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How have COVID safety measures impacted service at luxury hotels?

How have COVID safety measures impacted service at luxury hotels?

Old Jul 31, 20, 9:02 am
  #1  
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How have COVID safety measures impacted service at luxury hotels?

We've just returned from a driving trip, our first time out since quarantine began. I carefully chose small properties where rooms could be entered from the outside. We had no corridors and no elevators. We were in three hotels, two of which are considered luxury in this forum, and one of which would be high end but not quite luxury. In each case, I felt the property had imposed appropriate cleaning guidelines. Every employee was wearing face masks as were guests. The hard product was unchanged; what varied was how service was delivered - and that is the intangible that really makes a luxury property. From top to bottom, in terms of luxury:

San Ysidro Ranch
Service was impeccable. We were escorted to the room. Luggage was taken inside and we were shown the room. We weren't required to leave the room which staff was inside for evening turndown service.
Virtuoso breakfast was served in the balcony of the restaurant. I asked if we could have it in the room but it was not possible. I would have preferred to eat in our cottage to reduce exposure.

Ventana Big Sur
There were significant ways in which the service was changed.
  • We were walked toward the room and with a wave of a hand, shown which one it was. The staff member then left us.
  • Luggage was carried to the door and left outside.
  • All paper was removed from the room, from magazines to a hotel directory. We had a QR code on the welcome note that we could use to bring up all the menus for the various meals.
  • Mini bar was complimentary. We were invited to take any left over product with us and were told that anything we left would be discarded.
  • The throw that was shown in room pictures was removed. I asked for a throw but they could not find one.
  • No complimentary toiletries such as cotton swabs or toothbrushes were available in the room though could be requested.
  • Room service was brought into the room but then left to us to organize.
  • My husband stepped into the cart used to transport us around the property but had forgotten to bring his face mask up. I was very impressed that the driver waited to enter the cart til he put his mask in place.

Carmel Valley Ranch
  • Same restrictions as Ventana Big Sur and a few more besides.
  • No housekeeping was done while we were in room; in fact, I think it only offered every 3 days.
  • Food was left at door in cardboard containers and bags
  • Mini bar had been emptied
I know these are exceptionally challenging times for hotels. Did San Ysidro Ranch do enough? I don't know, but it was the place I loved and am most likely to return. Ventana is a beautiful property but lacked that special touch of service that true luxury requires. Perhaps this is all that can be done safely? I don't know.

What changes have you experienced at luxury properties?
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Old Jul 31, 20, 10:34 am
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Recently 4 Hotels (3 luxury, 1 upscale)
Villa Crespi - no real impact with exemption of staff wearing masks
Castello di Guarene - staff wears masks, you shall not use the elevators with others - service without impact
Melia Genova - no pool, no room service, no valet parking, no restaurant, no minibar, limited aminities, staff may enter your room only for cleaning, everyone must wear a mask, temperature scan when coming (back) to the hotel - service very rudimentary, but I doubt theit service is near luxury level anytime
Parkhotel Vitznau - staff wear a mask during room and hoteltour and you shall not use the elevator with guests from other suites. Otherwise absolutely no impact.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Villa Crespi - no real impact with exemption of staff wearing masks
Castello di Guarene - staff wears masks, you shall not use the elevators with others - service without impact
Any expansion on these two hotels, and travel between each, if you had the time would be most welcome . . . they are both on my radar for October.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Any expansion on these two hotels, and travel between each, if you had the time would be most welcome . . . they are both on my radar for October.
Started a trip report at the report forum and first part of Villa Crespi is ready. What Questions do you have about the travel between the 2 properties? I didnīt take the direct route but I guess itīs a 2 hours drive.

Last edited by offerendum; Aug 1, 20 at 7:03 am
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Old Aug 1, 20, 6:28 am
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Skirvin Hotel in OKC in June. Hotel had just reopened after being closed for a few months and we were there the first weekend. Hotel is usually valet only, but we had to park our own cars where the valet would park the cars. Robes had to be requested as did coffee makers. Restaurant was closed for dinner, but lounge was open. Since then, OKC and Hilton have mandated masks.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Started a trip report at the report forum and first part of Villa Crespi is ready. What Questions do you have about the travel between the 2 properties? I didnīt take the direct route but I guess itīs a 2 hours drive.
Many thanks - I'll be following this for sure. I only asked about the transfer between the two because I know you seek out all sort of cultural places to visit so I was curious what you did. I'm drawn to Guarene because of its incredible-looking garden.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Many thanks - I'll be following this for sure. I only asked about the transfer between the two because I know you seek out all sort of cultural places to visit so I was curious what you did. I'm drawn to Guarene because of its incredible-looking garden.
The day we changed we did first something at Lago Maggiore (opposite direction) and ate a geloto in Valenza (Soban, number 3 of last Dissapore list). There is no real highlight on the way I fear. With a little detour you could do Turin (did it from Guarene).
The (in fact 2) gardens are indeed very nice






Last edited by offerendum; Aug 1, 20 at 8:59 am
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Old Aug 2, 20, 1:58 am
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Four Seasons Seoul was pretty much the same excellent service as usual. Associates and staff all wearing masks. Crowded with the start Korean domestic vacation period and biggest problem was the pool had no social distancing measures or capacity limits.

They gave some free surgical masks, alcohol wipes and a bottle of sanitizer under their FS cares program.



Andaz Seoul. Many hand sanitizer stations around the hotel. An "antivirus" plastic on all elevator surfaces and staff all wearing masks. Mandatory temperature check at check-in and COVID waiver had to be signed (stating had not been outside of the country 14 days prior). Some things had to give to pay for all the COVID related things, like, a severely degraded complimentary minibar and lesser quality ingredients for room service dishes. They went from Pellegrino to a local Korean sparkling water brand.



I don't think this plastic does anything considering they probably don't change it all the time.

Last edited by Aventine; Aug 2, 20 at 2:42 pm
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Old Aug 2, 20, 4:15 am
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
They gave some free surgical masks, alcohol wipes and a bottle of sanitizer under their FS cares program.
The kit at Castello di Guarene:

They refilled the sanitizer
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Old Aug 2, 20, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
The kit at Castello di Guarene:

They refilled the sanitizer
I'm sure this is going to be standard at most hotels in this forum.
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