Part 1: Check-In

“The pool is open by reservation only…” The Mandarin Oriental (M.O.) hospitality specialist was as eager to please as he was knowledgeable regarding a myriad of Coronavirus preparation measures instituted by the behemoth of luxury hotels.

“Really?! That sounds wonderful!” Directly phoning the establishment was a departure from her customary approach, yet the global pandemic would demand nothing less of those who were actively seeking seclusion within a socially distanced world. The telephone call served as a litmus test of forward leaning, safe hospitality during an international health care crisis; one that the M.O. passed with flying colors before the pandemonium ensued.

We work hard to deliver an exceptional guest experience, and it’s apparent in this case that we fell short.

M.O. Hotel Manager, Source: Google Reviews

While waiting an additional twenty minutes for “room preparation,” despite having phoned days in advance with a specific arrival time, the young couple sauntered into the sprawling atrium with complimentary water in hand. She anticipated more hustle and bustle, comparative to evenings shared at Amity & Commerce, a unique American bistro that hosted hotel guests and local visitors alike. However, the scene before them felt strange and tepidly bizarre, tantamount to an episode of an Alfred Hitchcock film or science fiction series about the unlucky lot who were left behind. 

Unedited Footage – Mandarin Oriental Atrium © O.W. Showe

Superfluous offerings of cheap champagne, from an overzealous hoard of men in black suits who greeted newly arrived guests, carried the stench of second-rate. The M.O. also adopted a touchless keypad arrangement that was comically dysfunctional, albeit aesthetically appealing. Subsequently, an impressive wall of clear partitions that separated guests from receptionists were rendered utterly useless as staff members travelled to and fro while fumbling with the devices. Additionally, assessing thermal temperature readings in a hotel lobby is not analogous with mitigating the spread of COVID-19, although admittedly well-intentioned.

Moving forward with the hopes of inhabiting their Premiere Water View One Bedroom Suite became increasingly worrisome after noticing a substantial slab of broken glass underneath an outdoor table. Nonverbal utterances aside, they managed to arrive at an identical conclusion before the concierge strolled towards their vicinity with two room cards.

That very moment would prove her once in a lifetime opportunity to cancel the reservation, soft fade the author staycation and return to the comforts of home. Instead, she naively reached for the lavender access key that was swathed in a crisply designed case, and bid her lover adieu…

Unedited Footage – Mandarin Oriental © O.W. Showe

Trapped Inside 
Indie Interactive Web Docuseries
Genre: Documentary
Parental Guideline: PG-13
Release Dates: 2020
P1: 03 Oct / P2: 07 Nov / P3: 05 Dec / P4: 02 Jan 
Streaming: Exclusively on
Learn More About Trapped Inside