Vacation or Staycation?
These last few months have been very hard on the hospitality industry. Many hotels and restaurants were closed or are still closed, and some have closed permanently. I would like your feedback to get your thoughts on taking a vacation this summer. Will you plan a long “normal” vacation or just a simple staycation this year? It’s hard to decide whether it’s worth the hassle of flying or staying in a hotel with the virus still lingering on. The biggest concern is keeping your family and yourself healthy. Hotels are working hard to sanitize rooms, lobbies, elevators, etc… At this time most hotels do not have restaurants open and they aren’t offering room service. They offer brown bags or packaged food for events. Many people go to hotels to get away from doing chores, cooking and just want to relax and business guests who are there there only for meetings need to have options that are convenient and safe.
Will you stay at a hotel if the amenities are gone?
Many amenities are no longer offered as a safety precaution.
- No more breakfast buffets
- No more samples of shampoo, conditioner, body wash
- No more coffee / tea in room
- Pools at this time are questionable or times must be reserved
Rooms are no longer cleaned during your stay unless you request the services. No additional pillows, blankets or towels are left in the rooms.
If you want to have food you must go out of the hotel or have it delivered. Also, most resorts have dropped their valet services at this time so you will have to park your own car. The front desk check in is either done on an app or at a kiosk, touchless and no contact with employees. The goal behind dropping the amenities is to cut down on so many areas touched by guests. Housekeeping is now taking more time to clean rooms so it’s more costly for the hotel. Without amenities rooms can be cleaned easier and faster.
I asked a few questions to Jill Dasher, SVP & Managing Director, Meeting Services at HPN Global see her responses:
- Do most of the hotels have a plan on how long before they will relax on some of the CDC guidelines such as amenities (not the cleaning protocols)? Or will they wait to get the ok from the CDC? Each hotel will look to local guidelines and policies, the CDC plus guidance from their management company as they look at beginning to relax safety protocols. Prudence will take precedence to ensure that guests feel safe returning to staying in hotels.
- Will pools and fitness areas open soon? That also depends on the location and the guidelines in place. We have seen quite a few destinations with open pools and gyms even with social distance spacing. However, the same is not true in states such as California or other highly impacted places.
- When will restaurants and lobby bars open or is it different in each hotel? Again, this varies by hotel however if the hotel is open, we have seen the outlets open and following the local, state and brand guidelines for capacity, social distancing, etc. while some do have limited hours of operation. I would say it varies by each hotel from what I have seen.
As you think of this summer post your comments below on these questions: Can you enjoy your hotel stay without amenities or will you wait to see if things change? Do you feel like the customer experience has disappeared?
If you are hotel owner or general manager and you would like a customer’s perspective contact Debbie at The Hart Experience 602.717.3271, Debbie@thehartexperience.com www.thehartexperience.com