Sunday, 15 December 2013

Guest safety at Hyatt Regency – the fiction and the facts!

There is many a slip between the cup and the lip is a cliché that applies well to Hyatt. The safety and security measures mentioned on Hyatt Regency’s website include some nicely worded statements that promise its patrons the highest levels of safety and security – but when you look at them more closely, and compare them to reality – the gaps are wide and horrifying.  If you haven’t read our first blog yet – do that before you read on.

Here’s a quick look at the fiction vs. the facts as far as security at the Hyatt Regency goes:

What Hyatt says (fiction)
What Hyatt actually does (fact)
       Hotels managed by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts consider guest comfort and security as our priority

     Hyatt Regency knowingly puts an unsuspecting guest in harms way, without so much as a warning
     Gaurav isn’t the first – this is the 4th reported incident to happen at the Hyatt Regency (there may be others that went unnoticed)

     We have trained hotel staff responsible and accountable for looking after the security and well being of our guests and visitors

Hyatt Regency employs staff that is untrained to ensure guest security and also lacks common sense:
     Staff does not warn visitors against danger OR keep them away from danger 
     Staff stands around watching a guest suffer – awaiting an on call doctor – who arrived after more than 40 mins (later than the family themselves)
     Staff lies to cover up the real situation instead of telling the truth that could help the guest
     Staff is clueless about what to do in an emergency situation where a guest gets grievously hurt
     Staff is trained to prioritize Hyatt Regency’s interest over the life of a guest  
     Staff and management bear no accountability, and pass the buck onto a doctor who is merely on-call

     Advanced security technologies to facilitate safeguarding your security, such as; integrated surveillance systems, advanced lock and access control systems, and sophisticated asset protection tools

     Hi technology comes into play only once the basic are in place:
ð There is a lack of basic infrastructure such as cordons that block an unsafe area off for guests
ð There are no locks on doors that lead to unsafe areas
ð There are no CCTV cameras in locations such as lifts or outdoor areas where guests are allowed to be present
     No tools to protect their most important asset from harm – a paying customer

     Rigorous security and safety assessments and reviews

     The Hyatt Regency Hotel allows guests to go into an area that could be unsafe, while other hotels chaperone their guests in a potentially unsafe area
     The first step to assessments and reviews is to acknowledge that something may be wrong – the Hyatt Regency refuses to acknowledge that it could ever be wrong (read this story from 10 years ago to see their attitude then – it’s exactly the same now!)

     Dedicated Fire/Life/Safety systems and monitoring
     No paramedic staff
     No doctor
     No ambulance
     An on call doctor that arrives 40 minutes later, after the family of the victim gets there

     Comprehensive emergency response plans that staff are regularly trained on

Not even a basic emergency response plan in place
     Staff leave a guest with severe head injuries lying in a pool of blood for more than 40 minutes – missing the ‘golden hour’ of treatment (it doesn’t require formal training to know this)
     No one from the hotel informs the police, calls the family or takes charge of the situation before the doctor arrives
     All decision making left to an on-call doctor who only arrives 40 minutes after the incident – hotel staff stands around watching the spectacle of an seriously injured guest
     Hyatt Regency is negligent and unprepared to such as extent, that a guest is brought to the hospital in a near brain dead condition 1.5 hours after he falls

     Hyatt Hotels & Resorts are renowned for our authentic hospitality and our personalized guest experience.
     This is the only place where we agree with the Hyatt Regency. Although not quite the way they would like us to
     Hyatt Hotel definitely has an authentic brand of hospitality – only at the Hyatt Regency does one hear of guests losing their life or being seriously hurt on a consistent basis

     As our valued guest, we are committed to creating an environment of security and well being throughout your stay

     The points above clearly indicate that this is not the case

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Gaurav isn’t the first, let’s ensure he is the last!

Following our last post, and the TOI article reporting Gaurav’s accident, there has been a lot more awareness about and interest in his story. Besides the support that continues to pour in, there have also been comments that make light of; poke fun at, but most worryingly disparage Gaurav and his family. Those who know Gaurav need no explanation, and neither do we feel it is necessary for us to go out there and defend his reputation by responding to every comment. Anyone who has any question about him merely needs to read the comments of his friends, family and acquaintances. 

There is one more fact that we would like to share which can help people understand Hyatt’s attitude towards safety and security. And that is that Gaurav is the 4th victim (of those that were reported in the media – there may be other unreported ones) of Hyatt Regency’s apathy and negligence. 
A quick google search on Hyatt Regency using the keywords Hyatt Regency New Delhi + accidents or Hyatt Regency New Delhi + death turns up a few results of incidents where a guest has been gravely hurt, or lives have been lost under mysterious circumstances, raising questions about the safety and security measures followed by the hotel. In each incident however, the Hyatt Regency has had to bear no accountability, and the victim or someone else has taken the fall.

In March 2002, the daughter in law of a prominent Indian politician was found dead in the hotel. One media report states that the initial investigation done by the police mentioned three gunshot wounds as the cause of death, but by the next day, the cause of death had strangely become suicide under the influence of drugs / alcohol. Another goes on to say that an empty bottle of whisky was found on the terrace of the hotel from where she jumped. This happened in the middle of the night. The rumor is that her estranged husband was behind her murder, but because her family did not file a police complaint, the suicide theory was never questioned. Let’s say murder was not committed and it was suicide, why was the terrace open at that time for just anyone to walk up? How is it that in a busy hotel like Hyatt no one noticed an apparently suicidal woman walk all the way up to the terrace with a bottle of alcohol in her hand?

In September 2005, a 30 something woman from Nagaland in India, went for a swim in the hotel pool. She was apparently a confident swimmer, but according to reports ‘sank’ after having a heavy non-vegetarian breakfast, went into a coma, and was admitted to the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre at Vasant Kunj. A doctor states on record that her ‘sinking’ happened due to medical reasons related to her breakfast. A lifeguard was apparently present and tried to resuscitate the victim, but was not successful. The media report states that the lobby manager denied that the incident even took place at the hotel, and that the police didn’t file a complaint since the victim was unfit for statement. The story also speculates that she was under the influence of drugs. How convenient for the Hyatt Regency.
In December 2009 a 21 year old window cleaner fell to his death while he was on the job. The cleaner was not wearing safety gear when this happened and while no questions were raised about the employee safety practices of the Hyatt, a criminal case of negligence was apparently filed against the contract cleaning agency instead! At the time the PR head at Hyatt Regency was quoted saying ‘We have been told by the police that he fell from the first floor.” An employee of theirs – even if it was a contract employee – fell to his death while at work, and they didn’t even know which floor he fell from?

2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 …there’s a pattern here. We hope something is done soon, before we hear of another case like this 3-4 years from now.

You can save a life.. Just spread the word. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hyatt's misplaced sense of hospitality leaves 30 year old guest fighting for his life

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hospitality as the “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests”. “Ensuring their safety and security” is a natural extension of that definition.

Seeing this article put out by Hyatt Regency a few days ago outraged us enough to finally start this blog. Why? Because Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Delhi is formally celebrating 30 years of hospitality – refusing to acknowledge the the fact that it is because of their hospitality that a 30 year old patron is battling for his life in the hospital, now for more than 30 days.

Here's what happened:

Part I of Hyatt's Horrifying Hospitality
On October 16th 2013, Gaurav a vivacious young man, made the mistake of being a Hyatt patron. He went to the hotel to meet a few friends who were guests too. During the course of the evening, he fell from the outdoor smoking area of the executive lounge on the 6th floor, to a balcony on the 4th floor. The smoking area was unsafe and under construction, but no warning signs were in place that night, and none of the hotel staff serving them cautioned against stepping out. After the incident a work in progress sign has been put up - a case of too little too late. Exactly how he fell however, we can only know when he wakes up, because in violation of the guidelines set for hotels, there were no CCTV cameras in the smoking area.

Part II of Hyatt's Horrifying Hospitality

After he fell, he lay there for more than an hour, with multiple brain hemorrhages, a shattered kneecap, a broken wrist, injuries in his spine and skull, and one collapsed lung. He lay there gasping for breath, in a growing pool of blood, while the hotel tried to arrange for a doctor who arrived more than 40 minutes after the incident (instead of having one onsite). In addition the hotel did not call 100 or inform the PCR stationed outside (a standard approach to any accident), nor did they try to reach his family (and when contacted, lied about Gaurav’s situation and that he had already been transferred to a hospital).

Had it not been for his friends who called his sister, medical attention may have been delayed further. When his sister arrived 40 minutes after the fall (and before the doctor got there), he was still lying on the 4th floor balcony, with hotel staff standing around and watching. The first ambulance that arrived was turned away by the doctor who felt the ambulance was too rickety and did not have the right life support systems. Gaurav finally reached the hospital in a 2nd ambulance nearly 1.5 hours after he fell.

Precious time was lost while the hotel tried to arrange for medical help. The ambulance related confusion in particular needs to be looked into. Who placed that call for the ambulance must be questioned on why the first ambulance that arrived was so ill equipped? What situation did that person describe to the hospital that an unfit ambulance was sent in the first place? Had a doctor been present onsite, things would have been different.

In the six weeks that Gaurav has been in the hospital, not once has the hotel asked about him, requested an update, or come to see him.
The Hyatt Regency management is busy putting out news articles that are paid for to gloss over its callous attitude, and position itself as a beacon of hospitality. We hope that this post helps you look beyond the pretty picture that Hyatt Regency has tried to paint.

We know that anyone reading this will have a natural question in their mind. Was Gaurav under the influence of alcohol or another substance that night? Is that what caused the accident? The doctor who treated him when he arrived at the hospital, was clear that he was not intoxicated – and put it on record in the immediate report.

At our end we are doing what we can through the legal route to bring this to its rightful end. In the meanwhile, please use this information to warn your friends and loved ones about what could be in store for them the next time they visit a luxury establishment such as the Hyatt Regency.

There are thousands of young men and women like Gaurav out there who are at risk today. Please do what you can to protect them from a similar fate.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

About us

This blog is maintained by Gaurav's family, and is aimed at creating awareness about his accident at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Delhi on the night of October 16th 2013. We don't want anyone else going through what we are today. This blog can help people make the right choices about the hotel's they patronise and ensure that the hospitality industry takes its service promise more seriously.