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What is it like to stay at a Hilton Hotel after lockdown?

What is it like to stay at a Hilton Hotel after lockdown?

Old Jun 11, 20, 6:08 pm
  #1  
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Hilton's COVID cleaning standards - a real world experience

We're in the midst of a week-long road trip around Southern Utah's parks. Along the way, we've stayed at a variety of Hilton properties. I thought I would share my experiences with folks who may be wondering what the current state of the world is.

For reference, Hilton's COVID cleaning standards can be found here: https://newsroom.hilton.com/corporat...of-cleanliness

First stop: Hilton Garden Inn Twin Falls, ID

This hotel was a pit stop along our drive from Seattle to Southern Utah. The pool and fitness center were closed at the time we visited (on Friday, June 5). There was no Lysol seal on the door (not that I care; I think this feature is kind of silly, but they advertise it as part of their program so I'm pointing it out). Our room seemed to be thoroughly cleaned - the bathroom, light switches, door handles, and even the refrigerator door grip were spotless.

Front desk and restaurant staff all wore masks, and there was a plexiglass barrier at the front desk. We had the free diamond breakfast - they gave us a paper slip to fill out with our choices, which were filled by the kitchen with disposable flatware and plates. I don't know why the server couldn't just do this - handing guests pens to fill out a slip of paper seemed unnecessary. The pens were handled anyway by the server when she took them from us. No breakfast coupon was necessary, they just checked my status and deducted it from the bill.

Housekeeping was advertised as not being provided, although with a 1 night stay, we didn't care. There were no wipes available at entrances, just some hand sanitizer stations. Paper and pens were removed from the room, as advertised. The elevator instructed that there was a limit of one party per elevator ride. Overall, this hotel arguably adhered to the standards the closest.

Second Stop: Hampton Inn & Suites, Springdale, UT

We spent three nights at the Hampton in Springdale, just outside Zion National Park. Our room did not have the Lysol seal (again, I don't really care). The pool and fitness center were open, although most guests seemed to be avoiding it. Breakfast consisted of a to-go bag with a pastry, granola bar, yogurt, and fruit. The front desk did have plexiglass separating staff from guests. Staff all wore masks. There were not any wipes available, just hand sanitizer near the pool and the entrance to the hotel.

The cleaning job on this room wasn't as good as the room in Idaho, but still not too bad. The refrigerator was the problem area - the hand grip to open the door clearly wasn't cleaned and the inside had some residue of old food/bev from another guest. Other high touch items were fine.

I was a little surprised that no one was cleaning the patio furniture outside the pool as guests were coming and going. I guess the virus gets pulverized by UV exposure but they didn't do any proactive cleaning here, and they didn't make any cleaning supplies available to guests to do things like wipe down chairs, etc. No pens/paper in the rooms, and no housekeeping provided. Dirty towels and linens lingered in bags outside of rooms in the hallway during the day... this didn't make me feel so great. There was a sign that limited the number of parties in the elevator at one time. Overall, I thought they did an OK job, but they were not as good as the HGI in Twin Falls.

Third Stop: Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection

This is a fairly new hotel, and we're in the midst of a stay here right now. No Lysol seal on the door. Staff all wears masks and gloves. The front desk did not have plexiglass. The pool and fitness center are both open -- and the pool in particular is occupied at concerning capacity levels. Lots of kids and groups poolside, and staff doesn't seem to be enforcing the notices on the door out to the pool about distancing. Staff hasn't been cleaning the chairs poolside. There was no notice at the elevators limiting the number of parties per trip, though most people seem to be doing this on their own.

The cleaning job on the room was... poor. There was considerable dust on the light switches and door handles, which tells me that no one bothered to wipe them down. The fridge's hand grip again had crud on it that I had to clean off. It's entirely possible that our room has been vacant for some time, but I have no idea if that's the case or not.

Breakfast is in the restaurant, which is open. You have to stop by the front desk to pick up coupons, which seems to eliminate the benefit of online checkin. There was no paper or pen in the rooms, and no housekeeping services are provided during your stay. Overall, this room rated last in terms of cleanliness, which is interesting because it was the most expensive of the three.

General Observations:
We disinfect the room ourselves as an extra layer of insurance. We take wipes to the door handles and light switches, we disinfect the headboard, fridge, etc. We travel with our own pillows, since it seems rather risky to be laying your head on a surface that someone else has been breathing into for 6-8 hours a night.

The standards advertise frequent cleaning of public areas... we never saw anyone cleaning anything in any of the public areas, aside from bussing tables at the HGI in Twin Falls. In fact, the bagged linens in Springdale made it seem dirtier/more cluttered than usual. Properties didn't seem to get the memo on this. They also didn't get the memo on wipes - we didn't see them at any of the properties.

Guests are almost universally not wearing masks or observing distance recommendations. This region has a low rate of infection, but is experiencing a surge of visitors from areas that have seen higher infection rates.

My takeaway from our experience - I don't think most hotels are doing anything different, aside from having staff wear masks, having the housekeeper wipe down some high touch surfaces, and the elimination of daily housekeeping. Nothing else really seems that much different. If I were to make recommendations, I would say - sanitize the pillows by running them through the dryer on high, wipe down the headboards, and get rid of the breakfast coupons and automate the gold/diamond breakfast.
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Old Jun 11, 20, 9:14 pm
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The press release is dated 4/27.

I’ve had 6 stays since then (Hamptons, Homewoods, and Hiltons) and haven’t seen a single Lysol sticker/seal on a door.

Edit: Just reread the page... none of those practices are mandatory. They’re all “under consideration”.
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Old Jun 12, 20, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by sullim4 View Post
My takeaway from our experience - I don't think most hotels are doing anything different, aside from having staff wear masks, having the housekeeper wipe down some high touch surfaces, and the elimination of daily housekeeping.
Hilton has over 6,000 properties. Evaluating the entire company ("the current state of the world") based on 3 instances in an area with a low rate of infection isn't particularly helpful or proper.

That said, there's certainly value in these types of posts. I just don't think they should be to evaluate the entire company's COVID response any more than how three individual hotels handle upgrades should represent what happens at all Hilton-branded properties worldwide.
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Old Jun 12, 20, 9:20 am
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The program is to roll out globally on June 15 accross the brands according to the email sent today.
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Old Jun 12, 20, 9:54 am
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Thanks for the update!

I'll be visiting the HooDoo Moab next month. The price of that v Homewood or Hampton was minimal so I figured I'd splurge. I will bring a can of Lysol and wipes with me to sanitize key parts of the room myself.
I'll also be doing a roadtrip; it sounds like there will be quite a few people doing that this summer.
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Old Jun 12, 20, 12:19 pm
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You gotta love TRU during the 'rona... Everything is an easy-to-clean hard surface, like an Ikea-Dorm room.

I just got back from a quick trip to Yellowstone National Park yesterday, which was nice because the crowds haven't hit yet -- everything was easy and traffic-free! (Saw a few grey wolves, pronghorn, geysers, roads blocked by bison, etc. Whee!)

Anyway, I stayed at the TRU Idaho Falls, ID on the way there (there's no Hilton properties closer other than a Hampton a half-hour up the road in Rexburg).

Staff wore masks. Gym was appointment only, as was the swimming pool. I assume after each use, it's sprayed down or something. The lobby was open to sit down and eat in, as we saw people doing, but the pool table game area was closed.

Room looked immaculate, but that's also made easier with softsoap/shampoo/conditioner mounted to the wall in the shower, no carpets, etc. Didn't see any note on how the TV remote or whatnot was sanitized, but there's so little in the room, a quick lysol wipe would cover anything you'd touch.
(Side note: I like the smells and quality of their oddly named soap brand!)

TRU breakfast was reduced to a to-go bag chock full of mystery treats and single-use plastics: A little tub of Yoplait, a Dole fruit cup, bagel (untoasted, no way to heat), bottled water, some other stuff. I was bummed that the waffle boats and other hot breakfast items weren't available at all. However, they had hot water, coffee, decaf, flavored Torani sweeteners, all accessible and with a line of guests handling all the pumps and handles. How it's okay handles on the coffee thermoses, but not a toaster for your bagel, or a real hot breakfast... not sure if that's financial or "COVID".
Next door, there's a HGI that was serving full sit down breakfast. I suppose they're concerned about customers handling the food/serving utensils on the "35 item waffle topping bar" -- 35 LADLES: 35 CHANCES FOR DEATH!!!

Anyway, I'm just happy to be gettin' my Hilton on again, but when breakfast is available, I'll make choices based on things other than price. Right now, the difference between properties is minimized with no Diamond benefits as relates to breakfast.
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Old Jun 12, 20, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by hiltonguy123 View Post
The program is to roll out globally on June 15 accross the brands according to the email sent today.
I will be doing a Hilton check-in on that day, first time in almost six months. I am hoping the property will be following these standards!

David
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Old Jun 12, 20, 4:13 pm
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Thanks for the info, a very mixed bag for sure!
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Old Jun 19, 20, 3:03 am
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Thanks for the report. I'm planning a small driving trip. In addition to disinfecting all areas I use, I intent to bring my own bed sheet, blanket, pillow, facial tissue and towels. Given the disappointing standard you experienced and the widespread disobedience to public health orders, and for my peace of mind, I'm going to assume the worst case that the previous guest was infected and that nothing was cleaned.

If anyone has other suggestions for minimizing risk of infection while staying at a hotel, I'd like to hear it.
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Old Jun 19, 20, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by italdesign View Post
Thanks for the report. I'm planning a small driving trip. In addition to disinfecting all areas I use, I intent to bring my own bed sheet, blanket, pillow, facial tissue and towels. Given the disappointing standard you experienced and the widespread disobedience to public health orders, and for my peace of mind, I'm going to assume the worst case that the previous guest was infected and that nothing was cleaned.

If anyone has other suggestions for minimizing risk of infection while staying at a hotel, I'd like to hear it.
Hi,

I might also consider not touching potentially heavy public use items with your bare hands ( ie elevator buttons- use the edge of the phone or your finger wrapped in a jumper or tissue and similar with doors with handles in public areas) . I would personally still consider the risk to be low though.Perhaps bring your own coffee/tea ( inc cups ) to avoid the inroom coffee maker)

I wish i was able to travel ( we stil have a quarantine period here in the UK and the hospitality sector is virtually closed ( some hotels are open for essential workers) but hopefully there will be some travel without quarantine in July onwards here in the UK)

Regards

TBS
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Old Jun 19, 20, 7:46 am
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Folks...read the research and take a deep breath. Scientific opinion is quickly reaching near-consensus that, while feasible, surface transmission is a very minimal to nearly nonexistent infection vector. This is proving to be a disease of sustained exposure, enclosed spaces, and high viral loads, as was originally hypothesized. People are not getting it by passing each other on the street or touching a light switch that housekeeping touched 3 hours before. Of course it is imperative to have situational awareness, take reasonable precautions, and avoid needless risk, but some of these concerns are simply not borne out by the data. I am not stepping into any form of mass transit any time soon, and I'll be taking the stairs over the elevator, but hotel stays (in the context of my own room) are not strongly concerning to me.
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Old Jun 19, 20, 9:19 am
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According to the press release CleanStay hasn't even been launched yet and the policies are all "under consideration" meaning nothing is in the brand standards.
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Old Jun 19, 20, 9:58 am
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spotted at Hilton Rotterdam
- hand sanitizers
- plexiplastic shield at reception
- guests wearing mouthcaps
- cleanstay seals on door


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Old Jun 19, 20, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
spotted at Hilton Rotterdam
- hand sanitizers
- plexiplastic shield at reception
- guests wearing mouthcaps
- cleanstay seals on door


hugolover: What are the wood surfaces behind the sign? Sliding closet doors?

David
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Old Jun 19, 20, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Folks...read the research and take a deep breath. Scientific opinion is quickly reaching near-consensus that, while feasible, surface transmission is a very minimal to nearly nonexistent infection vector. This is proving to be a disease of sustained exposure, enclosed spaces, and high viral loads, as was originally hypothesized. People are not getting it by passing each other on the street or touching a light switch that housekeeping touched 3 hours before. Of course it is imperative to have situational awareness, take reasonable precautions, and avoid needless risk, but some of these concerns are simply not borne out by the data. I am not stepping into any form of mass transit any time soon, and I'll be taking the stairs over the elevator, but hotel stays (in the context of my own room) are not strongly concerning to me.
It's an interesting topic. I've also heard this claim, but the top articles returned by a google search fail to cite scientific studies (i.e. peer-reviewed articles). I'm not saying such studies don't exist, just that I haven't found them (pls share if you have). On the other hand, I also see something like this:

"An outbreak associated with a shopping mall in Wenzhou, China, may have been fueled by fomite transmission. In January, seven workers who shared an office in a shopping mall became ill when one of their co-workers returned from Wuhan. The mall was closed, and public health officials tracked two dozen more sick people, including several women who had shopped at the mall, as well as their friends. None of them had come into contact with the original sick office workers. The researchers speculated that a women’s restroom or the mall elevators had been the source of transmission."
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