From luggage cleaning to bespoke face masks, luxury hotel brand Kempinski has unveiled a new ‘white glove’ hygiene strategy to ensure anti-viral stays. Erica Jamieson reports
As Covid-19 continues to threaten traveller confidence around the world, hotels have begun instating new standards of cleanliness in a bid to assure prospective guests.
Since reopening a number of its hotels in April, Kempinski has introduced “White Glove Service”, a cleaning charter that outlines new hygiene measures to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Innovations include sanitising stations, luggage cleaning on arrival and professional air purifiers in all hotels, in addition to enhanced cleaning – from disenfecting “high-touch points” such as light switches and TV remotes, to washing room keys.All employees will wear gloves and bespoke Kempinski-branded masks, which are also on offer to guests too, in case they forgot to pack some. Staff will remain at least 1.5 metres away from guests to ensure social distancing, and furniture in public spaces will be arranged so that people aren’t too close to one another.
Another good idea is the option of long-term “privacy” signs (in addition to temporary “do not disturb” signs) to signal that staff should not enter their room for the duration of their stay. Room service deliveries will be left outside the door and no in-room cleaning will take place after check-in unless guests request it.Benedikt Jaschke, chief quality officer for Kempinski, says: “While we need to give guests full confidence in the cleanliness and disinfection of our premises and reflect the seriousness of the current situation in all aspects of our daily operation, we are eager to continue and even surpass our dedicated service à la Kempinski.”“The list of measures to be taken is long and very complex”, he says. “But appropriate and strictest hygienic standards on a very high level are key to reassuring our valued guests that a stay at any Kempinski hotel worldwide during or post coronavirus lockdown offers an environment of full safety in any respect without sacrificing our high standards of professional luxury service.”
What are other hotel companies doing?
In the US, Hilton has teamed up with Reckitt Benckiser (RB), producers of Lysol and Dettol, and the Mayo Clinic, to creat new cleaning programme for the group’s 6,100 hotels.
The “Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection” programme offers advice on cleaning and training protocols using RB products, and assurance from experts at the Mayo Clinic’s Infection Prevention and Control team.“Our first priority has always been the safety of our guests and Team Members,” says Christopher J Nassetta, Hilton President and CEO.
Standards will range from contactless check-in via smartphone, to UV and electro-static sanitation technology, and a “CleanStay Room Seal” on doors, indicating that rooms have not been accessed since a thorough, pre-arrival cleaning.
Marriott, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Radisson and Accorhotels have also launched cleaning charters. Initiatives will include leaving sanitising wipes and gel in guest rooms, regular scrubbing of hotel gym equipment and lift buttons, installing partitions at front desks, and delivering specially packaged meals to rooms. Buffets will be banned.
Meanwhile, Four Seasons has announced a collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medical International to validate its new global health and safety programme, Lead With Care. Measures it will be taking include:
- Restaurants and bars operating with reduced capacity to ensure adequate space and a socially distant set-up
- Nearly all restaurants providing a la carte service with digital menus wherever possible
- In-room dining with contactless delivery and sustainable, single-use packaging
- Rooms disinfected daily with EPA approved products and blacklight inspection
- Public areas cleaned hourly with extra attention to frequented areas including front desk counters and public restrooms
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