As hotels prepare their operations kick-off post COVID-19, sanitation and hygiene happen to be the main concern. Most properties in the region are sparing no efforts in that regard to reassure their guests and earn back confidence.
UAE-headquartered hospitality company, TIME Hotels, is set to implement a new and improved sanitation protocol, ‘Sanitized & Ready’ in partnership with Diversey, a global leading hygiene solutions provider, as the hospitality industry prepares to embrace the ‘new normal’.
In response to the tentative steps being taken to ease the COVID-19 restrictions, TIME Hotels is rolling out the initiative across all of its properties in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt – with a wide range of new intensified cleaning measures and sanitation procedures being implemented throughout all public areas as well as in each individual guestroom.
The improved protocol includes detailed infection control which focuses on the disinfection of all hotel transportation, reception areas, elevators, public restrooms and guest rooms as well as all F&B outlets and kitchens.
Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels, said: “‘Sanitized & Ready’, which fully complies with all government and public health directives, aims to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable stay for our valued guests as well as protecting the well being of our dedicated team members.
“As we prepare for the full recovery of the UAE, and indeed, wider MENA region’s hospitality industry this new initiative is being fully embedded into our daily operations, making all increased sanitation and cleaning measures standard practice rather than just a precautionary measure.”
As part of the new ‘Sanitised & Ready’ protocol, all hard surfaces and areas frequently touched and used by hotel guests including door handles, elevator buttons, reception counters and door frames are being sanitised every 30 to 45 minutes, with a dedicated housekeeping assistant assigned to each individual area.
In addition, and to provide guests with complete peace of mind, once guestrooms are deep cleaned, door locks will be sealed with ‘Sanitised & Ready’ stickers which will need to be removed by guests before they are able to insert their key into the lock and enter the room.
“An intensified deep clean, sterilization and disinfection of each of our properties will be completed every quarter, however, individual guest room sanitation will be completed on check-out of each guest. As part of the ‘new norm’ hand sanitizers will be available across all public areas, with wet wipe sanitation kits included within in-room guest amenities,” said Awadalla.
“To ensure our new protocol is strictly adhered to, each team member across all of our properties will participate in practical training courses, with daily follow ups and regular coaching sessions as well as assigning a hygiene officer in every department.”
On the same level, Swiss-Belhotel International has rolled out a special initiative ‘WeReassure’ to welcome back guests across its hotels and resorts in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
Gavin M. Faull, chairman and president of Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “WeReassure is our promise towards the well-being of our guests and our staff by maintaining hygiene and safety standards across all our branded hotels. A 64-page document has been rolled out to our hotels on the standards of the program and continuous training and auditing is in place to ensure the same.”
A health and safety officer has been appointed at every hotel managed by Swiss-Belhotel International to oversee the cleaning and hygiene standards throughout the property as well as serve as the point of contact to put guests’ concerns at ease.
Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “Our hotels have personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies on hand, including masks, goggles, disposable gloves and disinfectant solutions. Frequent sanitation of all areas, including lobbies, reception, fitness centers, pool areas and guest rooms are being regularly carried out. Enhanced hotel cleaning practices, workplace procedures and staff hygiene standards are being complimented by a line-up of mandatory virtual training courses for hotel teams, and additional resources and audits.”
As part of the ‘WeReassure’ program following are the policies and measures in place at Swiss-Belhotel International with minor variations at some hotels:
WeReassure – The Arrival
- Temperature scans taken
- Self-parking services are encouraged
- Reduced contact at check-in, touchless transactions, front-desk screens, sanitizer stations, sanitized key cards, paperless checkout
- Added partitions at the front desk to further limit person-to-person contact
- Ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates
WeReassure – The Guest Rooms
- A ‘Care Kit’ is being made available for guests. Each kit includes hand sanitiser gel, box of face masks, surgical gloves and antibacterial wipes
- Visible verification of sanitized items (e.g., glassware, remote control), reduction of in-room furnishings/high-touch items, new laundry protocols
- Windows and doors kept open as much as possible to encourage fresh air flow
- Adding disinfecting wipes to all guest rooms for personal use
- The removal of clutter like pens, paper notepad, and guest directories and supplementing digital amenities and a digital directory available (upon request)
- In-room service menu and minibar menu accessible via QR code
- Room service delivery ensuring hygiene practices
- After cleaning, allocating a 24-hour ‘breathing room’ period between guests checking in and out of rooms
WeReassure – The Public Spaces and Facilities
- Furniture across hotel lobbies is rearranged to allow more space and to help guests adhere to social distancing protocols
- Extra disinfection of high-touch areas (from light switches to remotes, thermostats, front-desk counters, doors and door handles, elevator buttons and any common use areas within the hotel).
- Hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes available at high-touch points throughout.
- Regular deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants.
- Banquets and meeting spaces maintain social distancing (pls check with staff for more details and capacity charts).
WeReassure – Food & Beverage
- Sit down buffets offered
- Menu can be downloaded via QR code
- Decorative items on tables are removed and other items minimized
- In-room service menu and minibar menu accessible via QR code
- Room service delivery ensuring hygiene practices.
WeReassure – Flexible stays
- Free cancellation on the same day by 6pm
- No charge for change in reservation (for same room type and meal plan)
- No charge for Early check-out upto 2 days before the original check-out date