Similar to the restaurant industry, COVID-19 hit the hotel industry hard, and recovery will not be quick nor easy. In an effort to keep their business afloat, several hotel chains and boutique locations have devised creative plans to continue welcoming guests. Here are a few ways that hotels are adapting to COVID-19.
In-suite Kitchen Access
Access to bars, restaurants, and room service used to all be considered the “norm” when it came to hotel dining services. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s understandable that guests may not feel comfortable with others handling their food and beverages. To accommodate hotel patrons who wish to get away but also follow a quarantine-at-home protocol as much as possible, in-suite kitchens are the perfect answer. The Westin Cape Coral Resort’s general manager, Michael Tighe, gave Lodging Magazine a rundown of the hotel’s new Fridge Fills, a program to stock in-suite kitchens with ready-made meals, ingredient baskets, and recipes for guests to make in the comfort of their own rooms.
Let’s face it: After months of working from home, we could all probably use a change of scenery. Many hotels are creatively transforming their rooms into socially distanced offices, where guests can spend the day working out of a location that feels way more lavish than a studio apartment. Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel now offers a “Work From Here” amenity — a private workspace open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Individual work stations, digital access to the New York Times, and private outdoor space are just a few of the perks included in this brilliant package.
Weather-Permitting Pool Season Extensions
While most public and private pools are functioning based on a scheduled time slot protocol, the typical pool season is coming to a close as we approach the month of September. To encourage guests to enjoy some pool and spa time while the warm weather is still upon us, Greg Henderson, owner of The Roxbury at Stratton Falls, has extended his hotel’s pool season this year so that the outdoor space will remain open into October. This will allow guests to safely soak up the sun during their scheduled socially distant time slots without the pressure of a dwindling pool season.
Implementation and Advertisement of Top-Notch Sanitary Protocol
Business creativity during COVID-19 doesn’t only include adding new amenities, it also means transforming and protecting your current spaces. Many hotel chains are testing out new ways to disinfect and protect on top of social distancing practices. For example, The California Hotel and Lodging Association has implemented a 34-point checklist to protect facilities from the spread of COVID-19. When a hotel abides by the checklist, it will get a window decal saying the property meets the group’s “Clean + Safe” standards.
Alternate Revenue Streams
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels are being forced to adapt or burn out. But what about the lesser-known option of making money and contributing to the cause? In Dallas County, Texas, a newly proposed agenda calls for spending $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money on banks of 10 rooms at a time through December at the Best Western Plus Dallas. In addition, $850,000 would pay for staff to serve people quarantined at the hotel. In certain areas, hotels are pivoting into quarantine destinations.