After a 15-week break, pubs, restaurants and hotels across England threw open the doors again on Saturday 4th July, with Scotland expected to follow on 15th July.
While much has been said about the plans outlined by the former two, we look into how hotels have prepared to keep travellers safe. Although some hotels remained open for essential travellers and key workers, there has been much for the industry to consider as they enter a new world of service.
As expected, cleaning regimes and staff training have been increased, but we want to know about the finer details. Dakota Hotels*, known for exemplary service, attention to detail and commitment to going above and beyond for visitors has also introduced a number of innovative solutions to make their guests’ lives easier and safer.
We’ve spoken to Andrew Ovenstone, operations director at Dakota Hotels, about everything from the introduction of UV sanitisation to going digital in the restaurants and what their guests can anticipate.
HOW IS EVERYONE STAYING SAFE?
Primarily, our key consideration around reopening our hotels has, of course, been the health and safety of our colleagues and guests.
Our teams have adopted even more thorough and frequent cleaning routines and have introduced the use of UV wands to sanitise our more luxurious surfaces, such as leather and upholstery. Doing so gives our guests the peace of mind that the details they’ve come to know and love at Dakota are being maintained with safety in mind.
Alongside UV light boxes at reception providing added sanitisation for guest items, we’re also offering PPE on arrival including face coverings and gloves, as well as ensuring there are hand sanitisers clearly available in public spaces.
We’ve also worked with external health and safety consultants and provided our colleagues with Institute of Hospitality certified training. This means we’re in the best possible place for guests to continue experiencing the Dakota lifestyle and service levels they’ve come to expect, while keeping the health and safety of our colleagues and guests at the forefront.
WHAT OTHER MEASURES HAVE YOU PUT IN PLACE?
For additional safety, we’ve integrated more digital processes to minimise touch points whilst still being able to engage with our guests.
Guests can now check in prior to arriving at the hotel via an electronic registration card. The card, which will be sent prior to their arrival, includes provisions for the track and trace scheme, allows guests to confirm that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms and lets them securely prepay prior to arrival.
While our colleagues will always love seeing and speaking to our guests, these processes ensure a seamless transition upon arrival with limited contact for guests who want the added safety of doing so.
Meanwhile, in our bars and restaurants, we’ve introduced QR codes on the tables allowing guests to view menus on their phones or we’ll have single use menus available for those who require them.
Providing our guests with the impeccable service they’ve come to associate with the Dakota experience is critical as we reopen, whilst ensuring that we protect the health and safety of all involved.
We want to give our guests full peace of mind when making a reservation – and thank them for their loyalty.
All of our packages and specials are fully flexible until 31st August 2020, including those at pre-purchase rates, ensuring our guests feel comfortable when making a booking, whether it’s for a mini getaway this week or a special occasion in the near future. More information about our updated booking terms and conditions can be found here.
We also want to give something back to our guests, and while we have a reopening package on offer, we’re also excited to launch Dakota Loyalty soon; our brand-new app designed to reward our guests and enhance their Dakota lifestyle.
By becoming a Dakota Insider, guests can earn a minimum of 5 points for every £1 spent at Dakota Hotels. For every 100 points collected, guests receive £1 to use as they wish on bedrooms, food or drink – and as guests are upgraded through the membership tier, the more points they earn.
Find out more about the app, which also allows guests to manage their reservations, and soon-to-be revealed exclusive specials here.
It’s been a troubling time for us all, and while the lockdown was of course necessary, we are encouraged to see hospitality and travel opening back up so we can get back to what we do best; taking care of people. As the business world begins to return to normality, we look forward to supporting our partners with all of their travel and accommodation needs.
*Dakota Hotels is a sister brand of Ventur