Countless studies have shown that the top concern of returning guests is that they feel safe while they venture out to travel for the first time since the pandemic began.
With that in mind, many hospitality companies are turning their attention to making sure they meet their guests’—as well as their own— high standards. Many of them have turned to the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a global authority on healthy buildings, and receiving its WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management.
Loews Hotels & Co. is one of the first hospitality companies to receive the rating. “The WELL Health-Safety rating tells our guests and team members that we are committed to their health and well-being,” Jenny Lucas, SVP, operations, Loews Hotels & Co., told Hotel Business. “It allows us to further reiterate not only our revitalized core message of ‘Welcoming You Like Family’ which homes in Loews’ ability to create experiences where guests, team members and neighbors feel cared for just as if they were actual family, but also is about our continued focus on investing in timely and relevant initiatives and programs.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party-verified assessment for new and existing buildings reviewing operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 climate. All of the company’s properties, with the exception of hotels in Orlando, which are part of the Universal Orlando Resort, met criteria focused on cleaning and sanitization procedures, emergency preparedness programs, health services, air and water quality management, stakeholder communications promoting health and wellness and innovation inclusive of enhanced ventilation and particle filtration.
“While we are confident in our protocols and practices, we knew achieving some type of rating and/or third-party certification further validates our efforts were meaningful in creating a healthier, safer environment,” Lucas said. “This was something not only as a company we wanted to pursue, but it was also feedback we heard was important early on from our guests and meeting planners.”
The company researched a number of different options for certification before choosing the WELL Health-Safety rating “There was something about focusing on the entire building and its occupants that resonated with us as a brand,” said Lucas. “This rating was comprehensive in recognizing the investments we have made for years in our assets as well as new efforts made in the past year.”
Loews Hotels properties will prominently showcase a visible seal to affirm the building’s health and safety efforts are WELL Health-Safety Rated and validated by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), most recognized for third-party credentialing and verification for the LEED green building program.
The institute’s public awareness campaign, which has included Lady Gaga, Robert Deniro and Jennifer Lopez, was also a factor, according to Lucas, who said, “Their campaign ensures that the consumer recognizes the value of the seal on the building allowing us to focus our efforts on doing what we do best—taking care of our guests and team members.”