20 COVID-19 approaches for 2021

Red Roof Inn offers social distancing floor decals for lobby and other public areas to hoteliers. Photo credit: Red Roof (Red Roof Plus and Suites)

Hotels worldwide have adjusted their operations to keep guests and team members alike as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some measures properties have found effective in maintaining a hospitable spirit while maintaining safety standards.   

  1. Install open windows. The upcoming Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles will have “massive” floor-to-ceiling lobby windows that completely retract, promoting air circulation throughout the entire lobby. 
  2. Take time to clean. The Villa Verano and Puerto Vallarta Beach Club in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, no longer allows same-day departures and arrivals. “We will take a full 24 hours to clean and sanitize each villa property prior to accepting new guests,” said GM John Douponce.
  3. Keep teams together. The six Bluefields Bay Villas on Jamaica’s south coast no longer share staff among the different properties, limiting exposure among employees and guests.
  4. Find a disinfecting solution. The Red Carnation Hotel Collection has implemented the CleanCoat A/S self-disinfection solution. A proprietary coating renders hotel surfaces self-disinfecting, helping to break down microbes like bacteria and viruses as well as pollutants such as volatile organic compounds.
  5. Install materials that are easy to clean. The team at the Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, a small lodging property south of Seward, Alaska, replaced all of the fabric shower curtains with easy-to-disinfect vinyl.
  6. Help guests feel safe. Red Roof Inn has made social distancing floor decals for lobby and other public areas available for individual properties to purchase along with RediClean guestroom door sealing tape to “seal” the guest room after its last RediClean.  
  7. Reconsider roomservice. The Laylow, Autograph Collection on Oahu, Hawaii, suspended roomservice in favor of takeout meals available from the hotel’s Hideout restaurant.
  8. Reconfigure room layouts. The Domaine Madeleine at Port Angeles, Wash., added exterior entry doors to one suite, eliminated the pubic dining room, added in-room dining furniture, reconfigured various self-serve areas and added more safety cameras and a contactless intercom.
  9. Offer on-site testing. In the Bahamas, Baha Mar unveiled plans to offer PCR and rapid antigen COVID-19 tests prior to guests’ departures from the Bahamas. This lets travelers return home with recent COVID-19 test results.
  10. Add luxe touches to safety protocols. The Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan, Puerto Rico, uses scented oils in the spa’s hand sanitizers to make safety a little more upscale.
  11. Reimagine pedestrian patterns. The Cliff House Maine used new signage and floor markings to make hallways one-way passageways. 
  12. Install air purifiers. Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay added air purifiers equipped with ultraviolet-C light filtration, in addition to HEPA filters, to every unit. The housekeeping staff runs the filter for an hour or more before cleaning.
  13. Leverage technology to make guestrooms safer. The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico installed UV light-purifying air conditioning units in each guestroom. 
  14. Let robots do the cleaning... The Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego North/San Marcos implemented Maidbots’ robot vacuum cleaners, taking some pressure off the human staff to maintain sanitary standards.
  15. ...And the delivering. A robot is now making contactless deliveries directly to guestrooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego North/San Marcos, keeping guest contact to a minimum.
  16. Keep staff out of occupied guestrooms. At the Laylow in Hawaii, housekeeping staff do not enter occupied guestrooms. Guests are asked to place used towels and sheets in bags outside their door for collection.
  17. Make the guest experience contactless. The Domaine Madeleine added technology and changed procedures to be completely contactless, including all reservations being paid in full at the time of booking, and adjusted policies to permit no fee reschedules. All communication with guests is via text message.
  18. Meet guests outside. At the Cliff House Maine, each guest is greeted by a Cliff House ambassador upon arrival in the porte cochere and await further guidance on when the reception area is cleared.
  19. Make it easy for guests to isolate. The 10-room ILLA Experience Hotel in Ecuador lets guests buy out the entire property if they book five rooms, making it easier for small groups to have a safe getaway.
  20. Use social media to keep guests informed. Melia Hotels International tapped influencers to illustrate new safety protocols, improve customer confidence and offer discounts directly to specific audiences. 
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