Hotels with the highest standards
These days, hygiene is top of mind for every traveler. When you venture out on vacation, you may plan to wear a mask everywhere you should and regularly disinfect your belongings, but how can you ensure that your hotel room is germ-free? Rest assured that most hotel chains have adopted new and improved cleaning measures to protect guests in the age of coronavirus. “Hotels want to do everything they can to keep a clean environment,” says Robert Miller, the founder and owner of TravelAdvocates. “They want you to travel and have a fantastic hotel stay.”
That said, a select few hotels stand apart from the pack—and travel agents have the secret intel on who is leading the industry with protocols like contactless temperature checks and state-of-the-art cleaning tech. “We have our [fingers on the] pulse of the changing situation and monitor the local government and health directives to ensure the hotel has the client’s best health and hygiene interests at heart,” says Sangeeta Sadarangani, CEO of the travel company Crossing. For peace of mind while you travel, consider booking a stay at the hotels with the top hygiene standards in the world, according to travel agents. But before packing your bags, make sure to abide by these rules the CDC wants you to follow before traveling again.
The Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada
After hitting the slot machines, hit the hay at the Wynn. Its hygiene protocols are “industry-leading,” according to Miller. For starters, all guests and staff must pass through a non-invasive thermal scan to check for fevers before entering the hotel. Rooms are also equipped with touchless Amazon Alexa controls for adjusting the lights and thermostats, and free masks are provided for guests. And if that’s not enough, “this resort has some of the best cleaning procedures in the industry, and other hotels are using the Wynn’s protocols as the new benchmark,” Miller says. Here’s how professional cleaners can tell if a hotel room is clean.
Vedema, Marriott, Santorini, Greece
Feeling brave enough to hop across the pond? Sadarangani recommends making a pit stop at Vedema in Santorini, Greece, part of Marriott’s international line of luxury hotels. Employees at this resort must follow rigorous health and hygiene guidelines. In addition to daily contactless temperature checks and appropriate PPE use, the staff is tested for COVID-19 twice a month. Marriott International also recently announced plans to install hand-sanitizer stations and electrostatic disinfectant sprayers for sanitizing guest areas. But even with upgraded cleaning measures in place, you may want to scrub down these 11 dirtiest spots in hotel rooms.
The Westin Houston Medical Center, Houston, Texas
Germ-killing robots—found at world-renowned hospitals like the Mayo Clinic—are now on the payroll at this four-star hotel, Miller says. Once a housekeeper finishes cleaning a guest room, the robot is sent in to disinfect the space with ultraviolet (UV) light, killing any viruses that may linger on commonly touched surfaces like door handles and faucets. The robots also roam around the hotel, cleaning restrooms, elevators, and meeting rooms as they go. Still, it can’t hurt to wipe down the high-contact surfaces in your space when you arrive, starting with these 13 things hotels aren’t cleaning as they should.
Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah
At Amangiri, located in the secluded Utah desert, social distancing is a piece of cake. Guests are surrounded by 25,000 square feet of stunning mountains and canyons, so both “nature and the hotel work together to ensure social distancing and seclusion”—without skimping on enhanced cleaning and hygiene standards, Sadarangani says. The resort is now open at reduced capacity and offers its guests a wide array of social distancing–friendly activities such as hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, or even renting a hot-air balloon. If you don’t feel comfortable traveling now, take advantage of these hotel deals for next year instead.
Hilton Hotel, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
Since closing for renovations during the peak of the pandemic, this full-service hotel recently reopened with brand-new, never-used guest rooms. “[It] sort of screams ‘super clean,'” Miller says. Hilton partnered with the Mayo Clinic and the makers Lysol to develop a new hygiene program called Hilton CleanStay, which is being implemented at Hilton-owned hotels around the world. According to Miller, the head housekeeper at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights is an industry veteran who’s dedicated to the highest standards of cleanliness. Ready to get away? These are 13 of the safest vacations you can take this summer.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
American travelers are currently barred from visiting European countries, but those hoping to scratch their travel itch overseas should check out Taj Lake Palace in India. Part of a legacy international brand, this remote resort offers “authentic Indian hospitality, with an added comfort of safety, hygiene, and physical distancing,” Sadarangani says. Guests can dine at the hotel’s restaurants while spaced far apart from other guests or book a private meal on a 150-year-old Gangaur boat for a truly socially distanced experience. Plus, visitors don’t even have to leave their rooms to see panoramic views of the countryside.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, California
When guests check in to The Resort at Pelican Hill, they will receive a welcome amenity bag filled with hand sanitizer, face masks, and disinfecting wipes. From there, they can head to their rooms, where they will find tags on doors, bathroom amenities, and remote controls to indicate the room has not been accessed since disinfection. Miller recommends taking a dip in the Coliseum pool, one of the largest circular pools in the world with 380,000 gallons of chemical-free soft saltwater, where the lounge chairs are spaced apart for safe social distancing from other resort guests.
Four Seasons, Boston, Massachusetts
In addition to consulting with Johns Hopkins Medicine International for health and safety protocols at its hotels, the Four Seasons offers a chat service app so that guests can limit their face-to-face interactions without sacrificing personal comfort, Sadarangani says. Guests can use the app to send and receive messages in more than 100 languages, requesting anything from restaurant recommendations and reservations to room-service orders and even a private jet. Response times are said to average 90 seconds or less. Whether you want to travel far or stay close to home, here are 10 ways to still get away this summer.
Cambria Hotel New York-Chelsea, Manhattan, New York
The Big Apple isn’t spick and span by any stretch, but guests will find that maxim doesn’t apply to the Cambria Hotel in the lush Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. “This flower-district hotel with a rooftop bar continues to be at the top of my list for Manhattan overnights,” Miller says. In addition to an extensive cleanliness checklist for housekeepers that has more than 150 points, the floors at the Cambria are marked to enforce social distancing, linens are sanitized in a high-temperature wash, and hand sanitizer is provided for guests and staff, who wear masks at all times.
Park Hyatt, Chicago, Illinois
Nothing says “welcome” quite like a spotless hotel. The Park Hyatt in Chicago sports an accreditation for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious-disease prevention from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a top health consulting company. And like Hyatt hotels worldwide, Park has hired a dedicated hygiene and well-being leader who will enforce new sanitization policies inside the property, Sadarangani says. Now more than ever, it pays to watch out for the red flags you’re about to stay at a bad hotel.
1 Hotel South Beach, Miami, Florida
Sanitization begins before travelers even step foot inside 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami. As soon as guests arrive, their luggage is disinfected with a handheld wand, and they must receive a contactless temperature check and put on a mask before checking in. What’s more, all rooms must be left vacant for at least 24 hours and sealed after being cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants, according to Miller. Hotels are stepping up their cleaning standards, but there is one downside: You won’t see these popular perks at hotels anymore.
Crowne Plaza Downtown, Memphis, Tennessee
Crowne Plaza, located in the heart of Memphis, “is newly renovated and ready to welcome guests looking for a fresh stay,” Miller says. The chain is collaborating with Ecolab and Diversey, which provide some of the top hygiene and cleaning technologies and services in the world, to create enhanced cleaning guidelines for all its hotels. Cleveland Clinic has also agreed to consult with Crowne Plaza on infectious-disease management, according to Miller. Traveling isn’t the only thing that will be different for the foreseeable future. These 13 everyday habits could (and should) change forever.
For more on this developing situation, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.
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