Breakfast in packages, no minibar or exercise bikes in each room
Hotel stays have already irrevocably changed, and many hotels are finding new ways to operate under stricter health guidelines and social distancing. Longer term, there are already signs of potential trends.
Breakfast in prepared portions
Much like the ongoing design changes on cruise ships, the buffet will cease to exist.
As stated in The mirrorWith infection control a priority, people can’t climb on top of each other to stack plates full of food and keep coming back to refill them. Bottles of vinegar and ketchup will not be shared from table to table and many foods will be presented in individually sealed pouches, such as breakfasts.
At the new Madrid Marriott Auditorium hotel, customers will line up on large patches on the floor to wait for their breakfast to be served. Diners will follow a set path back to their tables, and chefs will wear masks, serving food in ready-made picnic portions.
new reported that Intercontinental, which has 6,000 locations worldwide, has replaced the buffet with a la carte service and prepackaged breakfast.
A minimum of staff
The Manser Practice, a British architectural studio and designer of Hilton hotels, described in dezeen.com, how hotels could be changed for a post-pandemic world.
Interaction between staff and guests would be kept to a minimum, with the introduction of one-way corridors to ensure people are kept separate.
Receptionists would be replaced by computers, which would perform temperature checks on guests and provide forgotten accessories, such as toothbrushes, in sealed bags. Keys and key rings would be replaced by smartphone apps to open doors.
Isolationist rooms, reducing contact with others
Rooms would become much more secluded – doors would be non-contact, with hatches added in the walls to provide room service, the latter likely increasing dramatically as people avoid going to dinner with other guests.
In the longer term, rooms would get bigger and gyms and conference rooms would stop being built in new hotels. Each room could have an exercise bike inside an oriel window (a form of bay window) for guests to work out, in style and with a view.
Paternoster elevators could make a comeback
The Las Vegas Venetian is currently urging visitors to make sure no more than four people use the elevator at any time, but The Hamilton hotel in Washington, DC, doesn’t suggest more than two.
Paternoster elevators – where people travel in open compartments that move slowly in a loop (much like revolving doors) – could make a comeback, so no one needs to touch buttons or share space. space with strangers.
Minibars, hot tubs, and extra linens / pillows are gone
The Four Seasons Hotel New York housed frontline medical staff at the height of the pandemic and implemented new and improved safety protocols and procedures. NBC News reported that minibars had been phased out, along with excess hangars and linens. In each room, pillows were limited to four, instead of six.
In more upscale hotels, CNN reported that for the foreseeable future there will be no trips to the spa, bellboys or valet parking.
Cleaning done at the end of the stay
When medical staff guests arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, they were given three bags: one for dirty towels, one for dirty bedding, and one for garbage. When customers needed to clean, they left the bags near the entrance to the rooms and contacted housekeeping to come and collect the bags. No one entered the rooms to clean them until the guests had left.
The rooms sat empty for an entire day before new medical guests were allowed in.
The Manser practice predicts a move away from Airbnb because people prefer large chains known for their cleanliness; robot cleaning could become the norm.
Hilton is also exploring the use of electrostatic sprayers, which spray disinfectant over large areas, and UV light to sanitize surfaces.
Article addition July 7, 2020 – The article has been modified to clarify that the Four Seasons New York was only open to medical personnel from April to June 2020.
The last group of medical guests recently left the Four Seasons Hotel New York, and the hotel will be implementing new and improved safety protocols and procedures when it reopens to guests who are not healthcare workers.