NATIONAL REPORT—As the hotel industry readies for its reopening from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of companies are implementing new cleanliness and safety protocols. Here are some of them:
Margaritaville Updates Health and Sanitation Plan
Margaritaville has rolled out its updated health and sanitation standards as the brand’s venues begin to reopen.
“Fostering a shared responsibility for the well-being of our staff, guests and community has been one of our guiding principles for the last 20 years,” said John Cohlan, CEO, Margaritaville. “As we prepare to welcome visitors and team members back to our resorts, hotels and restaurants, we stand committed to our passion of creating and delivering fun and escapism in a safe, comfortable environment.”
All Margaritaville properties have received comprehensive health and sanitation guidelines and are required to complete a 172-point verification process prior to reopening, which includes brand health training for all management and staff returning to work.
The following brand standards were carefully developed based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).
- Social Distancing: All properties have created additional outdoor seating in restaurant venues; indoor spaces and common areas have been reconfigured; and floor clings and signage have been placed throughout properties to support social distancing.
- Cleanliness & Food Safety: All venues will clean, disinfect and sanitize using COVID-19-approved products. All hotel properties are required to share new standards on their respective websites. Every surface in all common areas will be disinfected after each use. Kitchens will receive a daily deep cleaning, and soiled linens and towels will be transported in sealed, single-use plastic bags. All F&B self-service, grab-and-go, and buffet areas have been removed, and are now handled by staff to ensure a consistent germ-free environment.
- Dedicated Health & Sanitation Leads: Each Margaritaville property has a designated Health & Sanitation Lead, responsible for implementing and enforcing standards across all latitudes.
- Commitment to Team Members: All team members will receive a wellness check when reporting into work each day, as determined by federal and state guidelines. They will also be provided with appropriate safety gear for their positions. Any team member showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home and welcomed back when it is safe for them to return, as deemed by a medical professional.
Loews Hotels Updates Safety Guidelines
Loews Hotels has revealed its cleaning and safety guidelines in accordance with WHO, the CDC and
local authorities. The new protocols include the following:
- Masks and Gloves: While physical distancing and frequent handwashing remain the best defenses for the spread of the virus, when physical distancing is not possible, team members and guests are required to wear masks. Additionally, based on role and responsibility, team members will wear gloves when appropriate. All vendors are required to wear an isolation/cloth mask and gloves whenever they are in a Loews hotel.
- Temperature Checks for Team Members & Vendors: All team members and vendors will undergo temperature scans prior to entering the hotel, conducted via thermal no-touch temperature scanners. No team member or vendor with a fever of 100.3 or greater will be admitted to the building or be permitted to return to the hotel until they have gone 72 hours fever free, without the use of fever suppressants.
- Cleaning Standards: The company’s everyday standards include cleaning guestrooms, meeting rooms, outlets, corridors and public areas with an Ecolab peroxide multipurpose cleaner and disinfectant, which is effective against emerging viral pathogens and COVID-19, including the frequent cleaning of high-touch areas. Given the current environment, Loews is even more focused and committed to the enforcement of these standards.
- Hand Sanitizer Stations: High alcohol content hand sanitizer stations have been added to front desks, spas, fitness centers, meeting rooms and other high-traffic guest areas, and also areas where team members frequent. Protocols for team member handwashing have been increased.
- Contactless Experiences: Several contactless experiences will be available to guests. The Sonifi smartphone app will be available for turning a television on and off, as well as changing the channel. Chat your Service is a hotel-wide texting service that will enable a guest to order room service, ask the concierge for recommendations, request a car from valet, request extra towels and more. And servicing of the room will be at the guests’ request; if needed, fresh linens and towels will be dropped in a sealed bag at the door.
- Vacant Guestrooms: Whenever possible, guestrooms will be vacant for 48 hours, upon checkout, before thoroughly cleaning and checking in a new guest.
- Elevators: In order to adhere to physical distancing, the number of passengers will be limited in each elevator ride (the number will vary in each hotel). Lobby attendants will clean the elevator area frequently and have hand sanitizer stations available on all landings.
American Hotel Register Company Introduces Clean & Safe
American Hotel Register Company has launched Clean & Safe, an easier way for its hotel customers to find products that will help them meet new standards of cleanliness and safety. With the AHLA issuing its Safe Stay guidelines and major hotel brands announcing their own advanced cleaning protocols, the Clean & Safe section at the American Hotel website sorts the items properties need to prepare for returning guests.
“With Clean & Safe, we’re responding to our industry’s commitment to welcome guests back safely,” said Angela Korompilas, president/CEO of American Hotel. “We’ve bundled our cleaning solutions and protective products by property area, from guestrooms to back-of-house items, to align with the new cleaning processes of customers. By working closely with them, we hope to add to this collection based on their specific hotel needs.”
The Clean & Safe assortment already contains some new specialty items, such as UV sanitizing wands, protective acrylic shields and custom signage. In fact, with the company’s sign shop and distribution centers remaining operational, American Hotel has also assembled custom kits to deliver on unique requests. Clean & Safe is the latest addition to the company’s What Matters Most campaign, a series of actions designed to better serve its customers during this time of uncertainty.
Montage Selects One Medical to Deliver 24/7 Digital Health Services
Montage International and digital health and primary care organization One Medical are partnering to provide 24/7 virtual care services to guests of the brand’s properties. Upon reopening its luxury hotels and resorts, Montage International will offer guests of U.S.-based Montage Hotels & Resorts and Pendry Hotels & Resorts a 30-day membership to One Medical’s full suite of digital health services. Additionally, the hospitality company will provide annual One Medical memberships to all its U.S.-based associates.
One Medical memberships will benefit guests by making it easy for them to get in touch with a One Medical provider within minutes over on-demand video chat or secure messaging during their stay or upon their return home. The One Medical app allows travelers to work with the company’s virtual medical team to remotely triage symptoms, including COVID-19 related concerns, and to get a recommended care plan for their concerns or condition. The mobile app also helps handle a variety of other health concerns, from prescription renewals to remote assessment of skin conditions such as a rash. In markets where One Medical also has offices, guests can make appointments for primary care needs, including COVID-19 testing.
“Having convenient access to reliable healthcare, both digitally and in-person, is more important than ever for travelers,” said Amir Dan Rubin, chair/CEO of One Medical. “We are pleased to pair One Medical’s modernized, service-oriented, and technology-powered approach to healthcare with Montage International’s commitment to excellence for its associates and guests.”
This partnership will roll out across four Montage Hotels & Resorts properties and two Pendry Hotels & Resorts properties when the hospitality group reopens its hotels in the coming months, as well as the upcoming Pendry West Hollywood and Montage Healdsburg properties, both debuting later this year. As part of Montage International’s Peace of Mind Commitment to guests, the company will implement an enhanced prescriptive and safety protocol program, which also includes the integration of the latest cleanliness technologies, including the use of electrostatic sprayers; UV wands and devices; and particulate-level air filtration systems.
“It is paramount that our guests feel safe while they are staying with us and our associates are comfortable coming back to work in our hotels,” said Alan J. Fuerstman, chairman/CEO of Montage International. “Partnering with One Medical allows us to continue to provide extraordinary service to our guests and expand our already robust medical benefits to our associates with seamless virtual care to ease their minds and ensure safety and well-being.”
Steritech Launches New Safety Protocol Service
With growing concern among employees and guests about their health and safety, many hotels are implementing new protocols to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Steritech has launched a new service to help hotels get back to business and reinforce safety measures across all properties.
The COVID-19 Protocol Check is an audit service designed to help hotels improve the compliance of company-wide COVID-19-related protocols. Enforcing these protocols helps protect people and build trust among employees and guests as they re-enter properties.
“Right now, employees and guests want to see that hotels are doing everything possible to keep them safe,” said Doug Sutton, president of Steritech. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but the hotels that demonstrate a commitment to the health and safety of their employees and guests will be the first to earn back market share.”
Steritech will help enforce protocols put into place by corporate offices, such as proper handwashing guidelines, social distancing for employees and guests and ensuring PPE such as face masks and gloves are available and being used correctly.
The COVID-19 Protocol Check, which can also be applied to additional industries, marks a significant expansion of Steritech’s service offerings beyond the foodservice and food retail industries.
“With roots in food safety, we have significant expertise in evaluating and coaching on appropriate health and safety standards that can be applied to a variety of industries to help protect people and brands during these unprecedented times,” said Sutton.