Hotel Cleaning During COVID-19: Brands Enhance Cleaning Protocols

Before the coronavirus pandemic began, you likely never wondered when the light switches in your hotel room were last sanitized. You probably didn’t think twice about maneuvering your way through a crowded lobby, and the biggest inconvenience of sharing an elevator with fellow vacationers was stopping at extra floors. COVID-19 has introduced an onslaught of new stressors when it comes to traveling, but many hotel brands have learned to adapt as conditions evolve.

Over the last year, hundreds of thousands of properties around the world implemented enhanced cleaning protocols and safety measures to keep travelers and employees healthy. These solutions range from mandatory face mask policies and the use of hospital-grade disinfectants to modified housekeeping services and cashless transactions. Some brands take their efforts a step further by wrapping in-room utensils in single-use plastic or providing guests with personal cleaning kits.

No matter what level of clean you seek during your next hotel stay, continue reading to learn more about the health measures enacted by popular chains like Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and more. The peace of mind provided by these initiatives may be just what you need to have a safe, comfortable getaway. (Note: Check with the official hotel website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards for additional guidance before traveling.)

AccorHotels

The AccorHotels chain includes brands like Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Sofitel Hotels, MGallery by Sofitel Hotels and Pullman Hotels and Resorts. In response to COVID-19, AccorHotels developed the ALLSAFE Cleanliness & Prevention campaign in partnership with Bureau Veritas — a health and safety inspection and certification company. The ALLSAFE program promises hotel housekeeping will be thoroughly cleaning all guest rooms and high-touch public areas (like elevators and restrooms) using hospital-grade solutions. The program also implements mandatory staff training to ensure social distancing, compliance with safe dining practices as determined by local authorities, and contactless payments and check-in whenever possible. All guests receive individual sanitation kits, with hand sanitizer, face masks and cleaning wipes, to use during their stays, and travelers’ temperatures are taken upon entrance at each hotel. Should you feel under the weather, you’ll be able to book a free appointment with AccorHotels’ telemedicine partners through AXA, an international insurance entity. To see AccorHotels’ complete list of cleaning protocols, visit its website.

[See: The Best AccorHotels.]

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Guests across all Best Western Hotels & Resorts locations will be protected by the We Care Clean program during their travels. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and other expert organizations, the program focuses on five primary areas in each hotel: distancing, sanitation and minimized guest contact at the front desk and lobby; enhanced cleaning of guest rooms and daily housekeeping by request (to minimize in-room exposure to the virus); grab-and-go meals or preassembled breakfast plates instead of self-serve buffets; increased cleaning of public amenities like gyms and meeting rooms, plus hand sanitizer and wipes dispersed throughout the property; and mandatory personal protective equipment for all staff members, including masks and gloves. To learn more, visit Best Western’s website.

[Read: What to Know for COVID-Era Travel.]

Choice Hotels International

Budget-friendly outposts like Comfort Inn & Suites, Quality Inn, Cambria Hotels and EconoLodge all exist under the Choice Hotels International umbrella. To prioritize guest health and safety during the pandemic, Choice Hotels launched the Commitment to Clean plan. Cleanliness measures include mandatory face masks in all public areas for guests and employees, personal hand sanitizers for every traveler and housekeeping upon request. The plan also includes extra cleaning of the front desk, fitness centers and other high-traffic locations. To ensure all expectations are met, each hotel has a designated Commitment to Clean captain on staff, and Choice Hotels remains in close contact with Ecolab, a corporation that specializes in food safety and infection prevention. Learn more about the Commitment to Clean program by visiting Choice Hotels International’s website.

Disney Hotels & Resorts

As of January 2021, a number of Disney Hotels & Resorts (including the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa) remain temporarily closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the properties that have reopened have done so with an extensive list of safety protocols in place to keep families safe. At reopened properties — which include Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, select Disney-branded properties within Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and others — vacationers will find changes like housekeeping services every other day (versus every day, to limit exposure), enhanced cleaning of easily contaminated devices and surfaces (like light switches and remote controls), double-cased pillows, and items wrapped in single-use plastic to preserve cleanliness (such as glassware). When it comes to dining, select restaurants are open to hotel guests (reservations recommended) and travelers should expect to have their temperatures taken before sitting down to eat. Room service is not available. Hand sanitizer is dispersed throughout public spaces, and germ hot spots like elevators, handrails and benches are consistently disinfected. Additionally, cashless transactions and physical barriers are in place to limit face-to-face contact between guests and staff. Visit the website of the specific Disney hotel you are considering to learn more.

[See: The Best Disney Hotels & Resorts.]

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

In partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts brand has kicked its already rigorous cleaning policies into high gear with the Lead With Care program. The initiative features daily housekeeping services with EPA-approved disinfectants, followed by black light inspections designed to highlight soiled spots invisible to the naked eye. Each hotel completes hourly cleanings of busy public spaces, such as lobbies and restrooms. Sanitation staff has high-tech cleaning supplies at their disposal, including electrostatic sprayers (tools that cover large areas with disinfecting solution and use positive charges to help the products cling to negatively charged surfaces). On top of that, masks, wipes and hand sanitizer are provided to all guests, and travelers can utilize the Four Seasons smartphone app to chat with the concierge, order room service, make reservations and more. Contactless check-in is available to keep close, personal interactions to a minimum. For more information about Lead With Care, visit the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts website.

[See: The Best Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.]

Hilton Worldwide Hotels

Mega hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Hotels encompasses popular brands like Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and more. In response to COVID-19, Hilton properties around the globe have implemented the CleanStay program in partnership with RB, the manufacturer of Lysol products and other disinfectants. To clean all guest rooms, housekeepers first sanitize every surface with hospital-grade cleaners, then follow up for a second round of wiping using RB products on extra sensitive spots like light switches, bathrooms and remote controls. After everything is laundered and disinfected, a designated housekeeping inspector checks each room and places a seal over the door, so travelers can feel confident the room has not been entered since cleaning. Public spaces are thoroughly cleaned throughout each day, with hourly attention for elevators, restrooms and other highly frequented locations. Wipes and hand sanitizer are available across each hotel, and face masks are mandatory. Select restaurants are open and have been rearranged to allow for social distancing, and contactless in-room dining is available at some hotels. To read more about the CleanStay program, see Hilton’s website.

[See: The Best Hilton Hotels.]

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

To keep travelers safe, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (parent company of Park Hyatt, Thompson Hotels, Andaz Hotels, Hyatt Place and other brands around the world) created its Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. Changes across the brand’s extensive list of properties include extra cleaning of all spaces using hospital-grade supplies and electrostatic sprayers, hand sanitizer stations, plexiglass barriers at the front desk, mask requirements and contactless payments. Signs limiting elevator occupants and reminding guests to stay 6 feet apart around each property aim to create a socially distanced environment. Travelers will also find guest room sanitation seals post-cleaning, as well as elevated dining safety and grab-and-go meals in select locations. To see Hyatt’s full breakdown of cleanliness measures, head to its website.

[See: The Best Hyatt Hotels.]

IHG Hotels

The IHG Hotels brand includes numerous popular outposts, such as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites and more. Together with the Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and cleaning product provider Diversey, the brand launched the IHG Clean Promise program. The initiative entails boosted cleaning efforts in reception areas, public facilities, guest rooms and meeting spaces using hospital-grade disinfectants. Electrostatic technology at select properties and reduced face-to-face contact further help curb the spread. To limit infection transmission, IHG has also removed unnecessary high-touch items in its hotel rooms and updated its food and beverage guidelines and services. As an extra touch, IHG hotels also offers individual cleaning kits to guests. Visit the IHG Clean Promise program’s webpage for more information.

[See: The Best IHG Hotels.]

Leading Hotels of the World

More than 430 standout properties around the world — including Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, and The Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C. — are part of The Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. In response to COVID-19, LHW launched the Healthy Stays campaign, which leans on guidance and inspections from partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, as well as representatives from medical consulting companies RemoteMD and ProHealth Environmental. Sanitation efforts include social distancing guidelines, a more than 800-point cleaning policy, hand sanitizer throughout each hotel and frequent employee temperature checks. Read more at LHW’s website.

[See: The Best Leading Hotels of the World.]

Marriott International Hotels

As the largest hotel group in the world, Marriott International Hotels includes the Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard, Springhill Suites and Ritz-Carlton brands within its massive portfolio, among other options. Per the new Marriott Cleanliness Council, all staff and guests must wear face coverings in public hotel spaces, and all surfaces will be cleaned frequently using hospital-grade disinfectants and electrostatic sprayers. In addition, wipes will be provided in each guest room, and travelers will notice hand sanitizer stations and social distancing signs across the properties. Food safety is also among Marriott’s top priorities: Food handlers have been trained to take extra precautions, and travelers won’t find any traditional buffets during their stays. Additionally, dining venues are closed on a case-by-case basis, with some properties primarily offering room service or mobile ordering. To see Marriott’s full list of cleaning protocols, visit its website.

[See: The Best Marriott International Hotels.]

Radisson Hotel Group

To prioritize the health and safety of guests and employees, Radisson Hotel Group — which manages brands like Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Radisson Blu and more — initiated a 20-step cleaning program at its properties with the oversight of Diversey and SGS, a global inspection, testing and certification company. The new protocols incorporate proven preventative measures around each property, including public hand sanitizer stations, signs encouraging social distancing, protective barriers at front desks, more frequent disinfecting of high-traffic locations, improved air circulation, personal bottles of hand sanitizer for each guest, grab-and-go food options, team member temperature checks and more. All Radisson hotels use hospital-grade products to clean guest rooms daily, and select public spaces (like the lobby and reception areas) are disinfected every four hours. To learn more, visit the Radisson Hotel Group website.

[See: The Best Radisson Hotel Group Hotels.]

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

The Small Luxury Hotels of the World portfolio is made up of 520 independently owned boutique properties across the globe, from the Wentworth Mansion in Charleston, South Carolina, to Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada. To ensure the cleanliness of each hotel, SLH launched the Stay Small, Stay Safe policy in partnership with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. Small Luxury Hotels of the World aims to attract travelers by promising a more secluded vacation than a larger hotel or resort could offer — a perk for many during the pandemic. Although SLH does not explicitly list the steps each independent property must take to protect its guests and staff from COVID-19 risks, hotels within the brand must seek third-party accreditation by GBAC to ensure all safety measures and disinfection techniques are up to SLH’s standard. Additionally, SLH’s quality assurance policy has been updated to reflect 130-plus additional cleaning protocols that properties must adopt for annual in-house inspections. For the full details, visit the website of the hotel you are interested in, or click here to read more about the Stay Small, Stay Safe campaign.

[See: The Best Small Luxury Hotels of the World.]

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

At Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties across the U.S. and Canada — including Trademark Collection, La Quinta, Wingate, Ramada, Travelodge and Super 8 accommodations, among others — travelers will find elements of the Count on Us safety program. In partnership with Ecolab, Wyndham’s new health measures include boosted cleaning efforts around each hotel, mandatory face masks in indoor public areas, disinfecting wipes provided at check-in, hand sanitizer in every guest room, and mobile check-in and checkout at select hotels through Wyndham’s smartphone app. Additionally, prewrapped breakfast items can be picked up on the go to avoid buffet setups, and extraneous items like pens and throw pillows may be removed from rooms. Visit the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts website to read more about the Count on Us initiative.

[See: The Best Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.]

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Hotel Cleaning During COVID-19: Brands Enhance Cleaning Protocols originally appeared on usnews.com

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