Despite the fact that the Hospitality Industry is basically closed for business, every cloud has a silver lining. Find out how an empty Triumph Hotel- The Hotel Belleclaire, was made available, by co-owner Shimmie Horn to Dr. Eldad Hod to enable him to continue his Covid-related research at Columbia University Hospital

Hotel Belleclaire on 77th and Broadway volunteered to house Eldad indefinitely.

These are crazy times – possibly the craziest of all times in human history. When we celebrated New Year’s Eve, a little bit over 3 months ago and ushered in 2020, who could have known what was in store. Stories of a virus from China began to emanate in February. Slowly and steadily they became more and more serious.

With modern day transport and sporting events with crowds over 30,000, the virus spread at alarming speed. It was only in mid-March that measures of social distancing started to be enforced. It was strange that sporting events were being played in front of empty stadiums and courts – then they weren’t being played at all.

Empty stadiums and courts

These are unprecedented times. People being locked down in their houses all throughout the world and doing their best to make it through it. This is not a war being fought against a traditional enemy – it’s a war against a microscopic virus and we have to band together like never before to get through this.

Housing Eldad Hod, a clinical pathologist at Columbia University Hospital, at the Hotel Belleclaire on 77th and Broadway made news. Even though the hotel was closed it was a place for him to stay while he works on a possible cure. The hotel isn’t a hospital but the values of kindness of people in these times has been inspiring. Friends organized a kosher meal train to keep him fed – complete strangers volunteering to cook, not just for him but other doctors.

Girl Scout cookies were sent to Eldad to share at the hospital and some of the meals had notes from kids.

Girl Scout Cookies

Just like Eldad, it’s a privilege to be able to play our small part.
Have you ever wondered why hotels are in the hospitality industry and the relationship of the word hospitality with the word hospital? What is hospitality? It’s the relationship between a host and guest where the guest is take care of by the host.  Hospitality just isn’t about having a room and a bed but the way a person is treated.

Facilitating a wonderful experience for the guests that encompasses their whole stay over.

It’s about facilitating a wonderful experience for the guests that encompasses their whole stay over and above the time spent in the room. They may ask for assistance getting tickets to a Broadway show or a Yankees game or may want to know the best things to do in New York on a rainy day.

The word has Latin origins – hospes means guest, stranger or host and is derived from the word hostis which means stranger. The word hostile comes from hostis. Hospes also is behind modern day words such as hospice and hostel. The s was dropped and became hotel.

Taking care is what a hospital is all about. Taking in patients and making them feel better as they make a recovery from illness to health.

When this is all done, let us look back at actions during this traumatic period with pride.