When hotel was home

Written by Advaita Kala | Updated: Nov 30 2008, 05:57am hrs
For writer and journalist Advaita Kala, whose debut novel, Almost Single was published last year, this is not her first profession. For about seven years, she was part of the hotel industry. First for four years, from 2001 at the Oberoi group and then from 2006 to early 2008 at the Taj group. She reminiscences about her time and what it means for her erstwhile colleagues at two of Indias leading hotel chains.

Family. More than in any profession, thats what people in a hotel become. Hotels are very different from other places. We are used to dealing with challenging situations, and this means people naturally turn towards you. A hotel is seen as a safe haven, and there is the same level of comfort as at home.

Both these hotels are iconic, flagship hotels, the most prestigious postings within the respective groups. Both have a tradition of long staying guests, and regular repeats, who regard this a second home. Generations of many families have stayed here, and I know of people who stayed back despite the threat to them.

It will take time, but the staff will cope. They will need counselling, but these people are closely bonded and spend most of their time, professionally as well as socially together. This is an interactive profession, and we have to depend on each other. And get back, up and running, being the most hospitable face of India once again. Of being the family away from home, once again.