Marriott International announced it would pay employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of…
Although leisure travel is currently a pretty lousy idea in most of the world, there are still times when people really need to travel. (Covid isn’t the only emergency in the world right now.) And with hotels struggling to stay afloat, it makes sense that some of them are turning to a new way to delivery hospitality—to take care of their guests.
For those essential travelers who are abroad, for those who are returning to their own countries and have families at home, or for those who just want to treat themselves to a few indulgences during an otherwise un-fun couple of weeks (and maybe for many more, if the UK mandates the hotel quarantine that it’s considering), some courageous and considerate hotels are opening their doors and becoming ports in the storm.
In London, Flemings Mayfair has been welcoming a steady stream business and essential travelers who need to isolate over the past few months. General manager Henrik Muehle explains that its ten spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments have fully outﬁted kitchens making them a comfortable home away from home.
Of course, the kitchen are just the start. For a Premier League football player who recently quarantined at the hotel, they provided fitness equipment in his apartment so he could keep up with his training over Zoom.
Any quarantining guest can opt to have groceries from Sainsbury’s or Fortum and Mason’s left outside the door, as well as Covid tests dropped off. For those who don’t feel like cooking, there are hotel pleasures like room service breakfasts of eggs Benedict dusted with truffle shavings.
If it comes back positive, they’re allowed to ride it out in isolation there, and there’s a doctor on call for virtual consultations in case anyone falls ill.
In California, the Proper Santa Monica has created an extended stay program that works for arriving essential business travelers who need to isolate before they get down to business. In addition to following all of Proper’s usual Covid safety protocols, the program allows them to order in-room dining and enjoy the comfort of a hotel suite at special reduced rates.
The same thinking was originally behind Anantara’s Alternative State Quarantine (in compliance with government restrictions) at its Thailand hotels. When the country opened up to tourism for long-stay travelers, the hotels tweaked their offerings to appeal to them.
The 15-night quarantine packages at Anantara Siam Bangkok and the resort-like Anantara Riverside Bangkok are coordinated in cooperation with Bangpakok 9 International Hospital in case any guest turns out to be infected.
They include spacious rooms or suites, often with private balconies, sanitised airport transfers, full-board in-room dining, health screenings and a few thoughtful amenities that turn what could have been an order into a reasonably pleasant experience.
“As some of the first hotels to offer ASQ last year, it was our way of assisting the health authorities to welcome back Thai nationals, residents and later visitors to the Kingdom,” says Marion Walsh-Hédouin, Anantara’s vice president of marketing and communications. #It was also a good opportunity to provide continued employment to Anantara’s many team members during a time when many hotels were (and some are still) no longer able to remain open due to the pause in tourism here in Thailand.”
She continues: ”We look forward to the time when we can once again welcome business and leisure guests to Thailand without the need for quarantine. We hope this will soon be feasible with the rollout of vaccines globally.”