Whether we emerge from the most acute phase of the pandemic into a Brave New World is largely dependent on whether we’re all observing heightened hygiene protocols. Hand-washing has become de rigueur and many of us routinely respect a six-foot corona bubble of personal space when we encounter others.
Hotels know this, and are enacting all kinds of stitch-in-time-saves-nine protocols to ensure the safest possible stay in a hotel. Here’s a sampling of how some hotels are changing their game.
Social Distancing in a Spacious Bali Resort
Social distancing comes naturally at this six-hectare property on the outskirts of Ubud, Bali. Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana has just 20 suites and villas, each with its own AC system. The resort has already stepped up its game when it comes to making sure things are safe for both guests and staff. The entire property is sprayed down with disinfectant twice a week and housekeeping disinfects guest rooms on a daily basis. Hand sanitizer is available at all outlets (from the lobby to the swimming pool) and hand sanitizer is also distributed to each guest as well as a reusable fabric mask. The butler is the guest’s only point of personal contact and visitors will be escorted directly to their villa by their personal butler instead of checking in at the lobby. Once there they can have a shower before completing the check-in process and the butler will return an hour later to complete their registration and pick up their laundry. On arrival and throughout the stay there will be a daily temperature check for guests, as well as for staff.
Keeping Food on the Front Burner at Banyan Tree Samui
“All food & beverage served at Banyan Tree Samui can be fully traced with full documentation from the stage of receiving to storage, preparation, processing, cooking and, finally, serving. Even the temperature of the dish can be tracked and identified,” said the resort’s Hygiene Manager Phakthima Naratthakit. In fact, Banyan Tree has been ahead of the ball for some time; the group has been employing hygiene managers at most of its hotels since 2010. “During this C-19 time, it is imperative for us to reinforce personal hygiene measures, such as food handlers being properly protected with masks and gloves, and their temperatures regularly checked,” she added. “We will do everything to ensure our guests are healthy and confident to stay here.”
Minimizing Contact at Alma Resort Cam Ranh
The new 30-hectare Alma Resort encourages minimized interaction between staff and guests, and between guests themselves, in many ways. Guests are welcome to buy their own food from Alma’s mini supermarket to cook in their accommodation’s private kitchen or ask room service to deliver food to their doorstep. Guests’ body temperatures are checked when they enter any of the resort’s food and beverage outlets, where, rather than a waiter providing bread and butter, then pouring a wine and following all sorts of gradual steps within close proximity, everything is brought to the guests to handle themselves. There are no longer items such as salt and pepper on tables; guests need to specifically ask for them, and they will be cleaned straight after use. Diners are encouraged to sit outside on restaurant terraces in the fresh air, where there is plenty of space between tables. If guests do not want staff entering their rooms for the daily turndown service, Alma places extra towels, bed linen and more in the guest room in advance.
Intensifying Disinfection Measures at Meliá Koh Samui
From the moment guests are transferred from Thailand’s Samui Airport to Meliá Koh Samuiuntil the time they leave the beachfront resort, their stay is a fully sanitized one. Vehicles transporting guests to and from the airport are disinfected after every trip. Disinfectants against COVID-19 and other bacteria are continually used throughout the entire resort, including in the entrance and lobby, check-in areas, restaurants and kitchens, guest rooms, pool areas, gymnasium, spa and kid’s club, with particular emphasis on key touch points such as switches, handles, telephones, chairs, desks, food and beverage tables, cutlery etc. Other precautions include deep cleaning guest rooms, covering all soiled linen transported from guest rooms to the laundry, and sanitising luggage trolleys after use.