a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: Social distancing and hand hygiene top the list of safety protocols for all premium hotels across the country. (Representative image)

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Social distancing and hand hygiene top the list of safety protocols for all premium hotels across the country. (Representative image)

Worried about safety protocols being followed in hotels? Your next hotel stay does not have to be a nerve-wracking experience or one that drives up your tension and stress quotient! Indeed, the new normal requires guests and hotels to step up with new safety protocols. The Coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way hotels and restaurants now serve their guests. Safety is top priority and contactless hospitality services including contactless dining is here to stay. But is that enough to ensure a guest’s safety? Clearly that is just a tip of the iceberg. From installing sanitizer stations in key areas, mandating clutter-free kitchen spaces, using only disposable spoons for tasting to the finality of delivering food to your room in a safe and contactless manner, here’s a look at how India’s premium hotels are now wooing guests with new safety standards.

Contactless Check ins

Hotels are rolling out different ways to enable contactless check ins for their guests. At Trident Hotels, a sanitised iPad with a stylus is used for in-room check-in experience. The iPad is then sanitised after every use.

Cleaning and Sanitization

Just as your kitchen at home is constantly cleaned and sanitized, all restaurants and hotels are stepping up with their kitchens too. Cleaning and sanitization is a key priority at all premium hotels and restaurants when it comes to high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, escalator handrails, restrooms.

Across all premium hotels, the frequency of cleaning as well as sanitization of high traffic guest areas and guest rooms are rigorously enforced, particularly rest rooms, gyms and spas.

Another notable safety measure is minimizing the number of times that their hotel team enters the guestrooms.

Temperature & Wellbeing Checks

Most premium hotels across the country conduct temperature checks of their staff and guests upon arrival.

Hand Hygiene & Social Distancing

Social distancing and hand hygiene top the list of safety protocols for all premium hotels across the country. The Hyatt hotels are placing reminders on hand washing techniques for their guests and providing sanitizing wipes and ensuring social distancing is recommended in the public areas including elevators. Meanwhile, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels are providing their guests with disinfecting stations that have wipes and hand sanitizers for their use.

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Wearing Face Masks

All premium hotels clearly advocate that their guests and employees have to wear face masks when they are moving in the hotel’s indoor and outdoor areas.

Food Safety Protocols and Kitchen Spaces

Precautionary measures for food preparation are in place at most premium hotels, as are hygiene protocols.

As hotels and guests adjust to the new normal, kitchen spaces are being transformed for all practical purposes.

From freeing up extra areas to ensuring clutter-free floor areas to enhance mobility and social distancing, there are several aspects to revisit regarding kitchen spaces.

Working in cramped or small kitchens is no longer a safe option and the challenge is to ensure that the chefs and those who are engaged in preparing food are at a safe distance from those who are doing other tasks such as cleaning and sterilizing the plates, cutlery and so on.

At Trident Hotels, their website has detailed safety protocols for their kitchens and a strict adherence to safe distance norms is enforced through creating work zones within each section of the kitchen. This helps to prevent cross movement. Only disposable spoons are used for tasting food and chefs are encouraged to discard their caps in the designated bin after using it. All soiled chefs uniforms are deposited in the hotel’s Uniform room.

Contactless food delivery initiatives at premium hotels

At the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels, biodegradable and disposable dishware and flatware are offered on request.

They also have a Grab & Go service, which pertains to pre-plated as well as individual portions in place of the conventional open breakfast and buffet service. For in-room dining, contactless deliveries are set to replace rolling cart food service delivery. Further, the Double Tree Hilton hotel website recommends to their guests to take complete advantage of their designated pick-up spots for contactless food delivery.

At the Hyatt Hotels, a ‘Knock and Go’ Room service ensures that all guests can find their room service orders are delivered at their door. A knock on the guest room and voila, the food order is delivered and notably, it is contactless.

Across the country, several new initiatives are being rolled out to ensure that guests at hotels are taken care of in sync with the best safety protocols.

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The road ahead isn’t easy as hotels and restaurants are struggling with multiple challenges including winning customers back to their properties.

As people begin to adjust to the new normal, there is hope on the horizon as new rules of hospitality are being rewritten.

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