Kudos to Marco Polo Wuhan

Courage and hospitality in the face of death

The hotel has opened its doors to over 200 emergency medical workers. Credit: Marco Polo Wuhan

WUHAN - At a time when much of the world's spotlight is currently turned towards COVID-19, there is a team of dedicated, round-the-clock individuals who have been committed to doing what it takes to help medical workers since early February.

Led by Mr Lee Weng Wai, GM of Marco Polo Wuhan, who gave up evacuation seats back to Malaysia to ride out the city's storm and guide his task force staff, the hotel has housed over 20 officials from the Beijing Central Government's Inspection Unit during their designation to Wuhan.

The deluxe hotel overlooking the Yangtze River, has also welcomed over 200 Emergency Medical Workers from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Beijing Hospital, and one of the country's top academic scientists, Mr Wang Chen.

Initially the team started with 57 volunteer staff and later, 8 more associates joined the core team. Strategic deployment was the key in ensuring an extended front line to care for guests, resulting in a safe and secure environment.

An assistant F&B service manager, in addition to her daily responsibility, is also deployed as an administrative coordinator, a concierge, a cook and a disinfection operator.

Another staff, a young executive club floor manager responsible for the front desk, has offered her service as a tailor to assist in altering nurses' gowns. She also acts as a concierge and has coordinated CSR projects for medical workers.

Hotel staff multi-task to get the job done. Credit: Marco Polo Wuhan

One of the hotel's security officers performs as a health and sanitation monitoring station guard, concierge, storekeeper, and also oversees the energy pit stop station for medics.

The 352-room hotel is running at 83% occupancy and caters over 1,000 meals per day for guests with only a handful of kitchen staff.

Mr Lee said: "As the medics are working on shifts, our kitchen provides five meals daily from 4 am to midnight. We work very closely with the medics to offer hot, sumptuous and nutritious meals to them, ensuring everyone stays healthy and well, including fresh, nourishing homemade soups every day, fresh congee for energy and well-being, fresh fruits and vegetables, and snacks including nuts, chocolate and milk available at the hotel's entrance, welcoming everyone to enjoy them at any time.

"I have always been proud of this dedicated team. Not only are my team members hardworking, they are also very effective and have grown to become so close-knit like a big family, watching out for everyone including the medics. It would really upset me should anyone's health be compromised during this pandemic. Life is short and paradoxically fragile so one must live responsibly for it."

Daily exercises are conducted for staff to balance health and immunity, whilst team briefings and updates allow them to maintain good morale and team spirit.