The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year truly led to a paradigm shift in the hospitality sector. With countries buckling down on ‘flattening the curve,’ travel restrictions have affected a majority of hotel and accommodation operators, with some resorting to indefinite closures as a result. On the other hand, the industry also played a pivotal role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Singaporean hoteliers, in particular, have lent a hand to the government by transforming their accommodations into make-shift quarantine centers for overseas returnees, giving them a luxury quarantine experience that would typically cost them hundreds or even thousands of dollars a night.
But as we cautiously tread the second half of 2020, we now see governments like that of Thailand that are easing strict quarantine measures toward the new normal, along with it the hospitality sector shifting its gears to better transition to a post-quarantine period. With enforced pandemic protocols, this now poses the question, “How would luxury accommodations fit well in a time of quarantine and social distancing?”
Deluxe Resort Accommodations with a Twist
People’s travel aspirations have practically vanished in an instant the moment news broke of a pandemic making waves around the globe. Strict travel and quarantine measures have forced people to abandon their booked destinations in exchange for their health and safety as they patiently wait for everything to subside.
Hoteliers have exerted their efforts in pushing for more pronounced hygiene and social distancing protocols to usher in the new normal. It will serve as the underlying framework for the industry in the coming months, or even years, to come. Take, for example, Malaysian-based Anantara that formulated their hygiene measures aligned to World Health Organization standards. The use of electrostatic spray technology for better surface area coverage is one of their proposed solutions. The hotel also introduced an improved Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition (HVAC) system technology to ensure guests of better air circulation and filtration within hotel premises.
Social distancing measures are also in full effect. Dining options, such as buffet service, are no longer possible. Hotel staff would bring food and beverage to the room by order basis while still adhering to best hotel practices. There would also be limited facilities available that include gym and pool use.
Health and wellness will also be the primary focus of the hospitality sector moving forward. Hotel guests are treated to mandatory thermal scanning and disinfection upon entry in the hotel premises. Phuket-based luxury resort Amanpuri adds a premium to its so-called ‘Integrated Medical Immune Support Immersion.’ This highlights the resort’s state-of-the-art spa and wellness facilities centered on boosting their guests’ immune system. More health-related products and services from hotels will be featured as more people prioritize their health and well-being during the pandemic.
Luxury Private Villa Protocols on Sanitation & Proper Hygiene
Private villas are no stranger to these changing times. Luxury villa rental company The Luxury Signature has implemented updated hygiene and sanitation protocols to better ensure the safety of their guests.
‘Guest Hygiene Kits’ are provided for every guest upon check-in containing personal essentials for everyone. Room sanitation seals ensure that all rooms have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before check-in, with an added focus on frequent disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as door handles, counters and tabletops, and entertainment equipment, like remote controls and TV screens.
Guests can be assured that the in-villa staff is well-trained in enacting pandemic protocols. Its highly-skilled personnel are also given a clean bill of health certified by up-to-date medical check-ups and work clearance, and are equipped with vital information on COVID-19 and basic first-aid treatment.
Most of these private luxury villas also feature innovative and modern sanitizing technology. SteriPlant, a Swiss-developed disinfectant, provides full-on germ and viral protection yet is 100% natural and non-toxic. InnuScience biotechnology from the United States, on the other hand, provides sustainable cleaning products that are incorporated in regular disinfection within villa premises.
The Future of Luxury Accommodations
While the whole world awaits a cure for the deadly novel coronavirus, the hospitality sector can only do as much to guarantee the health and safety of its guests. Strict enforcement of protocols and the continued assurance from hoteliers underlining the safety of their facilities could be the main driving point for people to patronize hotels and luxury destinations once again.
The pandemic can arguably be a springboard for innovation as hotels race to win the trust of guests during this time. The sector can introduce unique practices and incorporate modern technologies as they move forward to a post-pandemic time.
Featured image: Anantara