On Thursday, April 2, 2020, Four Seasons Hotel New York officially reopened its doors to offer a welcome respite to New York’s medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 25, the luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan became the first hotel to meet New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for private and public sectors to come together to alleviate supply constraints by providing complimentary housing for medical personnel.
The team at Four Seasons Hotel New York, alongside the Hotel’s owner Ty Warner, rapidly mobilised to transform the landmark property into a safely-zoned facility for housing New York’s healthcare workers.
The Hotel welcomed its first medical personnel guests from the New York State Nurses Association on Thursday, April 2. The Hotel has made 225 rooms available, each with a seven-night minimum stay, allowing for the enforcement of guidelines from medical experts and local authorities regarding social distancing. The Hotel will continue to scale up in number in order to operate safely and effectively, welcoming guests in small increments of 25 people per day, until reaching full capacity by the end of this week.
“Our healthcare workers are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis,” said Mr. Warner. “Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days. They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate. I heard Governor Cuomo’s call to action during one of his press conferences, and there was no other option for us but do whatever we could to help.”
To safely prepare the Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel New York General Manager Rudy Tauscher enlisted the expertise of Dr. Robert L. Quigley, D.PHIL, Senior Vice President and Regional Medical Director, Assistance & MedAire (Americas). Dr. Quigley and Mr. Tauscher, with the support of the Hotel team, worked diligently to create and implement protocols and operating procedures to provide safe accommodation to frontline medical workers, while mitigating the spread of the disease.
“Under the guidance of Dr. Robert Quigley, we were able to transform the Hotel and properly train all employees working at the property in a matter of days. In accordance with these enhanced safety protocols, we’ve created as low-risk of an environment as possible for both employees and guests,” said Mr. Tauscher. “This is uncharted territory and we are so proud of our teams – everyone has come together to support this effort in unprecedented circumstances.”
Given the overwhelming demand for accommodations due to the scale of the health crisis, the Hotel has partnered with a network of New York hospitals and medical associations, who are managing the reservation requests directly with their respective staff and affiliated members. These institutions have been proactively reaching out to their staff and members and handling reservation requests internally. Out of consideration to the hospital and medical association partners who have been inundated amid the pandemic, the Hotel will continue to maintain their discretion to avoid creating an influx of inquiries that may overwhelm their critical resources.
“The collaboration between the government and private sector has been extraordinary. This is a trying time for our city, our country and indeed the world, and we want to acknowledge and thank these healthcare workers for their service,” said Mr. Warner. “We are humbled by their selflessness, bravery, and generosity, and are inspired by their determination and resilience. Together, we will get through this.”