UK hoteliers are already anticipating returning to the post-coronavirus world. Three-quarters of the hospitality industry say that they will be ready to open by July 4. Despite the changes, many of us are eager to swap the difficulties of lockdown for a comfortable stay in a country house hotel or boutique hideaway. However, there are some new things to consider.
How you will now check-in
Once you place a reservation, expect to fill out a pre-visit health questionnaire sent to your inbox. You must confirm whether you have coronavirus symptoms and if you have been in contact with those who do. The establishment will take your payment before arrival. They will also offer an option for cancellation or re-booking.
All transactions will be contactless, and guests are encouraged to access hotel apps instead. Management will also probably stagger the check-in times or set them later on in the day. It is for the proper implementation of deep-cleaning procedures.
Wearing a face mask is required in some hotels, though not in others. Still, many provide complimentary PPE amenity kits of mask, gloves, wipes, and hand sanitiser. Additionally, temperature checks will be standard. Some places may have temperature camera scanners that can test dozens of guests at a time.
Other hotels will have person-less desks as part of their hotel policy. Guests will receive directions to their rooms where the freshly sanitised keys are waiting. Valet parking will no longer be offered, so be ready to carry your luggage.
Behaviour in communal areas
‘Physical Distancing’ will be in place in communal areas, such as restaurants and lounges. It is so that guests can still feel at ease with their companions while observing proper health protocols.
Bigger establishments might implement protective screens, distance-marking lines, and one-way routes. In using lifts, guests will be limited to small groups, and for ascending only.
The new rules for housekeeping
Housekeeping will focus on high-touch areas like door handles, light switches, phones, TV remotes, and the like. These items will be the emphasis on rigorous cleaning. When needed, rooms will be left vacant, and their entryways will be sealed for at least 72 hours before re-use.
Reading paraphernalia, like newspapers and magazines, will be removed, along with familiar features like minibars and ironing boards. Hotels will no longer offer some services, such as laundry, babysitting, and rollaway beds. Guests with pets must bring beds for the animals.
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The housekeepers, the unseen heroes of the hospitality industry, will be busy in maintenance and cleanliness. However, keep in mind that hotels will probably no longer offer ‘mid-stay cleans.’ You can expect staff to leave fresh supplies outside the door.
The new dining normal
Unfortunately, spending long periods at the breakfast buffet is over, or at least put on hold. Instead, there will be timed reservations, and guests will be asked to peruse a la carte menus online instead.
In both the restaurant and hospitality industry, more emphasis will be given for dining and drinking outdoors. Expect meals in open spaces, such as in terraces and courtyards. Bars will be for table service only, and there will be more choices ‘to go.’
Room service is also encouraged, and many places will no longer charge for the tray. However, the staff will only deliver to the bedroom door. There will also be a limited selection of items.
How recreation will look like
If the weather persists, services for kids will mostly operate outside. Luxury Family Hotels, which has five properties in England, plans to increase its Ofsted-registered ‘den’ sessions, but with the allowed number of children reduced.
Once the government issues guidelines for the use of spas and fitness centres, expect to find screens, paired loungers set two metres apart, and a 30-minute break for cleaning between uses. As for swimming, the pool should be open, but booking a slot for private use is recommended. Additionally, guests may need to get changed in their rooms instead.
Hotels will look different in the new normal, and both staff and guests have to make plenty of adjustments. However, the establishments’ goals are still the same: to give travellers the comfort and relaxation they need while on vacation.
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