While screening and post-pandemic policies will vary greatly in hotels and spas across the globe, one thing that is for certain is that it will be a different experience. In fact, guests and clients should accept this change for the foreseeable future until a vaccine, widely effective treatment or accessible and instant testing for coronavirus is available. Here is what to expect in the near future when it comes to visiting hotels or spas.
Major Differences in Hotels
As sad as it is to say, you can expect certain amenities like buffets and minibars to vanish when it comes to visiting hotels. Other luxurious elements of the spa like bellhop, valet and spa services may also be suspended depending on the hotel you go to.1
When it comes to actually checking into the spa, the experience is going to become as contact-less as possible. Basically, whatever contact can be cut out with an employee should be to allow the guest to come in and immediately go to the elevator and their room.1
However, the good news is that, according to Jan Freitag, senior VP of Lodging Insights, found that the demand for leisure is seeing an increase with hotel lodging reaching 28.6% for the week ending May 2, 2020. As with all other industries beginning to reopen slowly, hotels are going to want to communicate with their guests and show them every measure they are taking to keep their guests safe.
Some other key differences you can expect to see from hotels include:
- Cleaner than ever. Hilton has been developing policies with the Mayo Clinic's Infection Prevention and Control team to explore the use of electrostatic sprayers that would mist and disinfect across wide areas. All staff should also be wearing gloves and masks, and there should be hand sanitizer available in the common areas.
- Socially distant. Many hotels, including the Marriott, will be reconfiguring the furniture to match social distancing rules of staying six feet apart. Apart from the contact-less check in, as mentioned above, hotels should also work to adopt policies and methods for contact-less room service. Other locations like The Venetian in Las Vegas will also be creating guidelines and distancing markings on the ground to help clients remain six feet apart.
- New fees. It is expected that these new measures for cleanliness and rearranging the hotel to meet guidelines will come at a great cost to hotels. That is why guests should expect to see new "cleaning fees" that will ultimately act as the new resort fee to help counteract these costs.
- Screenings. This is another policy that many businesses that are reopening are implementing. Employees and guests will be screened by having their temperatures taken. The Venetian is planning to use thermal scanners at every entry point.
- Spas and gyms. This is one area that many hotels have that pose a real problem with social distancing. However, not all hotels have given up on these amenities that they offer. Some resorts are planning to have their gyms be used on a "personal training" basis to offer holistic classes for clients well-being.
Major Differences in Spas
The major difference to expect when it comes to spas is the arrival/entry method. First of all, it is becoming apparent that all clients and employees should be having their temperatures taken and face masks are expected to be worn on both ends. Clients should also expect to fill out a new, detailed questionnaire that for some spas will be added onto their regular intake form. Some of the new questions on this questionnaire will include who they have been quarantining with, how long they have been quarantining, where they may have traveled recently, etc.
Much like with hotels, many spas are working on redesigning/redecorating to adhere to the six-feet apart protocol. Even though spas are already fairly quiet places, clients and spa professionals should expect them to become even quieter with the number of clients seen per day decreasing; also, spas will be saying goodbye to any walk-in clients.2
Some other major differences that spas will be taking on include:
- Paperless check out. Some spas, like Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa, are planning to eliminate the need/option to pay at the desk, and they are making everything from housekeeping to retail shopping will be done by sending forms to clients and having them pay for it online.2
- So long services. Obviously, not all services would be eliminated, otherwise the spa would just stay closed. However, certain services could very well be done away with until a vaccine is created. Currently, many spas are finding a problem being able to book any type of facial in certain states as it is a requirement for clients to wear masks at all times. However, some spas, like the Dermalogica clinics, are not taking any services off the table, and they are instead adding specific measures to certain treatments to keep it sanitary and safe.2
- Sanitation. While sanitation has always been vastly important in the spa, there is an extra close watch on it. Some spas will be implementing sneeze guards into their stations while others have gone as far as to include a Synexis Microbial Reduction System that helps to reduce viruses, bacteria and mold. Numerous sanitation guides have been released to help spas know and understand what extra measures need to be taken. These sanitation measures will also require a larger amount of time expected after each appointment to properly clean before a new client comes in.2