Lending a Hand: Karisma Hotels & Resorts, HRI and More

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—At this time of crisis, those associated with the hotel industry make every effort to take care of their own, as well as others in the areas that they serve. Here are some organizations that are helping any way they can during the coronavirus pandemic:

Karisma Hotels & Resorts Donates 150 Resort Stays
Karisma Hotels & Resorts has launched the Holidays for Your Heroes initiative, donating 150 luxury, all-inclusive resort stays to essential workers and their families through its Karisma Foundation and partners.

Karisma has opened a public call to nominate everyday heroes who are deserving of a five-day, five-star vacation at an all-inclusive resort of choice in Latin America or the Caribbean, when the time is right. Holidays for Your Heroes is a part of the Karisma Foundation, an established charity that supports vulnerable populations in countries where the company’s resorts are located. The initiative also includes the ability for anyone to sponsor a vacation for a frontline worker, with 100% of funds used to gift the trip at cost to a hero and his or her family.

The prize packages will feature luxury accommodations at a Karisma property of choice, which includes El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma in Mexico; Azul Beach Resort Negril, by Karisma in Jamaica; the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic; and the newly opened Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun in Mexico.

HRI Establishes Associate Relief Fund
Over the last few weeks, HRI Properties made the difficult and emotional decision to suspend hotel and restaurant operations at select locations and furlough many of its valued hospitality associates due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To show immediate support, the company has created the HRI Properties Associate Relief Fund. This fund was created to assist its furloughed hospitality associates, especially those who are working zero hours and seeking government assistance. Furloughed associates will be contacted at the end of the campaign and 100% of the available funds will be distributed to those directly impacted by the pandemic. The donations will be initially distributed to hourly furloughed hospitality associates.

“Our employees are at the center of our hotel operation, welcoming our guests and always approaching their jobs with an eye toward our mission of Elevating the Urban Experience,” said Gary Gutierrez, HRI Lodging president. “We are committed to supporting our hospitality associates and their families during these challenging times. As the pandemic subsides, we look forward to restoring our operations and bringing back as many hospitality associates as possible.”

Montage Launches Relief Fund
Montage International has introduced the Hearts of Montage Associate Relief Fund, which not only allows consumers to support Montage Hotels & Resorts and Pendry Hotels & Resorts associates and their families, but also look toward an upcoming trip themselves or give the gift of travel to others.

For a limited time, the brand is offering for purchase Montage Cares and Pendry Cares Certificates, with 100% of all funds raised contributed to the Hearts of Montage Associate Relief Fund. A $500 Montage Cares Certificate entitles the purchaser to a one-night stay in a standard king room at any Montage hotel or resort, while a $250 Pendry Cares Certificate entitles one to a one-night stay in a standard king room at any Pendry hotel or resort Each certificate is valid through May 15, 2021.

Additionally, the brand is providing internal support programs for associates as well to continue to provide aid and comfort. The Montage International Associate Relief Program not only includes the relief fund, but also now includes Family Meal and Care Package Distribution Nights two times a month across the brand, as well as optional at-home learning and programming for culinary, fitness and children of associates.

St Giles Hotels Creates Uplift Fund
St Giles Hotels in the U.K. has created the Uplift Fund as part of its ongoing “Hotels with Heart” initiative. The initiative was formed five years ago to positively impact those less fortunate in the communities the properties serve through meaningful causes that matter to the hotels’ teams and the guests it serves around the globe.

To help alleviate the burden and stress of its team members in the U.K., St Giles London and St Giles Heathrow hotels’ leadership team, spearheaded by St Giles Hotels CEO Abigail Tan, developed the Uplift Fund with remaining donations from the Hotels with Heart initiative’s past fundraising efforts, and have now established a Just Giving page that supporters in its communities can contribute to to help the team at the hotels who have been furloughed due to the pandemic. All of the funds raised are used to benefit team members who are struggling personally and financially.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption across all our properties with government lockdown directives across our regions. As we began to see more countries entering lockdown coupled with the dramatic increase in infection rates, our concern grew for our family of employees, how this would impact their lives, and how we could continue to support them through these uncertain times,” said Tan. “This immediately sparked us to act and through our Hotels with Heart initiative, we created this fund to support the beating heart of our hotels, the ones who make our hotels home away from home for our guests.”