With a steady increase in occupancy rates (particularly on weekends) in properties, hotels are preparing amenities reflecting this new era. The idea is for hotels to increase comforts and niceties guests can’t find at home while maintaining social distancing and other safety guidelines.
Here is a taste of what awaits hotel travelers in what may be their first trip since COVID-19 consumed the country.
Even hotels that have been open through the duration of the crisis have limited capacity, especially in restaurants that are allowing no greater than 50% seating. Washington School House Hotel in Park City, Utah, has taken its exclusive in-room dinner experience to dine in anyplace. Options include the hotel’s Living Room, Ski Lounge, poolside or in the private garden.
At Washington School House Hotel, they're allowing guests to dine in the ski lounge and other atypical locations.
The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, too, is adapting its snacks to individual offerings. Its classic s’mores kits—previously offered on carts with all the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows laid out, now come in a cellophane bag tied up. Guests then walk to the property’s firepits for roasting.
The Westin Nashville is among the hotels where in-room dining will be set on a tray stand or trolley outside the door ready for the guests to roll in. Once done, diners put the tray outside the room to complete the contactless transaction.
Anticipating greater demand for alfresco options, hotels like Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont, are taking advantage of vast real estate for picnics. These are no Yogi Bear treats—Twins Farms includes caviar and Champagne for its meals overlooking the Green Mountains.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands, North Carolina, offers gourmet picnic lunches to accompany excursions to nearby waterfalls, trails and other outdoor activities. And The Wayfinder Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, has bagged/boxed options for beach trips and picnics at Miantonomi Memorial Park.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa hosts excursions into nature
Outdoor eating is enjoyable, but maybe not for everyone. Old Edwards has installed micropods fitting up to four people. With greater privacy than booths, this is a trend that could stick.
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville in Virginia is going as touchless as possible by presenting restaurant menus on decorative arts stands placed on the table to limit the hand-holding.
While not a substitution for CDC protocols, F&B offerings in the Caribbean are going heavy on items that are known to boost immunities. Low-alcohol and virgin drinks featuring ginger, lemon and honey shots are in vogue in Turks and Caicos at The Palms Turks & Caicos and The Shore Club Long Bay Beach.
The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe is going hands off at its spa. Options include Reiki Energy Healing, a touchless method of spiritual healing and self-improvement and a self-guided Hypervolt Massage, a touchless experience where master therapists will guide a client through techniques to relieve sore muscles and ease away tension.
For now, fears about being stuck in a crowded elevator (never fun, pandemic or not) will be alleviated at Monarch Beach, which is limited to two guests per ride (or one family). Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, North Carolina, has technology allowing guests to ride straight to their floor without stopping to pick up other would-be passengers.
A registration form will be emailed in advance to guests staying at The Roxbury at Stratton Falls in Catskills, New York. This allows them to go straight to their exterior-access room door and never step foot in the lobby. Prior to visits, the concierge at Bobby Hotel in Nashville will hold a Zoom meeting detailing what’s available on-site. You can’t go away without one last Zoom call, can you?