The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City is leading the charge on radical new hotel-stay procedures that may well be the future of hotel visits. An almost completely touch-less experience from check-in to bedding is being experimented with by the property and the changes are pretty dramatic.
As first reported by NBC News, the Four Seasons NYC has radically altered much of its guest experience by implementing new safety protocols. These protocols place a heavy emphasis on minimizing contact with fellow guests or employees while employing more rigorous cleaning methods.
Here’s a rundown of the measures currently being employed:
- Virtual check-in: guests do not interact with staff at the check-in counter, instead checking in online or with the app
- Arriving guests are greeted by nurses with thermometers: if you have a fever you will be turned away
- Single passenger elevator rides: the hotel is only allowing one guest per elevator trip
- Minibars, excessive hangars and bedding have all been removed: many of the amenities guests are accustomed to (including extra pillows!) are being removed in the pursuit of avoiding common germ areas. When travel returns will be be forced to bring our own travel hangers?
- One guest at a time in the hotel gym: Guests have to schedule gym access in advance with only one guest allowed in the gym at a time
- No cleaning service during a guests stay: Guests are given 3 bags upon check-in. One for towels, one for bedding, and one for trash. When you need them refreshed fill the bags, place them by the door, and contact housekeeping.
- Each room is deep cleaned after a stay: Housekeeping (wearing PPE) will perform a deep clean on the room after each guest leaves.
- Rooms stay vacant for 24 hours after your stay: The room is not immediately booked after stay giving any germs still present a chance to dissipate.
While these measures sound extreme, it could be the world we find ourselves in as travel starts to pick back up. The hotel notes:
“Here in New York we’re leading the charge, but now the phone is ringing off the hook with calls from hotels from all over the place,” said Dr. Robert Quigley, senior vice president of International SOS, the group the Four Seasons tapped to make sure its pandemic-era property follows health and safety guidelines as set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“
If these measures are implemented on a widespread basis post-coronavirus, it’s hard not to imagine a scenario where hotel prices rise in keeping with the increase in costs (less occupancy, more rigorous and longer cleaning, etc). On the flip side, it could also result in lower costs given that less staff might be needed to perform check-ins, less hangars, mini-bars and bedding to purchase and maintain and so forth.
In the end, it’s hard to say how these measures will affect the cost of hotel stays, but one thing is certain, if they are implemented broadly across the hotel industry the traditional hotel stay will never be the same again.
Be Safe and thank you, as always, for stopping by
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I love the virtual check in! It’s fast and easy and no human interactions whatsoever. I had self-check-in a couple of times in Europe and those were my best check-in experiences!
As for other things, I’m sure it gets better after some time when the situation improves. It’s too unprofitable for the hotels to leave a room empty for a day after each guest, so I think they’ll stop it as soon as they could.