In response to COVID-19, many hotels have begun implementing improved cleaning processes. The following outlines the programs that each individual chain has in place, but organizations such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) may begin to help establish a standard of cleanliness across the hotel industry.

American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)

The AHLA is working to set standards for cleaning across the hotel industry with their Safe Stay guidelines. These guidelines set a minimum standard for hotels to follow that is supported by recommendations from the CDC. These include;

  • Hand sanitizers in key guest and staff entrances
  • Signs reminding of CDC recommendations for wearing, handling and disposing of masks
  • Reporting COVID-19 cases
  • Staff protocols for hand-cleaning, safety and use of personal protective equipment
  • Use of disinfectants
  • Frequent cleaning of public and communal spaces
  • Enhanced guestroom, linen, towels and laundry cleaning
  • No-contact room service, limited buffet service, screened food displays, pre-packaged food
  • Social distancing reminders and rearranged furniture in public spaces
  • Use of technology to reduce direct contact with guests
  • Encouragement of contactless payment
  • Limited van and shuttle services

So far, 17 hotel companies have joined the AHLA Council: Accor, Aimbridge Hospitality, Best Western, Choice Hotels, G6 Hospitality, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Loews Hotels, Marriott, MyPlace Hotels, Noble Investment Group, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Red Lion Hotels, Red Roof and Wyndham.

Visit their website to learn more >>

Accor

Along with being part of the AHLA council, Accor has launched its own cleanliness and prevention program: ALLSAFE. This program applies global standards developed and approved by inspection and certification specialist, Bureau Veritas. All Accor hotels are required to apply these enhanced standards and will be audited wither by Accor operational experts, or by third-party auditors such as Bureau Veritas.

Accor aims to introduce measures at each checkpoint of a guest’s journey in order to protect guests and employees, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include:

  • Suspended valet parking
  • Hand sanitizer provided and health screening conducted for all guests
  • Queues managed and lobby seating rearranged for social distancing
  • Gloves and masks for hotel staff
  • Enhanced frequency in cleaning and disinfecting using EPA-registered chemicals
  • Maximum occupancy reduced
  • Cleaning time sheets displayed
  • Rooms “rested” for 48 hours after occupancy, followed by cleaning and disinfection
  • Diners screened and offered hand sanitizer and a mask before entering restaurant, with tables physically distanced
  • Fitness center use requires reservation
  • Contactless check-out, key drop and email invoice

For a full listing of measures taken, visit the Accor Website >>.

Best Western

Best Western’s initial response to COVID-19 included upgraded cleaning, a transition to hands-free check-in, and the removal of room amenities such as decorative pillows, laundry bags, pens and notepads. Since then, the company has moved to a more stringent program, “We Care Clean”, which is based on guidance from the CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada. These new measures include:

  • Upgraded sanitation measures
  • Staff wait 24-72 hours to enter guest rooms after checkout
  • Minimized guest-employee contact through streamlined check-in/check-out
  • Social distancing measures in place
  • Sanitizing stations or wipes available throughout hotels
  • Breakfast offerings are enhanced to “Grab & Go” and pre-plated options
  • Public amenities, such as fitness centers and meeting rooms, are more intensively cleaned and monitored.

For more information, visit the Best Western website >>.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels has formalized its approach to cleanliness and hygiene by launching its Commitment to Clean initiative, which relies on guidance from Ecolab, the CDC, the World Health Organization and Choice’s participation in the AHLA council. This initiative includes:

  • Enhanced cleaning, sanitation and disinfecting protocols, with training from cleaning supplies vendors available to hotel owners and staff
  • Changes to food and beverage services, increasing pre-packaged options
  • Enhanced cleaning in high-traffic areas such as the front desk, fitness centers, pools and other areas using hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Furniture arrangements to encourage social distancing
  • Housekeeping “on demand”, allowing guests to request extra toiletries, towels, linen or coffee without housekeeping entering the room
  • Clean seals on certain high-touch items in guest rooms
  • Hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas
  • Services and amenities on offer change in accordance with local conditions

For more details, visit Choice Hotel’s website >>.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is working with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to validate its new global health and safety program, Lead with Care. This program will include:

  • Hygiene officer appointed to each hotel to implement enhanced cleaning
  • Rooms disinfected daily with EPA-approved products, followed by blacklight inspection
  • Hourly cleaning of all public areas, with extra attention to frequented areas such as front desk counters and public restrooms
  • Introduction of electrostatic spraying, air purification and UV technology for HVAC systems
  • Lead with Care kits in each guestroom providing masks, hand sanitizer and wipes, with additional masks supplied on demand
  • Contactless check-in and housekeeping, with other social distancing measures in place
  • Training to ensure employees follow health and safety protocols with confidence, and have guidance and understanding of the disease and procedures

For more information, visit their website >>.

Hilton

Hilton is working with Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol and Dettol cleaning products, to establish a new hotel sanitization program. This program will also include advice from the Mayo Clinic’s Infection Prevention and Control team. These new protocols will be released in June, and may include:

  • Hotel brand standards for extra disinfection in high-touch areas
  • Digitalizing guest directories
  • Extra cleaning and social distancing in gym facilities
  • Increased cleaning in public areas
  • Contactless check-in
  • Use of new disinfection technologies, such as electrostatic sprays and ultraviolet light

For more information on their upcoming program, visit their website >>.

Hyatt

Hyatt has developed a new Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment, and is introducing the Global Bio-risk Advisory Council (GBCA) STAR accreditation process for its hotels around the world. The GBCA STAR accreditation process is a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease program under the ISSA, a global cleaning industry association. By September, Hyatt will have at least one person at each hotel trained as a hygiene manager, who will ensure the hotel sticks to new operational guidance and protocols, which are currently under development. These new protocols may include:

  • Staff certification and training
  • More frequent cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Enhanced food safety
  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Enhanced air quality
  • Personal protective equipment for employees
  • Social distancing guidance in public areas

For more information, visit the Hyatt website >>.

IHG

IHG remains in contact with organizations, including the World Health Organization, the CDC, and relevant authorities for country-specific needs, to ensure its COVID-19 response is relevant. In addition to meeting local health and safety laws, IHG has established best practices and guidelines for hotels to follow including:

  • Response teams to provide round-the-clock assistance to hotels
  • Increased frequency of cleaning in public areas and high-touch points in guest rooms
  • Advisories to hotels on protocols and cleaning products best-suited to deal with COVID-19
  • Revised food and beverage services

For more information, visit IHG’s website >>.

Kempinski Hotels

Kempinski Hotels has introduced “white glove service”, a new service standard to ensure they align with regional health and safety regulations as they evolve. They’ve outlined guidelines in a 50-page document which includes:

  • Staff to carry gloves during all guest interactions
  • Compliance with government regulations on masks
  • Masks and hand sanitizer included as guestroom amenities
  • Furniture in public areas rearranged to adhere to social distancing rules

For more information, visit their website >>.

Marriott

The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council is developing new hospitality standards to minimize risk and enhance safety for staff and guests. In the coming months, Marriott is introducing new sanitation technologies and protocols including:

  • Electrostatic sprayers using disinfectants recommended by the CDC and WHO
  • Enhanced cleaning of guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas
  • Ultraviolet light to sanitize guest keys and employee devices
  • Hospital-grade disinfectants with more frequent cleaning
  • Disinfecting wipes in guest rooms
  • Signage reminding guests about social distancing
  • No furniture in communal areas
  • Contactless options for check-in/check-out, room access, requests and room service
  • Masks and gloves for employees

For more information, visit the Marriott website >>.

Melia Hotels International

Melia has worked with Bureau Veritas to ensure it complies with the most rigorous health and safety standards, and has developed the Stay Safe with Melia program which details protocols to optimize hygiene and disinfection. This program includes:

  • A cleaning and disinfection plan endorsed by Diversey
  • Recommendations on occupational health as hotel employees return to work
  • Innovation and technology to minimize physical contact between guests and staff, and guarantee the safety of facilities
  • Brand standards adopted to avoid the risk of infection in processes associated with food and beverages, the in-room experience, wellness, entertainment, etc.
  • A technical facilities and maintenance guide post-COVID-19

For more information, visit their website >>.

Radisson

Radisson has introduced essential preparatory and prevention measures in all hotels. These protocols will be adjusted based on local requirements and recommendations from health authorities, including:

  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing frequency
  • Guidelines on handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 or quarantine lockdowns
  • Potential disruption to food service, pools, fitness centers and other amenities
  • Hand sanitizing stations at all entrances
  • Personal protective equipment and screens
  • Social distancing in all areas
  • Staff training and reiteration of food safety standards

For more information, visit their website >>.

Wyndham

Wyndham has established guidelines for all hotels in its global network with information from the CDC and WHO, detailing how to identify COVID-19 symptoms and how to mitigate its transmission. The company has also improved its long-term Count on Us health and safety initiative to achieve the highest standards of cleanliness, disinfection and hygiene. These improvements include:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of guest rooms and public spaces using Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants
  • Easy access to face masks for staff, and hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes for guests
  • Adherence to the AHLA’s Safe Stay guidelines on hotel cleaning, social interactions and workplace protocols
  • Visible commitment to ensure guests and hotel staff can physically see cleanliness and sanitation efforts, and trust their impact

For more information, visit their website >>.