rooms including two disability rooms, a gym and a pool

Tanoa Hotel Group owns nine hotels across Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand.

Group area general manager Narend Kumar said Tanoa Plaza’s current occupancy rate was five per cent

Mr Kumar said six staff are working at Tanoa Plaza Hotel.

Tanoa Plaza.

Tanoa Plaza.

Town House Apartment Hotel

Located at Foster Street in Suva, the three-star Town House Apartment Hotel would have gone into its busiest time now.

However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) had reduced the hotel’s occupancy rate to just 13 guests, 10 of whom are international guests.

General manager Riteshni Nandani said the international travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and Kiribati awaited their flights out of Fiji.

She said in the same period last year, the hotel recorded a 92 per cent occupancy rate, with majority of arrivals from abroad.

“Of the 56 rooms that we have, only 13 were occupied.

“Oceania championship, which was one of our major bookings, got cancelled and that would have raked in around $20,000.

“From March 8 to date, a lot of people have cancelled bookings with us.

“Like this last year, we were almost fully booked every month.

“Looking at last year’s accounts monthly balances for April, May, there was 92 per cent and June was 86 per cent occupancy.

“This is because we are located at the heart of the city,” she said.

Town House Apartments.

Town House Apartments.

Mrs Nandani said staff were advised to take annual leave as business was slow.

“The hotel is operating with 12 staff on a six hour shift.

However, the restaurant remains open on reduced hours from 7am to 7pm.

Elixir Hotel and Serviced Apartments

Although open for business, Elixir Hotel and Serviced Apartments has only one guest.

Overall, there are 24 rooms of which 16 are two bedroom apartments and eight studio rooms.

Manager Ruvendaran Chetty said they had to reduce rates as there was no major business.

“Our studio rooms which were going for $151 per night has reduced to $110 per night while the two bedroom apartments which were $198 per night have also been reduced to $130 per night.

“The two bedroom apartments are self –contained which one of our guests is currently occupying,” he said.

“At the moment, no staff have been laid off.

“However, they are only working for two days a fortnight,” he said.

Mr Chetty said previously, Elixir Hotel and Serviced Apartments recorded a 70 per cent occupancy rate.

The restaurant area is temporarily closed.

Elixir Hotel and Serviced Apartments new opening hours are 6 am – 7 pm daily.

Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort

Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort had to lay off some workers.

Co-owner Brian Richard said business income was not anywhere near enough to pay the bills.

“Before, we used to have between 23 to 25 staff, but at the moment we only have six staff working on a casual basis.

“We are spreading the hours for everybody so that at least everyone is getting something.

“It’s tough on everybody,” he said.

Mr Richard said they had to reduce opening hours for the restaurant.

“Our food and beverage hours have changed substantially because there is nobody coming to the restaurant. Mr Richard said strict precautionary measures have been implemented for staff and guests of the resort.

“We have staff staying at the resort, because they are exposed to more risk when they leave the resort.

“We are also strict with guests coming in to follow the regulations in place by the resort,” he said.

Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort.

Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort.

Mr Richard applauds the Government for the restrictions in place on social gathering.

Novotel Suva Lami Bay

While there is no official comment available from the hotel, it is understood that they are operating with reduced staff and the hotel’s occupants are corporate clients and local guests.

Holiday Inn

The Hotel is open and continues to operate – within the provisions of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. applicable to COVID-19 precautionary restrictions and guidelines.

Holiday Inn.

Holiday Inn.

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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