Large international hotel companies have all made bold, sweeping changes to their operating procedures as they begin to welcome back guests amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Not surprisingly, the biggest changes have been in cleaning procedures, with new branded initiatives and strong PR pushes often front-and-center on the home page of the large hotel groups’ web sites.
Accor created ALLSAFE, defining new cleaning and prevention standards, and partnering with Bureau Safe to audit each hotel’s compliance with the program.
Hilton launched CleanStay with Lysol protection, collaborating with Mayo Clinic and Lysol parent company RB.
Marriott announced its Commitment to Clean , including a Global Cleanliness Council of “in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations” that will develop new cleanliness standards for its 7,000+ hotels.
There are many others. And these are necessary, top-down initiatives for the new normal of hotel stays.
But while the large hotel companies focus on cleaning, there are independent hotels being creative and agile, quickly amending the guest experience at their properties for ongoing travel in a pandemic.
Here are some independent hotels intelligently redesigning the guest experience amidst COVID-19.
Ocean House Rhode Island Adds Molekule Air Purifiers
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Here at Ocean House we want you to stay well in every sense of the phrase. That is why each of our guest rooms and suites features a @molekuleair air purifier, a medical grade purifier proven by science to protect like no other. Discover all the ways we plan to keep you safe and comfortable during your stay by visiting the link in our bio! #OHItsGoodToBeBack #OceanHouseRI #RelaisChateaux #deliciousjourneys
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Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island (part of Relais & Chateaux) added Molekule air purifiers to all guest rooms in June. Molekule purifiers claim to destroy up to 99.99% of COVID-19 virus concentration in hours.
The resort also launched OH Well program (PDF), a comprehensive program redesigning many parts of its luxury guest experience.
Singita Uses Instagram to Take People on Virtual Safari at Home
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Four lionesses are found on a fresh warthog kill at Singita Pamushana in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe, while the vultures and hyenas circle expectantly, awaiting their turn on the carcass. The video is narrated by Singita Field Guide, Mark Friend. Our field guides are working on a project with the Malilangwe Trust to take identification photographs of lions on the reserve. Apart from giving the Trust an accurate tally of the number of lions on the property, the photos will also be used by the research department to develop facial recognition software that helps to identify individual lions. Projects like these form part of the Malilangwe Trust’s remit, which is to restore and sustain the historic biodiversity of the reserve. You can find out more about their work and how you too can play a role in preserving and protecting this precious ecosystem here: https://conservation.singita.com/conservation/singita-pamushana-biodiversity-protection-development
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Remote hotels with one-of-a-kind experiences at their backdoor are now taking people with wanderlust on virtual travel experiences via Instagram. Singita, a well-known ecotourism brand with lodges in Africa, invites travelers on regular safari drives.
When travel to Africa resumes, Singita is sure to be top of mind.
Self-Cleaning Rooms at Brøchner Hotels
In 2019, Brøchner Hotels announced the world’s first self-cleaning hotel rooms at two of its properties. Partnered with ACT.Global, Brøchner uses its ACT CleanCoat spray-on coating in rooms at Hotel Ottilia and Hotel Herman K in Copenhagen.
The technology coats surfaces with titanium dioxide, which is nontoxic and found in paints and toothpaste.
ACT.Global says that once CleanCoat is exposed to light, a photocatalytic reaction activates the coating, which starts the surface-cleaning and air-purification cycle.
Brøchner received lots of press when it announced the self-cleaning partnership in early 2019.
The hotel company doesn’t appear to have posted an update about whether the technology is being used amidst COVID-19.
QR Codes & Michael Bublé at Stateside Kitchen in Nashville
At Dream Hotel Nashville, you’ll find innovation at the property’s Stateside Kitchen restaurant, which is now inviting locals back in to dine.
The tables are bare: no place settings or menus are allowed. Instead the restaurant uses QR codes on each table. Scanning the code with smartphone or tablet brings up the digital menu.
Hotel tech experts envision payments for meals being done via QR code in the future, omitting the need for credit cards. Apple Pay and mobile wallets also work in this regard.
Stateside Kitchen has a creative way to remind staff when it’s time to sanitize the restaurant: a Michael Bublé song comes on the restaurant’s playlist. Anything Bublé means it’s time to clean those high-touch areas. His songs rotate through every 30 minutes.