NATIONAL REPORT—As the hotel industry readies for its reopening from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of companies are implementing new cleanliness and safety protocols. Here are some of them:
Omni Reopens Select Properties, Adds New Safety Measures
Omni Hotels & Resorts has rolled out its new Omni Safe & Clean program that includes extensive new cleaning guidelines, processes and procedures to ensure the health, safety and comfort of its guests and associates. The program follows the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and also meets or exceeds the “Stay Safe” initiative set forth by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Each Omni hotel and resort will adhere to local and/or federal mandates.
The company also reopened the doors at six properties including Omni Jacksonville Hotel and Omni Amelia Island Resort in Florida; Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania; Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort in South Carolina; Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta; and Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Texas. Additional reopenings scheduled for May 21 include Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Omni Frisco Hotel, Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Omni La Mansiòn del Rio and Mokara Hotel & Spa in Texas; Omni Interlocken Hotel in Colorado; and Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and Omni Tucson National Resort in Arizona.
Like many hotel brands, Omni temporarily suspended operations at many of its properties across the country. At a time when the world is being told to socially distance and physically stay apart from one another, Omni has launched its new Stay a Part Of campaign to encourage guests and associates to stay a part of what matters most during this unprecedented time. The spirit of this campaign laid the foundation for Omni as its associates worked diligently to adapt traditional hotel operations for reopening in a post COVID-19 world.
As Omni looks ahead and resumes operations at select properties, the brand is committed to Stay a Part Of Hospitality through various aspects:
- Stay a Part of Safety: Through extensive collaboration with hospitality professionals, and in alignment with the recommendations provided by the CDC, Omni has developed new policies for its associates, implemented updated cleaning efforts and introduced social distancing measures to keep its guests and associates safe throughout all areas of the hotel.
- Stay a Part of Travel: To celebrate the joy of travel at recently reopened hotels, the brand is offering Select Guest members (or new members), a 30% discount on best available rates on new bookings made now through Sept. 5 for stays now through Sept. 12.
- Stay a Part of Hope: At Omni, every associate is a valued member of the Omni family. This core value is brought to life through Omni Circle, Omni’s associate charitable foundation. Omni Circle’s purpose is to assist associates who face extraordinary hardships including those whose lives have been affected by disasters, accidents and other emergencies. In just the last few weeks, Omni Circle has processed 1,800 applications and has distributed more than $2 million to its associates impacted by COVID-19. This is more than double what the brand has distributed since the inception of Omni Circle in 2005.
- Stay a Part of Community: In partnership with Feeding America, Omni helps provide one meal for every completed stay through its Say Goodnight to Hunger program. Omni is committed to helping local communities during these trying times, and donations will be doubled for any group bookings made throughout the summer months. All donations directly benefit food banks in the 42 communities where its 60 properties operate. To date, more than 18 million meals have been donated.
- Stay a Part of Progress: Omni’s portfolio continues to expand with new properties in development including Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan, MN (opening this fall), Omni Oklahoma City Hotel (opening 2021), Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport (opening 2021) and Omni PGA Frisco Resort in North Texas (opening 2022).
White Lodging Launches StayConfident
White Lodging’s StayConfident program leverages the company’s broad hospitality experience and guidance from the CDC and hotel brands to define an enhanced cleaning program.
The StayConfident program is built around three focus areas: contactless operations wherever possible; advanced cleaning and disinfection procedures; and individualized—and social distanced—services.
Much of StayConfident revolves around the guestroom, which—after the following five-point protocol is followed—is given a second round of disinfection on all high-touch services, and then ultimately inspected, approved and sealed for the next guest. The guestroom program includes the following:
- Deep cleaning and inspection
- Hospital-grade disinfection
- Removal of nonessential paper goods
- Enhanced laundry protocols
- Limited housekeeping entry
The program also outlines new protocols across the property, including public areas, meeting spaces, the check-in process and F&B. Many of the StayConfident components are extensions of the company’s existing infectious disease response plan, which has been in place since before the pandemic was declared.
All White Lodging associates will undergo training and certification on the StayConfident program and any hotel brand programs. They are also required to undergo a COVID-19 symptom and temperature screen upon entering the property for their shift.
In addition to following guidance from the CDC and other local and national health agencies, StayConfident was assembled with the expertise of internal subject matter experts; outside hygiene consultants; hotel and restaurant association (including AHLA’s Stay Safe Initiative) guidance; meetings and event experts; and guidance from the Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton brands. Many of White Lodging’s leaders serve on hotel brand advisory councils working to define best practices for the broader industry.
My Place Develops Always Clean Initiative
My Place Hotels has developed Always Clean, an enhanced cleaning program rolled out at all 55 of the brand’s properties. In preparing each hotel for an educated recovery, the enhanced measures are part of a multifaceted plan to ensure My Place hotels are appropriately positioned for the road ahead.
The Always Clean initiative by My Place Hotels includes the following:
- Increased cleaning of high-touch areas throughout public spaces and guestrooms, utilizing sanitation products from Ecolab
- Expanding options for contactless payment methods
- Signage and collateral rollout to promote CDC guidelines
- Modified housekeeping schedule based on guest requirements
- Continued guidance and trainings to be provided to all hotel staff