MINI bars, buffets and room service may be a thing of the past as hotels ramp up their efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Resorts around the world are looking at ways to encourage guests to stay as bookings plummet to worrying lows.
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Rudy Tauscher, general manager of the Four Seasons in New York told NBC that they were the testing the “hospitality world’s ‘new normal.’”
The hotel is trialling a number of ways to reduce social contact – something they once prided themselves on.
Rudy explained: “We removed minibars, excess hangers, excess linens, we took extra pillows out, so there are four per room, instead of six.”
Room service has gone along with buffet service, something Rudy said could be gone even after the pandemic.
He added: “I think it’s safe to say that breakfast buffets and communal tables and the kinds of things that had been traditions at many hotels are going away, for who knows how long,”
The chair of the Hotel Association of Turkey Müberra Eresin explained that while resort guests favoured buffet options, this may no longer be an option.
He told local media: “It is very difficult to predict which applications will change with the coronavirus epidemic, and which changes will be permanent at this stage, but I think that the buffet cannot be preferred.”
Spanish hotels are also looking at changing the way they operate to encourage guests to come back, with common spaces being redesigned to create more social distancing space.
Javier Pérez Jiménez, the managing director of the VP chain, explained how this could work, as he wants to ensure he has the “safest hotels in Spain”.
Guests who enter the hotel will face a much more arduous process, including temperature checks, welcome kits with PPE equipment, and picnic baskets instead of the breakfast buffet.
Hotels have already been introducing innovative changes long before coronavirus which could become the new norm, such as keyless rooms where guests use their mobile phone instead of a keycard.
It has also long been known that hotel rooms can harbour germs and bacteria due to a lack of cleaning between guests.
Now, communal spaces such as gyms and swimming pools face stricter cleaning methods or even closure, while rooms will be thoroughly disinfected.
Both guests and hotels may be required to have Covid-free certificates to prove they do not have the infection to prevent them from spreading it across the hotel.
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