We recently sat down with Micki Heineken from the Hampton Inn Alexandria Old Town Area South to discuss how her hotel and the industry in general are adapting cleaning and safety practices during the pandemic.
Here's a summary:
Micki is the Director of Sales. They have 213 total guest rooms with lots of bus parking, lots of meeting space, open public space. They're located about 10 miles south of the National Mall of I-95
What's differences will guests notice now compared to before the pandemic started?
- When you walk in you'll see signage reminding guests of social distancing and facemarks. There are signs for elevator etiquette as well. We have sani-wipes at the front desk and hand sanitizer at various public spaces. Some of our breakfast area accommodations are spaced further than before. Hilton has a program called Clean Stay where housekeeping clean high-touch points first with disinfectants. Then they clean the room and come back to the high-touch points and clean them with lysol and seal them with a sticker so you know they've been cleaned. Then they seal the room. So you'll see stickers on the door so you know no one else has been in the room. Sani-wipes will be in the guest room. We sanitize the remote and wrap a cloth around that and seal it so you know it hasn't been touched.
A reminder that these practices are fluid and may evolve by the time you travel. What she's describing are current practices.
Are there any restrictions on hotel capacity?
-Not on guest rooms but yes in breakfast areas and public spaces. But our breakfast area is really big.
Yes, you do have a large breakfast area and lots of meeting space which is very nice for our groups who visit you.
Hilton is requiring masks in the hotel right?
-Yes, and the state of Virginia requires that in public spaces as well.
Are there any specific accommodations for student groups?
-Not specifically but our layout has always been good for student groups. We're a seven-story hotel with straight hallways. We have stairwells at both ends and in the middle and we encourage folks to use them, especially on the lower floors, to discourage the shared space of the elevator.
How has the breakfast been affected?
-This may change but currently we're doing a grab and go-breakfast bar - breakfast sandwiches, individual portions of cereals, pastries, yogurt, coffee, juice, milk, etc. Moving forward Hampton's breakfast may change some but we'll stay in line with the brand's guidelines