NORWALK, CT—HEI Hotels & Resorts, a leading hospitality investment and management company, has completed a comprehensive initiative to protect the health and safety of hotel guests and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A combination of new standard operating procedures, alterations to hotel spaces, and the purchase of disinfecting technology and personal protective equipment has been undertaken to support proper social distancing and hygienic practices at HEI’s portfolio of more than 80 independent and branded hotels.
“There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our hotel guests and associates,” said HEI Hotels & Resorts CEO + Managing Partner, Anthony Rutledge. “We are taking every precaution based on the best research, using the latest technology, and rewriting operating procedures to meet the highest standards for hygiene and work place safety while maintaining the same consistent level of excellent guest service that we pride ourselves on.”
These new changes are already noticeable upon arrival at HEI managed hotels. Employees will have their temperatures checked daily before their shifts begin, and the company has secured enough personal protection equipment (PPE), including masks and gloves, to last its hotels through the end of the year.
Proper training and oversight are key to successfully implementing the new protocols. HEI has an expansive training team that has developed enhanced safety instruction for all associates. All hotel managers have also been instructed on how to conduct disciplined checks of safety protocols, including ensuring that PPE is in place and being used correctly at all times, and that proper hygiene measures are consistently followed.
Cleaning procedures have been significantly enhanced across the board. Newly purchased electrostatic sprayers, which spray a mist of hospital quality disinfectant, will now be used routinely in public and private spaces. Additionally, housekeeping staff will be placing “door seals” on sanitized guestrooms so that patrons can feel assured they are the first to enter a hygienic environment.
As individual states continue to adjust restrictions on restaurant dining and special events, HEI continues to modify operations to meet all new guidelines. To help maintain proper social distancing, alterations to hotel spaces and food and beverage offerings have been completed. Partitions separating guests from staff have been installed in high touch areas, such as the front desk and bars, and well-placed signage throughout the hotel reminds both staff and guests to maintain a safe distance. Dining and catering options have also been restructured by implementing new procedures for touchless or low-touch restaurant dining and banquet options.
As more is learned about COVID-19 and states continue to make decisions that impact how hotels and other businesses can operate, HEI Hotels & Resorts will continue to update these protocols and make decisions that ensure the health and safety of hotel guests and associates comes first.