Hotels in the UK will be allowed to open from the 4th July and in some European countries they have been already opened for a few weeks, things are and are going to be a little different.
Whether you are going to book a hotel in the country where you live, the called "staycation", or you are lucky to be able to travel abroad, things will look different when you enter in your hotel. But let's be positive, don't expect your experience at the hotel to change massively, you will notice just some notable differences. The main thing will be that the hotels will be quieter than usual, there will be fewer queues at the reception desks, fewer people using the hotel facilities such as pools, gyms, gardens, in short, they will be less crowded.
With no doubt, the levels of cleanliness in any hotel will be increased. The existing cleaning services in general and the regular cleaning of the customers' touchpoints across the hotel (x.e. lift buttons, doors handle, TV remotes, light switches, hangers) in particular, will be the priority for a healthy and safe hotel in the post- COVID era. There are hotels that will put in place a cleaning procedure which includes steam cleaning and a 72-hour gap between guests staying in the room. Also, cleaning kits will be available on request containing face masks, hand sanitiser and wipes.
When we first enter in a hotel we'll notice fewer people around the lobby areas and consequently small or even inexistent queues when check-in. There are hotels which already have an online check-in system, and it's expected to see reception areas with Perspex screens, which will manage an individual appointment and an interactive check-in 24/7. Plus staff will be provided with PPE (personal protective equipment). Hotels facilities will be limited to ensure social distancing is maintained, there will be hand sanitising stations, and spacing out seating so everyone feels safe.
GRAB AND GO.
It's time to say goodbye to buffets and minibars, instead, there’ll be more of takeaway food, "grab and go" breakfast options and "A la carte" room service. Dining rooms, interior terraces, break out areas for event spaces will be closed in some hotels. As per weddings, large receptions and food for guests, as well as loud music, won't be possible to take place as part of the new guidance for coronavirus- safe weddings. In the same way, all paperwork will be removed from the guest rooms, and the tea and coffee sachets along with the toiletries will be quarantined for 72 hours between guests.
Once again, technology will be key in the cleaning procedures. Hotels will encourage guests to use their digital technology systems and apps to book a room, check-in, access their room, order and pay for food and drink, using their mobile phone. Hotels also plan to ask guests to pay online rather than in person, to avoid the risk of transmission from credit cards and handling cash.
We all want to travel again and meet our friends and relatives, and it will take some time to trust and feel safe in this new normality which is already part of our new life, the earlier the better.