Grand Park Orchard says long check-in queues caused by surge in bookings

Grand Park Orchard said that long queues to check in at its lobby were caused by a surge in bookings.
Grand Park Orchard said that long queues to check in at its lobby were caused by a surge in bookings.PHOTOS: SHARON MEOW LIM, KENJI NG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Grand Park Orchard has said that long queues to check in at its lobby on Saturday (Dec 12) were caused by a surge in bookings in the past few days.

On Sunday, its spokesman said the hotel "received an overwhelming surge in last-minute bookings over the last few days" and it had tried to reach out to its guests "to stagger the check-in times but it was a challenge to reach all of them".

Pictures and videos of the crowd have circulated on social media, with some guests saying on Grand Park Orchard's Facebook page that they queued for hours to check in.

The hotel said it "remains committed to the safety and comfort of our guests", and has updated its procedures, which include working with travel partners to facilitate the booking of staggered check-in times and the implementation of a queue management system that will contact guests when it is their turn to check in.

The check-in process was smooth on Sunday because of the staggered check-in and the queue management system, the hotel said.

The spokesman added that the hotel was "deeply apologetic" for the inconvenience caused to guests.

Ms Tan Yen Nee, hotel and sector manpower director at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said the board had followed up on the incident with the hotel's management. "(We) understand that they have taken steps to resolve the issue and assist affected guests," she said.

On Saturday's long queues, Ms Tan said that a total of 14 safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers from STB were deployed to Grand Park Orchard at 7.34pm that day.

"They assisted the hotel staff in managing the crowds and in ensuring safe-distancing of 1m between hotel guests," she said, adding that police officers also responded to the incident to ensure law and order.

Ms Tan said the crowds started to disperse at 8.05pm after the ambassadors and officers worked with hotel staff to place guests in one of the function rooms as part of safe-distancing measures.

On its part, Grand Park Orchard took efforts to disperse the crowd by encouraging guests who were waiting to check in to wait in a holding area or in the restaurants, said the spokesman.

"We understand that many guests didn't want to leave the queue," said the spokesman, who added that the hotel had offered options for guests to shift their bookings to other dates or move to its sister hotels.