June 1, 2020
What Will Your Next Hotel Stay Be Like?
By May 20th, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) reported that 70% of hotel rooms in the US were empty while thousands of hotels are completely shut down. Yet the industry has set new standards that will greet you next time you spend a night whether for business or pleasure.
For those hotels re-opening, many by their own choice or by government edicts are opening with 50% fewer rooms available for reservations to promote social distancing.
Want to know what it will be like the next time you book a hotel or resort stay?
Developed by an industry council, the AHLA Safe Stay standards, here are the highlights:
Cleaning and disinfecting will be frequent (multiple times per day) with a focus on hard non-porous surfaces such as at the front desk check-in, elevator buttons, door handles and public bathrooms.
Special cleaning of high-touch items such as TV remotes, toilet seats, water faucet handles and light switches.
Housekeepers shall not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested or approved by the guest.
Self-parking by guests should be encouraged. If valet parking is allowed, disinfecting of contact points with the vehicle is required. Van and shuttle service should be limited.
Minimize buffet service. If offered, food should be served by an attendant wearing personal protection equipment. Portion controls should be emphasized to reduce food exposed for long periods. Traditional room service shall be replaced by no-contact delivery.
From the beginning of the pandemic to mid-May the hotel industry has lost more than $25 billion in revenue. These new safety standards are a linchpin in making guests feel more comfortable about sleeping in someone else’s bed.
As for the future? The predictions are that guests will start migrating toward small properties or with those with larger open spaces. There will be greater demand for resort options that are less dense in people and more tied to the natural environment. There will be a tendency toward low-rise buildings that blend into the environment rather than high-rises.
For budget and business hotels, look to a return to those with exterior entrances rather than enclosed hallways. The fact that guests can park just outside their rooms is not only convenience but limits the guest’s exposure to strangers.