Health and Safety are top of mind as hotels begin to reopen for summer travel. Since all businesses are resuming with extra precautionary measures, so are hotels.
In May, the American Hotel & Lodging Association launched its Safe Stay guidelines and some hotels are taking it a bit further to ensure a safe environment for its guests and employees. Let’s see what significant change you’ll experience as you start to travel the world again.
Valet Services and Bell Hops
Things may take an unconventional turn after COVID-19 as valet services and bell hops will no longer cater to travelers in order to maintain social distancing. Be prepared to have to park your own car and carry your own luggage. You’ll have the option to use a bell cart which will be sanitized after each use. Being catered to is one of the many pleasures of taking a vacation but in this case it’s better to be safe than infected.
Entering the lobby
Don’t be surprised if when you step into the front door, you are heath screened and have your temperature checked. This will not apply with all hotels but some are taking extra measures. Also, don’t you love when you step into the lobby and you’re greeted with a glass of champagne? Yes, well that’s a thing of the past at most resorts. Instead you’ll be greeted with PPE (personal protective equipment) upon arrival which will include sanitizing wipes, gloves, masks and personal hand sanitizer. Luxury hotels will equip the entrances with hand sanitizing stations, signs encouraging social distancing and less lounge furniture to discourage congregating.
To ensure contactless check ins, most hotels are converting to digital check-in, allowing guests to check-in, check out and pay their bill all through their mobile phone. This process eliminates the use of digital keys between so many different guests. Reception desks will not be entirely eliminated but they will be restructured. Some changes include plexiglass partitions, installing chip and pin readers to avoid the use of passing credit cards for payment.
Rate of Occupancy
To avoid crowding in elevators and hallways, hotels must run with a lower rate of occupancy. The occupancy rates are expected to go down to 30%-50% across the board to maintain social distancing. It also depends on the structure of the building; if it encompasses multiple floors, the number of guests per floor will be limited.
Your Room & Housekeeping
Housekeeping staff has increased and has also gone through additional training learning how to properly sanitize lobbies, hallways, rooms and common areas.
At some all-inclusive luxury resorts, such as AM Resorts you’ll have pillows, blankets and in-room tablets delivered in a vacuum sealed bag to your room. Most luxury resorts have removed mini-bar items, magazines, cotton swabs and decorative pillows.
Cleaning is more intense but also limited. After check in you’ll have the option to completely skip housekeeping or you may request it on demand. After check out, most resorts will wait 24-72 hours to clean the room.
Room Service & Restaurants
All restaurants onsite will now accommodate less guests to ensure the proper social distancing. For room service, they’ve implemented contactless meal delivery. Hotel restaurants they’ve taken the necessary precautions by wearing gloves, masks and using contactless methods to transfer food to others. Some resorts are making menus available for guests online and others will still provide menus but are wiping them down between each use. Items that used to be available on the table such as salt and pepper, will now be available on demand.
Overall, expect changes when taking your next vacation but don’t let this stop you from seeing the world in a safe responsible way.