New Norm for Weddings in Marriott International Hotels under Covid-19
In the midst of this global pandemic, many weddings have been cancelled and/or postponed to 2021. Like many couples, we are unsure of how this will unfold in the coming months. We understand the conundrum couples are facing this season but as Queen famously sang, “The show must go on!”
TWN has spoken to one of our main hotel partners in Malaysia, Marriott International Inc., to get a deeper understanding of how their hotels are taking steps to assist couples in the wedding planning process during this time. All Marriott hotels comply with their group’s “Commitment to Clean” guidelines when it comes to food preparation, service and staff to ensure a good environment in the hotels.
We understand that you have many questions and are probably a little wary of booking your wedding venue in the middle of a pandemic. This is an attempt to reveal what hotels are doing about Covid-19, in the hope that it might help to put your mind at ease a little.
#01 MINIMUM SPEND CONDITION
Some Marriott hotels have lifted and/or lowered their minimum spend conditions that were linked to their venues, in adherence to MKN’s social distancing guidelines. The St Regis Kuala Lumpur and Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel have waived their minimum food and beverage spend for their ballrooms.
In general, most of Marriott’s hotels are flexible in this current situation. Not only have they lowered the minimum spend, some have gone a step further by allowing the value to be used on any food and beverage consumption (inclusive of alcohol) in their hotels, which is not a bad idea, and even for their rooms. This means you can use it later on a “thank you dinner” for your bridal party, family dinners, or rooms for your families and helpers. This does not apply to all hotels, so do consult individual hotels for more information.
For contracts signed prior to Covid-19, most hotels are willing to renegotiate a new package and reduce the minimum spend to make it work for you. Some hotels like Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah are even willing to draft and customise a new package to fit your budget.
Photo: Joshua Koh Photography for The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Photo: Jasmine. A Photography for Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
#02 POSTPONEMENT POLICY
Most Marriott hotels will be allowing postponement of up to twelve (12) months from the actual date and up to the end of 2021. Some hotels like Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral even allow postponement of weddings up to just two (2) months prior to the event. Other hotels like Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel are giving couples the option of cancelling their wedding with a full refund of their deposit.
As a general rule, most Mariott hotels are flexible with their postponement policies and will make a decision on a case-to-case basis. Please consult individual Mariott hotels for more information, and make sure you have a postponement clause inserted into any contract that you sign before paying your deposit.
Photos: Joshua Koh Photography for WAF2019
#03 EXCLUSIVE USE OF SPACE
Most Marriott hotels have more than one event space, and they will allow more than one event to happen concurrently with adherence to MKN’s social distancing guidelines. Hotels will consider the number of people involved before confirming an event to ensure that there will not be overcrowding in the hotel. Even if there are other events happening concurrently to your wedding, some hotels like Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel will ensure separation of guests by not allowing events to happen on the same floor, and separating guests through the use of different elevators. Rest assured the hotels will make the safety of your friends and families as their number one priority. However, if you wish to have exclusive use of a smaller space, i.e. restaurant and/or smaller room, you may check with the hotel about booking out the space.
Photo: Joshua Koh Photography for W Kuala Lumpur
Photo: Peter Herman Photography for Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Photo: Joshua Koh Photography for Four Points by Sheraton Puchong
#04 FLOW OF GUESTS’ ARRIVAL
The use of the MySejahtera app is compulsory for guests, as are temperature checks at entry points with adherence to MKN SOPs. There will be proper signage and/or markers to remind guests about social distancing guidelines. Most hotels have escalators to their ballrooms, which will reduce the number of guests using the lifts. This is important, as there will be a four to six (4-6) pax limit in each lift, with clear social distancing markers to remind guests to maintain their distance. Some hotels, like Le Meridien Putrajaya, have gone the extra step by having their staff on stand-by for crowd control. Please ask your guests to arrive one (1) hour prior to your event to prevent overcrowding and ensure smoother flow.
All Marriott hotels are adapting to the MKM guidelines, with food being individually plated/served. All food will be wrapped and the wrapping removed only at the table in front of guests, and some hotels are even using domes. The standard metal cutlery and glassware will remain. Most hotels have rolled out new/different menus during this time, with some even introducing pre-packed bento sets if that is your preferred choice. Some hotels like The Westin Kuala Lumpur have a strict “No Plastic Policy”, which means they will be using only recycled or wooden materials for their pre-packed offerings. Please check with individual hotels for their food and beverage policies.
Photo: Peter Herman Photography for Le Meridien Putrajaya
Photos: Joshua Koh Photography for The Westin Kuala Lumpur (left), Jasmine. A Photography for Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur (right)
We hope these pointers will make it easier for you to plan your wedding during this challenging season. One last thing: don’t forget to make sure that all terms and conditions that have been discussed with your chosen venue are clearly stated in your contract.
1. The hotels that participated in this survey are:
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah,
Four Points by Sheraton Puchong,
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel,
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
Le Meridien Putrajaya,
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel,
Sheraton Petaling Jaya,
The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur,
The Westin Kuala Lumpur and
W Kuala Lumpur.
2. This article is not Marriott International Inc.’s SOP on weddings. Please consult individual hotels for their exact SOP/guidelines.
3. This article should not be evidence in a court of law. Neither is it a sponsored post. It is simply an attempt to make understanding of Marriott International Inc.’s policies/guidelines.