INTERNATIONAL 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 protocols so that they will be ready for the return of employees and staff. Here are some of them:
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has revealed a Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment to further enhance its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. The multi-layered commitment builds on Hyatt’s existing rigorous protocols and will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all hotels around the world; colleague training and support resources; and a cross-functional working group of medical experts and industry professionals that will contribute to various aspects of the hotel experience.
“The world as we knew it has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19 and when we are all ready to travel again, we want to make sure that every Hyatt colleague and guest feels confident that each aspect of our commitment is designed with their safety in mind, and that we’re putting their well-being first,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt. “To do this, we must critically examine the hotel experience from every vantage point—from our rooms and our lobbies to our spas and dining—bringing in the latest research, technology and innovation to make that happen. Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment is an important expression of our purpose to care for people so they can be their best—now and in the future.”
Global Cleanliness Accreditation
Hyatt remains committed to providing safe and clean environments and upholding the highest standards of cleanliness for colleagues and guests at all hotels globally. In May, Hyatt plans to introduce a GBAC Star accreditation through a performance-based cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program that will focus on establishing hotel environments that are sanitary, safe and healthy. GBAC is a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and is composed of leaders in the area of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis and mitigation, designed specifically to deal with biological threats and real-time crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Hyatt, it is the first hospitality brand to announce plans to commit to GBAC Star accreditation, which will include detailed training at more than 900 Hyatt hotels worldwide. Hyatt intends to complement this with regular internal and third-party auditing.
Hotel-Level Sanitization Specialists
In response to COVID-19, Hyatt is continuing to develop new work procedures and mandatory training in an effort to ensure safety for colleagues and guests. Daily colleague surveys will be introduced to measure colleague comfort, a hotel’s cleanliness, working order and customer service, enabling hotel leaders to address opportunities, make adjustments as necessary and meet colleagues’ needs in real time.
By September, every Hyatt hotel will have at least one person on property trained as hygiene manager who will be responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational guidance and protocols, some of which may include the following:
- Colleague certification, training and recertification process for hygiene and cleanliness
- Increased frequency of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants on all high-touch surfaces, guestrooms and shared spaces
- Implementation of enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols for restaurants, room service and group meetings and events
- Prominently placed hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances
- Exploring purification and sanitation device installation in an effort to ensure enhanced air quality
- Protective masks and other equipment for hotel colleagues
- Social distancing guidance in public areas across hotel properties
Room Mate Group
Room Mate Group is committed to innovating and reinventing all of its cleaning and safety protocols in order to minimize the risk of infection and transmission. Since reopening its first hotel, Room Mate Mario in Madrid on March 21, the company has redesigned its cleaning strategy and protocols in order to protect, look after and guarantee the safety of all the healthcare professionals and roomie volunteers (company employees) who are working through this health crisis.
“People are always our number-one priority and since we opened Room Mate Mario up to healthcare professionals, we have redesigned all of our cleaning and safety protocols, said Kike Sarasola, CEO/founder of Room Mate Group.”Once the tourism sector gets back up and running, we will continue to apply these strict and comprehensive protocols across all our hotels. It is our responsibility to restore peace of mind and confidence in tourism.”
Room Mate Hotels will roll out the following protocols across all of its hotels, and is already implementing them daily in the 13 hotels currently open to healthcare professionals and the elderly:
- Specific protocols certified by the health authorities will be applied in the rooms. Additional cleaning and sterilization measures will be taken for all frequently used equipment.
- Mats with a water and bleach solution will be installed at hotel entrances and in elevators to ensure disinfection of shoe soles and suitcase wheels.
- Temperature controls will be carried out on all people entering the hotels.
- Reception areas will be fitted with methacrylate screens and safety distance markers on the floor. In addition, protective masks and gloves will be provided and will be mandatory for both staff members and guests.
- Keys and high-contact surfaces, such as lobby access doors, stairway banisters, elevator buttons, desks, door handles and floors, will be disinfected regularly.
- There will be increased cleaning and ventilation in communal areas where hand sanitizing gels and wipes have been made available and where specific signs have been installed to remind guests about social distancing measures. All guests will be provided with a sanitary kit containing a mask, gloves and sanitizing gel.
- All employees are receiving ongoing training to ensure health and safety measures are upheld and to protect the health of guests.
Staggered opening of dining areas
In the first phase of hotel reopenings, breakfast will be served to guests in their rooms. In the second phase, an à la carte breakfast will be served in the communal areas to avoid large gatherings of people at the breakfast buffet. In the third phase, a staggered breakfast buffet service will be offered, ensuring all the necessary safety measures are followed and minimizing the use of table linen, with guests required to wear gloves at all times.
Communal dining areas will be disinfected and cleaned continuously, ensuring the hygiene of all high-contact surfaces such as chairs, tables and vending machines. In addition, dishes, silverware and glassware will be washed and disinfected, including items that have not been used but may have been touched by guests.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas
Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas is implementing sweeping new health and hygiene measures to reassure travelers of a renewed focus on guest well-being in the wake of COVID-19.
Anantara guests can “Stay With Peace of Mind” benefiting from enhanced guidelines compliant with several expert advisories including the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as Ecolab and Diversey.
Not only will the airport limousine service be fully sanitized after every trip, all hotels are implementing enhanced levels of sanitation with the use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectants against COVID-19 and other bacteria throughout the entire hotel, including lobbies, check-in, entrances, hallways, fitness centers, pool areas, culinary preparation areas and guestrooms, as well as the key cards.