Hotel Hygiene: What Travellers Can Expect
Once upon a time, in a pre-COVID world, most travellers would not have given a second thought to the number of people they came into contact with in a hotel, or how many others had stayed in their room previously. These days, with the risk of transmission of the virus through personal contact and contaminated surfaces, everyone wants to be assured that they can avoid touching anything which might infect them.
Just like us here at Flight Centre Business Travel, many companies need to get back on the road to visit clients and colleagues, and many people are desperately wanting to take a long overdue holiday. But needs and wants aside, we are all anxious about the heightened chances of coming into contact with the Coronavirus through high traffic public areas and lodgings.
According to Julie Avotins, from serviced apartment and hotel chain, The Ascott Limited (which includes the popular Citadines properties) “There is no doubt that health and hygiene will be more of a focus than ever among travellers, and a property’s response to that will be most important.”
To give travellers an idea of what to expect, we asked Julie to break down the end to end experience of a stay at a typical Ascott serviced apartment or hotel, post-COVID, in the hope it may allay some concerns.
- Pre-arrival contact via email, ensuring a smooth transition where guest’s needs have been anticipated and already met. Registration info is gathered in advance to speed up the face to face check in process
- Luggage Handling by staff kept to a minimum for hygiene reasons, however luggage trolleys will be available for staff to assist guests
- Check in will now be contactless where possible. No registrtaion cards need to be completed, reducing the contact through pen and paper, and a cashless model has been adopted - payments are now tap and go
- Elevators will have social distancing notices and as high-touch points are cleaned and disinfected routinely
IN YOUR ROOM:
- Hygiene in Room - Over and above already high standards of cleanliness, all rooms will be disinfected once initial cleaning is complete with special attention paid to high-touch points, such as light switches, remotes and door handles. This will be carried out any time a room is entered prior to the guest’s arrival to ensure that the room is in perfect condition for them
- Disinfectant used is of hospital grade and the process for servicing during a guest's stay is the same as an arrival clean when it comes to touch points
DURING YOUR STAY:
- Eating & drinking - All Ascott properties are well situated for off-site dining options and staff can assist with recommendations or delivery options. Some properties offer Grab & Go options in the lobby, and onsite dining will be available at others in the near future. For all properties, the easing of restrictions means that cafes and restaurants are beginning to reopen providing more options and choices
- Fitness Facilities – available in line with government restrictions. As these are high touch areas, they are given a higher focus than pre-covid for that reason.
- All other public areas are disinfected multiple times daily, including public bathrooms, vending machines and other common spaces
- Meeting Rooms & Conference facilities - Limited facilities are now available again, subject to social distancing and hospitality guidelines. Guests should contact the properties for details and options
- Business Centres - as a public area, cleaning has been increased in frequency to ensure the health and safety of all patrons. All high-touch points are routinely disinfected.
- Check out will be express and contactless, for both hygiene and convenience reasons. Contact is made with any guest with an outstanding balance the evening prior to check out, and they are given the option of finalising the payment then so they only need to drop their keys in the morning
While these measures may not be provided by every hotel globally, they are indicative of trends in the wider industry. With an idea of what to look out for, before booking your next stay we recommend contacting your chosen property to ensure their hygiene practices meet your expectations.
The Ascott Limited, like all other major global accommodation chains, have introduced a new programme to demonstrate their commitment to providing a safe environment for staff and guests by maintaining high levels of hygiene and cleanliness standards and safe distancing. Specific information for your chosen property will be readily available on the hotel’s website but your best source of information will be your travel manager. Get in touch with us today and let us take care of the hard work for you.