Hotels ramp up cleaning measures
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, hotel groups around the world are announcing new cleaning programs to reassure guests.
The most common measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning public areas, increasing the number of hand sanitizers available, using specialized products for wipedowns and training teams in protective protocols.
This is what some of the big hotel groups told us they are doing to combat the spread of the virus:
The French hotel group told us:
“We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and have instructed our hotels to implement measures to minimize risk of transmission.
“Hotels and head offices are following official guidelines and closely monitoring the advice of medical and government authorities to limit the spread of this virus.
“These include isolating anyone showing any symptoms and notifying relevant medical authorities of anyone showing any signs of the disease.
“Accor has also advised all its hotels to adopt flexible conditions in terms of cancellation or modifications for travelers to Greater China and to any Accor destinations globally.
We recommend that all travelers review guidance from the World Health Organization and follow any travel advice issued by their home countries.”
Choice Hotels has launched a Commitment to Clean initiative. It builds on Choice Hotels’ long-standing cleanliness protocols, and enhances the existing program with guidance developed in response to the pandemic, including recommendations related to deep cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene, and social distancing best practices and protocols.
Choice Hotels’ complete approach to infection prevention includes a close association with Ecolab, who is helping ensure the company has the right infection prevention programs and training in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes a new online resource hub available to franchisees, featuring operational best practices, training and resources from Ecolab’s industry-leading experts. Additionally, every Choice-branded hotel will designate a “Commitment to Clean Captain,” each of whom will complete applicable best-in-class cleanliness training and will be responsible for incorporating the new protocols into their hotel’s operations.
Over the next few weeks, guests may experience a growing variety of new and improved protocols, products and communications, some of which are already in place, to promote health and safety, including:
- Heightened cleaning protocols for high-traffic areas such as the front desk, fitness centers and pools, as well as other high-touch surfaces throughout the hotel, using hospital-grade disinfectant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- Furniture arrangements designed to encourage appropriate social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Housekeeping “on-demand” option that allows guests to request delivery of additional toiletries, towels, linens or coffee without having a housekeeper enter the room.
- Changes in breakfast offerings, with many hotels that provide breakfast replacing their buffet with pre-packaged breakfast items.
- Design enhancements to help facilitate contactless check-in and check-out, such as plexiglass partitions at front desks for added protection and key drops for guests’ use upon departure.
- “Clean seals” on certain high-touch items in guest rooms to provide reassurance of sterilized condition.
- Personal protective equipment for hotel staff, including masks and gloves, to safeguard guests and employees.
- Hand sanitizing stations located in high-traffic areas throughout the hotel, such as the front desk, breakfast area, elevator lobbies and fitness center.
- On-property signage and decals reiterating CDC social distancing guidelines, personal sanitation guidelines and the importance of surface cleaning.
- Communications from front desk staff to guests about precautions taken for their safety and comfort, and reminders about additional safeguards available at guests’ choosing.
The company will also be exploring the implementation of various technologies in the months ahead, including mobile check-in and keyless entry to further facilitate the contactless guest experience, as well as ultraviolet light instruments, air purifiers and ozone generators to further enhance sanitation.
Hilton’s hotel teams “are receiving ongoing briefings and enhanced operating protocols”.
It has increased the frequency of cleaning its public areas (including lobbies, elevators, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of hospital-grade disinfectant.
It continues to “adjust food and beverage service in accordance with current food safety recommendations” and has increased the deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizers.
The group says:
Comprehensive COVID-19 guidance is in place at Hyatt hotels globally, detailing how to protect against transmission of the virus (including implementing hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas), and procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case among our guests or colleagues
Cross-functional, global response teams, including infectious diseases and occupational health experts, provide guidance to our hotels and help address specific needs and situations when needed.
Intercontinental Hotels Group
IHG has announced it is enhancing its existing IHG Way of Clean program which was first launched in 2015. Developed with Ecolab and Diversey, experts in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services, the program has now been expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices to reflect the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world.
IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants and going forward guests can expect to see evolved procedures in every area of the hotel, which may include:
– Reception: Reduced contact at check-in, touchless transactions, front-desk screens, sanitizer stations, sanitized key cards, paperless checkout
– Guest Room: Visible verification of sanitized items (e.g., glassware, remote control), reduction of in-room furnishings/high-touch items, new laundry protocols, use of new technology
– Public Spaces and Facilities: Additional deep cleaning of high-touch surfaces, social distancing, “last cleaned” charts, best practices for pools, fitness centers and lounges
– Food & Beverage: New standards and service approach to buffets, banquets, room service and catering
Supporting the wellbeing of guests and colleagues
Enabling the personal wellbeing of guests and colleagues is key. IHG is working closely with a team of medical experts at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic to develop guidance and resources for hotel teams on returning to work and keeping guests safe in this new environment, which may include:
– Cleanliness information in hotels and on IHG’s booking channels
– Social distancing operating procedures and signage
– Guidance on the use of protective equipment as necessary by hotel colleagues
– Updated colleague training and certification
– Availability of individual guest amenity cleaning kits
– Hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes available in guest rooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels
IHG Clean Promise and Global Cleanliness Board
With updated measures in place, IHG is launching a Clean Promise. Rolling out globally from 1 June 2020, guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness. If not, the hotel will make it right.
Leading this work is IHG’s new Global Cleanliness Board, a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with our new external specialists, including James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, to define solutions, best practice and implement processes.
While on-property, hotel teams will also appoint Clean Champions to continue building the culture of clean instilled in IHG hotels around the world. These champions will focus on guests and colleagues as they navigate the new environment and help on-property teams to consistently deliver these elevated cleanliness standards.
Marriott has made big promises to its guests in recent days about hygiene.
For Marriott, technology is one answer to improving cleanliness in its hotels, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. The sprayers allow house keeping staff to rapidly clean and disinfect areas and can be used in a hotel setting to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas.
Marriott says that “Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens”. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.
In addition, all areas that are considered ‘high-touch’ will be “thoroughly treated with hospital-grade disinfectants” and disinfecting wipes will also be provided in each room for guests’ personal use.
Signage in hotel lobbies will remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and furniture will be removed or rearranged to allow more space. Marriott is also evaluating adding partitions at front desks and is working with its supply chain partners to make masks and gloves available to associates.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is expanding its “Count on Us” initiative across Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA). This further enhances a broad range of health and safety protocols across properties in the region. This includes the consistent use of top-of-the-range disinfectants at all hotels, the introduction of robust new training and guidelines, and ongoing access to critical health essentials through trusted suppliers.
Wyndham is leveraging its long-standing relationship with hygiene expert Ecolab to ensure the consistent use of industry-leading disinfectants across all EMEA hotels, including rooms and public spaces.
Elevating best practices while promoting consistency in execution, Wyndham has also developed a series of protocols and guidelines that will help hotel partners in EMEA meet new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. These address enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace procedures and will be complemented by a line-up of mandatory virtual training courses for hotel teams, as well as additional resources, such as housekeeping checklists. Every Wyndham hotel in EMEA will also be encouraged to appoint a ‘hygiene hero’ to champion the new protocols at each property.
Lastly, Wyndham will provide hotels with access to critical and high-demand health essentials, leveraging its network of trusted suppliers so hotels may source personal protection equipment (PPE), including face masks, gloves, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, as well as hygiene installations and other products compliant with various countries’ regulations around COVID-19. Wyndham will also provide branded collateral clearly communicating key safety measures to guests. These will include branded public-area signage, front desk collateral, guest room materials and more.
Article Derived from BusinessTraveller.com.