These top resort chains have added safety and health protocols to welcome guest back to an enjoyable vacation.
The well-loved vacation destinations of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean have begun welcoming international travellers once again. Daydreaming about an all-inclusive vacation but are feeling uneasy about what to expect at your favourite vacation spot?
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic does cause hopeful vacationers a great deal of concern. Even if the best destinations are open once again, and the top all-inclusive resort chains are ready to welcome guests back in, what are the resorts doing to ensure safety?
Many all-inclusive resort are aware of the concerns that vacationers have. Not only have they joined hands with health experts to design protocols to follow for the health and safety of their guests, they have taken efforts to make sure that their guests have all the fun and action that they came for as well.
If you've been dreaming about a fun and relaxing time at an all-inclusive resort in the sunny Caribbean, in Mexico, or anywhere else, and it's only your concern about staying safe from the coronavirus that has kept you from going for it, here's a quick rundown from five popular resort brands to help you see how safe you can be even while you have a great time.
Riu, the all-inclusive resort chain that ranks near the top in the Caribbean, has partnered with international health and safety consultancy firm Preverisk to design a comprehensive manual of 17 safety protocols that address the COVID-19 situation. The chain is even sharing knowledge gained from preparing these protocols, with the entire industry.
- Riu resorts fill up to no more than 60% of their capacity.
- Guests checking in can expect to have temperature taken when they arrive, and to see reception desks screened off with plastic barriers.
- Many locations implement contactless web check-ins to help minimize the handling of documents. All resort employees have personal protective equipment on at all times, and all workstations and equipment are disinfected at the end of each day.
- Check-outs are at 11 in the morning each day and check-ins happen five hours later, to allow staff enough time to thoroughly disinfect rooms that guests vacate.
- Information screens in the lobbies are no longer interactive -- to minimize touch-points, screens simply play information in a loop.
- Coffee machines, magazines, and other nonessential items are removed from rooms to minimize cross-contamination. Cleaning staff members use different cleaning equipment for different parts of each room, and items like telephones and remote controls, door handles, and curtain controls, that are frequently handled, are cleaned with virucidal. Linens are sanitized at very high temperatures
- A number of safety protocols also govern how suppliers, distributors, transporters, and other behind-the-scenes operators work.
With these safety measures in place, guests are able to enjoy the private beaches, beach activities, bars, restaurants, alley parties, and much more, with peace of mind.
Playa Hotels and Resorts
Most of Playa's nearly two-dozen resorts across the Caribbean and Mexico began reopening in early July. A couple, are planning to open up in the fall. Playa developed its Playa Safe Stay initiative in May, in line with demands for the safest possible guest experience. It is a safety protocol that focuses on precautionary antiviral measures throughout all its properties.
- The Playa Safe Stay plan goes with an approach that is built both to help soothe guest anxieties about pandemic safety, and to deploy the expertise of the brand's partnerships with Hyatt and Hilton.
- The Hilton CleanStay program, for example, is developed in partnership with the world-famous Mayo Clinic, and RB, the makers of Dettol and Lysol. It prescribes high levels of guest room sanitation, reduced-contact check-ins, changes to food and beverage preparation and service procedures, and in-depth and ongoing training for every member of every service team.
- Playa's other professional partnership is with Hyatt, the global hospitality brand, that addresses guest concerns with its Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment plan with accreditation by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
- GBAC accreditation requires participating properties to closely examine the guest experience from multiple points, including those of food and beverage safety, social distancing requirements, and guest room safety.
- Team members are protected with personal protective equipment, and all high-touch points, including keys and pens, are frequently disinfected or changed.
- Guest luggage and all transportation is sanitized when needed, and guest check-ins and checkouts are processed with minimal contact. In addition, entertainment and dining venues have redesigned seating for guest safety.
With the Playa Safe Stay system in place at Playa's all-inclusive resorts, guests get to enjoy every part of the resort experience to the fullest. The restaurant buffets still serve guests, if from behind special protective barriers, menus in multiple restaurants are offered in digital form, and water slides and lazy rivers come with social distancing requirements for added safety. With all the safety protocols in place, you still get to snorkel, to have fun at the water casino, to go dancing, and to enjoy drinks in the pool, with swim-up servers attending to you at all times.
AMResorts is the hospitality group well known for its Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Dreams resorts, and many more. While its Secrets resort for adults in Jamaica will open early in 2021, the group has been busy reopening most of its other locations through July.
To help make sure that guests stay safe and have peace of mind, AMResorts has designed a set of protocols that it calls the CleanComplete Verification system. And has partnered with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) for the certification of its safety procedures.
The hospitality company has signed up with Cristal International Standards for the audit of its quality and safety procedures. Cristal's POSICheck is an advanced third-party verification system applied for guest safety, for example. On top of all this, all food and beverages served at AMResorts locations comply with FoodCheck quality certification for safety.
Rooms get the Cristal RoomCheck Verification treatment: all extra pillows, blankets, remote controls, and in-room tablets are sanitized and sealed in tamperproof packaging, all fitness equipment is regularly cleaned, amenities are served in sealed packaging, and there is regular disinfection of common areas performed. The safety of child guests is ensured with regular temperature checks, and with regularly sanitized children's areas.
Behind the scenes, there are new staff dedicated to making sure that health and sanitation measures are followed. There is intensive training of hygiene staff, regular tests done on all water systems, and all laundry is temperature-controlled. Finally, check-ins and checkouts are streamlined for fast processing, and for minimal contact.
With multiple safety protocols in place, guests get access to top-shelf facilities across the board - great dining opportunities at multiple restaurants, free beverages, guest services, access to beautiful spas, health centres, private beaches and much more.
Bahia Principe Resorts
Bahia Principe Resorts has spent over a quarter-century designing perfect, all-inclusive vacation environments for guests in 27 locations in Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The resort chain has worked with HS Consulting to ensure a safe guest experience. All Bahia Principe resorts operate at reduced capacity and guarantee a minimum of 2 metres between people in all customer areas. Cleaning measures are reinforced and make use of thermal disinfection systems.
All of Bahia Principe's cleaning plans are created by suppliers such as Ecolab and Diversey -- all staff and guests are required to wear masks in public places, there are plenty of sanitization stations placed throughout properties, food is served by staff from behind glass barriers, minibars in rooms are only filled upon request to make sure rooms aren't accessed by service staff any more than necessary and fitness centres are made available by reservation so that they can be sanitized between uses.
With every safety measure in place, you get to feel safe as you have a wonderful time at a Bahia Principe resort. Enjoy friendly, attentive staff, imaginative buffet and à la carte dining, pools, beaches, dancing venues, bands, and water activities.
Iberostar Group operates all-inclusive beachfront resorts in North America and the Caribbean, among other regions. Iberostar is among the premier destinations for single travellers and families looking for all-inclusive vacation experiences.
Iberostar has focused on developing a comprehensive and scientifically thorough hygiene, security, and health plan for each of its destinations. All in line with WHO standards. With a Medical Advisory Board made up of doctors, public health specialists and biologists guiding their initiatives, Iberostar has put in place new procedures for every stage of every guest's stay.
From the use of face masks to hand washing protocols, room sanitization, and food safety, staying safe during the pandemic at Iberostar is all about preventive caution, but also about the environment, in line with the group's circularity policies. Hygiene practices at Iberostar resorts are developed in consultation with virology experts. In addition, Iberostar equips each of its locations with an ambulance, with medical services, and isolation rooms. Iberostar's safety protocols are certified by third-party organizations such as Earth Check, and Crystal International Standards, and its protocols are verified by SGS, the world leader in health inspections.
With Iberostar's industry-standard safety practices in place, visitors get to enjoy each resort's private beaches, pools, manicured and tended grounds, bars, restaurants, and activities, with complete peace of mind.