We spoke to our hotel partners to give you an understanding of what can be expected and what measures have been put in place. These measures are explored in more detail below.
Guest interactions with hotel staff will be minimised – A lot of hotels have been thinking about reducing face-to-face interactions between guests and staff. RIU Hotels, for example, are encouraging online check-ins and have installed safety screens at reception desks, while Hilton are trialling contactless check-in and check-out with a smartphone app. The app also allows you to open doors using your phone instead of a key card. NH Hotel Group will also ensure that hotel staff have daily health checks and will strictly screen those interacting with guests.
Some hotels will trial the use of thermographic cameras – While there have been mixed views on the usefulness of these cameras, SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain has installed thermographic cameras to understand who might be affected by the virus. Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas is proposing a similar approach to monitor the health of guests.
Access to fitness centres will be reduced – Will you be able to use the gym? The answer is: it depends. Some hotels have strict opening hours or time slots, while others will close gym and pool facilities to ensure that you are safe. Rosewood Hotels, for example, has announced that steam rooms, saunas and vitality pools will be closed. RIU Hotels, on the other hand, have promised that pools and jacuzzis will have capacity limits and be cleaned more frequently with the appropriate disinfectant products. Hilton has said that it may limit the number of guests allowed in its fitness centers and it may put time slots in place. It is also looking into having in-room exercise equipment.
New hygiene measures will be an essential part of every hotel's strategy. Here are some of the changes we will see.
Hotels will enhance cleaning and hygiene procedures – The main priority for hotels is to keep you out of harm's way and ensure that all areas you visit are clean. For example, IHG, a large chain which includes many hotel brands such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Indigo Hotels, has promised to disinfect common areas including corridors, lobbies and meeting rooms every 1 to 2 hours and increase the cleaning of light switches, door handles and lift buttons etc. Hilton has promised to place a seal on all guest room doors to reassure you that rooms haven’t been accessed since they were last cleaned. Hyatt has also announced that it will have at least one Hygiene Manager at each of its 900 locations by September. This person will be in charge of ensuring disinfection procedures are being followed.
Advanced technology will help staff to disinfect surfaces – Some hotels will take cleaning responsibilities one step further and use the latest technology to ensure that you stay healthy. Barceló Group, for example, will disinfect room keys using ultraviolet light technology, while Hilton is looking into the use of electrostatic sprayers to clean surfaces. Electrostatic sprayers use hospital-grade disinfectants recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization).Guest interactions with hotel staff will be minimised – A lot of hotels have been thinking about reducing face-to-face interactions between guests and staff. RIU Hotels, for example, are encouraging online check-ins and looking into installing safety screens at reception desks, while Hilton are trialling contactless check-in and check-out with its smartphone app. The app also allows you to open doors using your phone instead of a key card. NH Hotel Group will also ensure that hotel staff have daily health checks and will strictly screen those interacting with guests.
Many hotels are helping guests out by offering full refunds (even on some non-refundable bookings), waiving cancellation fees and adding options to amend the dates of stay. For example, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Radisson are offering flexible cancellation options for stays until June 30th. These hotels have adapted their policies to offer flexibility in these uncertain times to ensure that you are able to cancel any travel plans if you need to.