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ULTRA-HYGIENE IN HOTELS

  7 min

EXPERT OPINION

The fear of contamination is as virulent as COVID-19 itself. Global hospitality brands just recently stepped up their efforts to help ensure the safety of guests and employees. New standards in hygiene and cleanliness have been set. But how to avoid hospitality becoming as sterile as a hospital? 

Hans Steenbergen  Xiao Er Kong

Within a week several global hospitality brands published a press release on their new standards in cleanliness and hygiene. Everyone in the industry realizes that the lasting impact of COVID-19 is a hyper-awareness of safety and security. In the effort to ensure a safe environment for everyone - guest and employees alike - new guidelines and procedures are being put into place. 

Sanitation guidelines and training videos are being shared to ensure the staff is ready to meet the new expectations of the guest. Hand sanitizing stations are being installed at the entrances to the hotels, near front desks, elevators, gyms, and meeting rooms. 

What the new standards have in common is that cleaning has evolved into disinfecting, using hospital-grade disinfectants. High touch areas in rooms and public spaces will be disinfected with military precision to ensure surfaces are clean. After guests depart and new guests arrive rooms will be cleaned thoroughly using electrostatic sprayers—the same machines used for fogging airplanes—to sanitize surfaces both inside hotel rooms and in public areas like the lobby and gym

Another major disruptor of the guest journey in hotels is social distancing. Lobbies are being reorganized to find extra space for guests waiting to check in. 

Guests can choose to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact. These are just a few ways to encourage limiting face-to-face interaction. 

There is a flipside to all these new protocols for social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness: how to avoid the hotel becoming like a hospital? A sterile place without comfort, relaxation and emotional connection, all of which are so important for the hospitality experience. 

How to create the right atmosphere and true sense of belonging in a low touch, high tech economy? These are very important questions to address in the post COVID-19 era. Not only are the standards of hygiene being challenged, the essence of the hospitality industry is being scrutinized. One way or another we will have to reconcile two opposites: remoteness and intimacy. The hospitality brand which will succeed in combining true hospitality with hospital standards of hygiene, might succeed.  

“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. “We are grateful for the trust our guests have shown us through the years. We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority.”


OUR COMMITMENT TO CLEANLINESS
We take standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously and are taking additional steps to ensure the safety of our guests and associates. On a daily basis, our hotels around the world are working to ensure that they meet the latest guidance on hygiene and cleaning. Our hotels’ health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and include everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and common area cleaning procedures. Specific steps Marriott is taking include:

©Marriott

Cleaning Products and Protocols:
Our hotels use cleaning products and protocols which are effective against viruses, including:

  • Guest Rooms: Hotels use cleaning and disinfecting protocols to clean rooms after guests depart and before the next guest arrives, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
  • Public Spaces: Hotels have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces, with a focus on the counter at the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms and even room keys.
  • Back of House: In the spaces where associates work “behind the scenes,” hotels are increasing the frequency of cleaning and focusing on high-touch areas like associate entrances, locker rooms, laundry rooms and staff offices.


Associate Health, Safety and Knowledge
Hotel associates – and their own health, safety and knowledge – are essential to an effective cleaning program. Here are some ways we’re supporting them:

  • Hand Hygiene: Proper and frequent handwashing is vital to help combat the spread of viruses. In our daily meetings, our teams are reminded that cleanliness starts with this simple act. It’s important for their health and that of our guests.
  • Ongoing Training: In addition to training on housekeeping and hygiene protocols, hotel associates are also completing enhanced COVID-19 awareness training.
  • Real Time Information: Marriott’s Corporate and regional teams are on standby 24/7 to support the hotels and coordinate with local and regional authorities.

©Marriott

HOTEL-LEVEL SANITIZATION SPECIALISTS
The wellbeing of colleagues is at the heart of Hyatt’s business and core to advancing care for guests and customers. In response to COVID-19, Hyatt is continuing to develop new work procedures and mandatory trainings in an effort to ensure safety for colleagues and guests.

As part of Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, by September 2020, every Hyatt hotel will have at least one person on property trained as Hygiene Manager, who will be responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational guidance and protocols, some of which may include:

In May 2020, Hyatt plans to introduce a GBAC STARTM accreditation through a performance-based cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program that will focus on establishing hotel environments that are sanitary, safe and healthy. The GBAC STARTM accreditation will include detailed training at more than 900 Hyatt hotels worldwide, and Hyatt intends to complement this with regular internal and third-party auditing.

  • Colleague certification, trainings and recertification process for hygiene and cleanliness
  • Increased frequency of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants on all high-touch surfaces and areas such as lobbies, guestrooms, restaurants, meeting and event spaces, recreational areas, public restrooms, fitness centers, elevator buttons, all employee areas, and more
  • Implementation of enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols for restaurants, room service, and group meetings and events
  • Prominently placed hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances
  • Exploring purification and sanitization device installation in an effort to ensure air quality
  • Protective masks and other equipment worn by hotel colleagues
  • Social distancing guidance in public areas across hotel properties

Source: hyatt.com

©Hyatt Paris Madeleine

©Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Hilton announced a new program to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. In a first for the hospitality business, Hilton will collaborate with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consult with Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and Team Member training to help Hilton guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out.

  • Hilton CleanStay Room Seal: Add an extra measure of assurance by placing a room seal on doors to indicate to guests that their room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned. 
  • 10 High-Touch, Deep Clean Areas: Extra disinfection of the most frequently touched guests room areas – light switches, door handles, TV remotes, thermostats and more. 
  • De-clutter Paper Amenities: Remove pen, paper and guest directory; supplement with digital or available upon request. 
  • Focus on Fitness Centers: Improved guidelines for disinfecting the hotel Fitness Center, possibly closing for cleaning multiple times daily and limiting the number of guests allowed in at one time. 
  • Clean and Clean Again: Increase the frequency of cleaning public areas. 
  • Guest-Accessible Disinfecting Wipes: Provide stations at primary entrances and key high traffic areas, for instance, a station to allow guests to wipe the elevator button before pressing. 
  • Contactless Check-In: Hilton will double-down on its award-winning Digital Key technology for guests who desire to have a contactless arrival experience. Guests can check-in, choose their room, access their room with a digital room key and check-out using their mobile devices through the Hilton Honors mobile app at participating hotels. Hilton will continue to expand its Digital Key capabilities to common doors and access points throughout the hotels. 
  • Innovative Disinfection Technologies: Hilton is exploring the addition of new technologies, like electrostatic sprayers – which use an electrostatically charged disinfecting mist – and ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and objects.

© 2020 Hilton

While full details for the program are still in development and expected to be announced soon, hotel brand standards under consideration include:

For more initiatives of the global hospitality brands: www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4098377.html

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  7 min

The fear of contamination is as virulent as COVID-19 itself. Global hospitality brands just recently stepped up their efforts to help ensure the safety of guests and employees. New standards in hygiene and cleanliness have been set. But how to avoid hospitality becoming as sterile as a hospital? 

Hans Steenbergen  Xiao Er Kong

Within a week several global hospitality brands published a press release on their new standards in cleanliness and hygiene. Everyone in the industry realizes that the lasting impact of COVID-19 is a hyper-awareness of safety and security. In the effort to ensure a safe environment for everyone - guest and employees alike - new guidelines and procedures are being put into place. 

Sanitation guidelines and training videos are being shared to ensure the staff is ready to meet the new expectations of the guest. Hand sanitizing stations are being installed at the entrances to the hotels, near front desks, elevators, gyms, and meeting rooms. 

What the new standards have in common is that cleaning has evolved into disinfecting, using hospital-grade disinfectants. High touch areas in rooms and public spaces will be disinfected with military precision to ensure surfaces are clean. After guests depart and new guests arrive rooms will be cleaned thoroughly using electrostatic sprayers—the same machines used for fogging airplanes—to sanitize surfaces both inside hotel rooms and in public areas like the lobby and gym

Another major disruptor of the guest journey in hotels is social distancing. Lobbies are being reorganized to find extra space for guests waiting to check in. 

Guests can choose to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact. These are just a few ways to encourage limiting face-to-face interaction. 

There is a flipside to all these new protocols for social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness: how to avoid the hotel becoming like a hospital? A sterile place without comfort, relaxation and emotional connection, all of which are so important for the hospitality experience. 

How to create the right atmosphere and true sense of belonging in a low touch, high tech economy? These are very important questions to address in the post COVID-19 era. Not only are the standards of hygiene being challenged, the essence of the hospitality industry is being scrutinized. One way or another we will have to reconcile two opposites: remoteness and intimacy. The hospitality brand which will succeed in combining true hospitality with hospital standards of hygiene, might succeed.  

“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. “We are grateful for the trust our guests have shown us through the years. We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority.”

©Marriott

OUR COMMITMENT TO CLEANLINESS
We take standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously and are taking additional steps to ensure the safety of our guests and associates. On a daily basis, our hotels around the world are working to ensure that they meet the latest guidance on hygiene and cleaning. Our hotels’ health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and include everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and common area cleaning procedures. Specific steps Marriott is taking include:

Cleaning Products and Protocols:
Our hotels use cleaning products and protocols which are effective against viruses, including:

  • Guest Rooms: Hotels use cleaning and disinfecting protocols to clean rooms after guests depart and before the next guest arrives, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
  • Public Spaces: Hotels have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces, with a focus on the counter at the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms and even room keys.
  • Back of House: In the spaces where associates work “behind the scenes,” hotels are increasing the frequency of cleaning and focusing on high-touch areas like associate entrances, locker rooms, laundry rooms and staff offices.


Associate Health, Safety and Knowledge
Hotel associates – and their own health, safety and knowledge – are essential to an effective cleaning program. Here are some ways we’re supporting them:

  • Hand Hygiene: Proper and frequent handwashing is vital to help combat the spread of viruses. In our daily meetings, our teams are reminded that cleanliness starts with this simple act. It’s important for their health and that of our guests.
  • Ongoing Training: In addition to training on housekeeping and hygiene protocols, hotel associates are also completing enhanced COVID-19 awareness training.
  • Real Time Information: Marriott’s Corporate and regional teams are on standby 24/7 to support the hotels and coordinate with local and regional authorities.

©Marriott

HOTEL-LEVEL SANITIZATION SPECIALISTS
The wellbeing of colleagues is at the heart of Hyatt’s business and core to advancing care for guests and customers. In response to COVID-19, Hyatt is continuing to develop new work procedures and mandatory trainings in an effort to ensure safety for colleagues and guests.

As part of Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, by September 2020, every Hyatt hotel will have at least one person on property trained as Hygiene Manager, who will be responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational guidance and protocols, some of which may include:

In May 2020, Hyatt plans to introduce a GBAC STARTM accreditation through a performance-based cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program that will focus on establishing hotel environments that are sanitary, safe and healthy. The GBAC STARTM accreditation will include detailed training at more than 900 Hyatt hotels worldwide, and Hyatt intends to complement this with regular internal and third-party auditing.

  • Colleague certification, trainings and recertification process for hygiene and cleanliness
  • Increased frequency of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants on all high-touch surfaces and areas such as lobbies, guestrooms, restaurants, meeting and event spaces, recreational areas, public restrooms, fitness centers, elevator buttons, all employee areas, and more
  • Implementation of enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols for restaurants, room service, and group meetings and events
  • Prominently placed hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances
  • Exploring purification and sanitization device installation in an effort to ensure air quality
  • Protective masks and other equipment worn by hotel colleagues
  • Social distancing guidance in public areas across hotel properties

Source: hyatt.com

©Hyatt Paris Madeleine

©Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Hilton announced a new program to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. In a first for the hospitality business, Hilton will collaborate with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consult with Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and Team Member training to help Hilton guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out.

  • Hilton CleanStay Room Seal: Add an extra measure of assurance by placing a room seal on doors to indicate to guests that their room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned. 
  • 10 High-Touch, Deep Clean Areas: Extra disinfection of the most frequently touched guests room areas – light switches, door handles, TV remotes, thermostats and more. 
  • De-clutter Paper Amenities: Remove pen, paper and guest directory; supplement with digital or available upon request. 
  • Focus on Fitness Centers: Improved guidelines for disinfecting the hotel Fitness Center, possibly closing for cleaning multiple times daily and limiting the number of guests allowed in at one time. 
  • Clean and Clean Again: Increase the frequency of cleaning public areas. 
  • Guest-Accessible Disinfecting Wipes: Provide stations at primary entrances and key high traffic areas, for instance, a station to allow guests to wipe the elevator button before pressing. 
  • Contactless Check-In: Hilton will double-down on its award-winning Digital Key technology for guests who desire to have a contactless arrival experience. Guests can check-in, choose their room, access their room with a digital room key and check-out using their mobile devices through the Hilton Honors mobile app at participating hotels. Hilton will continue to expand its Digital Key capabilities to common doors and access points throughout the hotels. 
  • Innovative Disinfection Technologies: Hilton is exploring the addition of new technologies, like electrostatic sprayers – which use an electrostatically charged disinfecting mist – and ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and objects.

© 2020 Hilton

For more initiatives of the global hospitality brands: www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4098377.html

While full details for the program are still in development and expected to be announced soon, hotel brand standards under consideration include: