Hotels around the world are currently closed amid the coronavirus lockdown, with travel one of the worst-hit industries. However, with restrictions slowly being lifted across parts of the US, Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries, many hotels are now looking at ways they can enhance hygiene and safety in the future.
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Global chain Hilton Hotels has revealed its plans to ensure customers in the future have a safe and clean stay, with the implementation of new features, and the loss of others.
The hotel has revealed that one long-standing hotel room amenity will be lost following the pandemic, in a bid to “de-clutter” and ensure top standards of hygiene.
Though a pen and branded paper notepad, as well as a guest directory, are usually standard features in rooms across the hotel chain, this will be no more.
In a bid to reduce “high touch” areas, Hilton will instead supplement the loss of these items with a digital directory available upon request.
The chain is also ramping up its cleaning measures, working in partnership with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consult with Mayo Clinic to develop an “elevated” process.
Across its 6,100 worldwide properties, the initiative will impact guest rooms, restaurants, fitness rooms and all public spaces.
Certain “high-touch areas”, including door handles, light switches, TV remotes and thermostats, will endure extra disinfection on a heightened basis.
Meanwhile, a room seal will be placed on all doors to show guests that their room as not been accessed since the cleaning process.
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Visitors will also be able to take hygiene into their own hands, with dedicated disinfecting wipe stations at all primary entrances and high traffic areas including elevators.
Check-in will now become an entirely contactless experience.
Guests can check-in, choose their room, access their room with a digital room key and check-out using their mobile devices through the Hilton Honors mobile app at participating hotels.
The hotel chain is also exploring some more futuristic initiatives which it hopes will increase guest and staff safety.
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This includes the use of “electrostatic sprayers” which use “electrostatically charged disinfecting mist”, and ultraviolet light to sanitise surfaces and objects.
“Our first priority has always been the safety of our guests and Team Members,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, Hilton President and CEO.
“Hilton CleanStay builds on the best practices and protocols we’ve developed over the last several months, allowing our guests to rest easy with us and focus on enjoying the unforgettable experiences we have to offer – while protecting our Team Members who are on the front lines of hospitality.”
Similarly, the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City is also introducing “no touch points” across the hotel.
This included a virtual check-in agent, as well as the removal of minibars, excess hangers, and excess linens from rooms.
Only one Four Seasons hotel guest can ride the lift at any one time.
Room service has also been discontinued.
The New York hotel’s restaurant, bar and complimentary coffee station have all been closed indefinitely.
Instead, guests can collect pre-made boxed meals that are available in an industrial fridge in the hotel lobby.
After hotel guests check out, rooms are deep cleaned 24 hours later by a cleaning crew in hazmat suits.
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