A Silver Lining!?

December 10, 2020

Corona has brought regulations upon regulations upon regulations … leading to headaches upon headaches upon headaches for hotels!

Can’t complain though- restricted regulations are still better than a complete lockdown, which we faced  April to September.

Now, revised regulations restrict all indoor dining and activities but at least allow activities outside. 

My grandfather’s foresight planned large outdoor spaces for our Beach Luxury Hotel by the sea in 1947; the Avari Lahore hotel in 1978; and the Avari Towers in 1985.  Naturally, he had no knowledge about the calamity that would hit the world in 2020 then but his idea always was for large, green spaces.

Chinna Creek, Karachi

In a city like Karachi, our so-called autumns & winters (whatever semblance of “winter” one can call it in Karachi 😊) make it absolutely outstanding to be outdoors and not cooped up in an a/c environment.

The other day my father and I dropped by for a coffee to Avari Towers.  We made our way down to the gardens by the pool, which have been transformed into an all-day dining- menus from Fujiyama, Dynasty & Asia Live are available there.  We thought we were sitting in some tropical paradise- with the trees, greenery, plants, tree overhangs, etc.  Our Sky Grill restaurant continues operating for dinner on the roof of the Hotel, overlooking the lights of the sprawling metropolis.    

Avari Towers, Karachi
Skygrill Rooftop Restaurant

At Beach Luxury, a full day conference (with social distancing, I might add) took place on our Seafront restaurant- the only open air, floating restaurant in Pakistan – which we use for our buffet dinners.  In the past, we have used this venue for our breakfast and lunch buffets also – it is a sight for sleepy morning eyes to see the seagulls swoop down in Chinna Creek; school-going rowers in the first morning light (albeit being grumpy at having to awake at 5am 😊) on their Sculls, Doubles, Fours and Eights; the first morning fisherman throwing his net out in the dirty, still creek- to get small fish he can then sell to the large trawlers to use as bait … and if you come early enough, one of the best winter SUNRISES you can experience!  Our Casbah restaurant, the freshest seafood grill, has had outdoor dining 365 days.

Seafront Restaurant, Beach Luxury, Karachi

At Avari Lahore, our large lawns (which houses a small aviary too) now host our outdoor restaurants – Tollington combines Kims, Lakhnavi & Tollington menus; Dynasty & Fujiyama are combined at an adjacent garden venue.  With ample space to spare, the other parts of the lawns are used for weddings & related events.

Avari Lahore, Lahore

I may be proudly boasting but we are really happy of what our GMs & teams’ have created within the parameters of these Covid regulations & restrictions.

So, I tell you friends, we don’t look at the glass as “half empty” … rather, look at it as “half full”; these days shall also pass – maybe slowly, but pass they shall !  As my father quotes “Smile, & the World Smiles With You … Cry, & You Cry Alone”.

(End note: fat lot me giving such advice … by nature I’m one of the world’s greatest pessimists 😊 😊 😊)

Avari Lahore

Avari Towers
Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi
Avari Lahore gardens

A Passenger’s Guide to Air Travel

August 12, 2020

….Hey!  Hold on!  I’m now a COVID expert!?  No but here are some practical tips for travelers to consider-

  • Wear the COVID N-95 or K-95 face mask on board;

(If you are really paranoid 😊, add a cloth or surgical mask over that)

  • Carry on board-
    • Wear mask continuously
      • Disposable surgical mask- (tie-on type- not behind-ear type)
      • Hand sanitizer & hand wipes
      • Hand moisturizer
      • Some paper disposable bags
  • Before initially sitting, use the hand wipes –
    • Wipe down both arm rests, seat cushion & back
      • Wipe down outside of overhead bin and latch
      • Wipe down the tray and TV if it is one of those seat-retractable ones
      • (If you are on a window seat) Wipe down side of the plane (where you would put your head to sleep) and window shutter
      • Use a fresh hand wipe to sanitize your hands and bin all the wipes into a paper bag and dispose in lavatory (see below)
      • Use moisturizer on hands
(Photo credit- IATA)
  • Going to the bathroom-
    • Carry hand wipes with you
      • Use one hand wipe to open the door, get inside and lock the door and wipe the lock and door latch
      • Use another hand wipe to wipe the lid of the disposable bin and and flushing mechanism/button
      • Wash hands with soap
      • After using the bathroom, use hand wipe or sanitizer for a final clean.
      • Moisturize hands
  • Continue wearing mask during entire trip
  • Whenever you walk around, go to the food galley, open the overhead bin, etc, on returning back to the seat, use hand sanitizer and moisturizer
  • Eating (my favorite experience on a plane! 😊)-
  • Why I’m suggesting using the tie-on type of face mask is so that you keep the top portion tied on and open the bottom two ties, allowing you to feed yourself (and drink) without removing the mask portion covering the nose
    • Use hand wipes to wipe down all cutlery (we use hand wipes to wipe down thermometers, so I presume it’s safe for cutlery too)
    • Wipe down the plastic and foil covers of the food and drink
    • EAT … DEVOUR … ENJOY! 😊
  • Enjoy the food … Enjoy the movie … Enjoy the flying experience … and most of all, Enjoy the sleep!

If you have any further suggestions, please do share.

BON VOYAGE!

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