As hotels across the United States begin to reopen, travelers will see important changes during their stay. Three months after lodging operators were forced to close, all forms of lodging will be able to resume business activities. But what can travelers expect when they arrive at their luxury hotel? Take a look at some of the most important changes currently in place to keep visitors as safe as possible during their stay.
Valet parking will still be available at major luxury hotel chains. However parking attendants will no longer open car doors and will be required to wear masks and sanitize luggage if transported. Many other hotels have suspended valet parking, allowing guests to self-park. Bellhop service will continue with enhanced cleaning standards of luggage carts and personal items. Employees will further not be allowed to open doors of taxicabs or ride share vehicles. Guests entering the hotel will notice signage for health and hygiene reminders.
The traditional check in process will still be in place at most luxury hotels. But desk clerks and guests will be required to social distance and wear face coverings. Face coverings will be provided to guests if requested. Guests must also be screened for symptoms upon arrival and will be asked to use hand sanitizers. The reception desk will feature touchless transactions, front desk screens and sanitizer stations. Many luxury hotels like Hilton and Marriott will also offer digital room keys. After the no contact check-in process is completed, guests can access a digital key via the hotel’s app.
With enhanced cleaning protocols in place, guests will be enjoy cleaner than normal rooms. Not only will every room go through deep cleaning, cleaning kits will be provided for guests. Major luxury hotels like Hilton, InterContinental and Marriott are using electrostatic spray technology of disinfectants. Guests may also notice less furniture in rooms and spread further apart to discourage congregating. Magazines, menus and other reusable items will not be provided. Housekeepers are not allowed in a guest room when occupied. Higher standards are set in place for housekeepers with deep cleaning throughout guest rooms.
Elevators, the lobby and other high-traffic areas will be sanitized on a regular basis. High use areas may be cleaned hourly or every other hour, depending upon the hotel. Public restrooms will also be cleaned more often to help prevent the spread of coronaviruses. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers will be provided in public spaces for guests and employees. Lobby bars may be open with limited service and social distancing guidelines.
Food and beverage services will feature reduced in-person contact with hotel guests. Buffet service may be offered but attendants will wear face coverings and utensils will be cleaned on a far more regular basis. For dine in services, table items like napkins, glassware and silverware will be minimized. Shared use items like condiment bottles, salt and pepper shakers may be offered in a single service container. Instead of traditional menus, low-touch methods will be utilized, like disposable menus, white boards and digital menus.
Particular attention on cleaning and disinfecting can be expected at recreational facilities like swimming pools and gyms. Posted signage will be visible throughout these facilities, informing guests on how to stop the spread of coronaviruses. Hand sanitizing dispensers will also be available to guests to promote healthy hygiene. Face covering may be required where gym equipment is being used and the area surrounding the swimming pool. Additionally, lounge chairs will be spread further apart to maintain proper social distancing.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago, CBS San Francisco and CBS Washington D.C. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million unique monthly visitors. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.