When the coronavirus pandemic began, the entire world had to restructure daily life. People stopped going to work and school while businesses struggled to stay open. Hotels especially struggled because travel virtually stopped, but guests have started to book rooms again as countries ease into a new normal.
Hotels are a crucial part of travel for vacationers, business trips and every other reason people leave home. Extended stay hotels have become more important than ever as everyone learns to live differently.
Read on to discover what hospitality looks like in a post-COVID world. Hoteliers can note what guests want and what will be most relevant to both businesses and clients in the future. This information can guide management teams as they develop long and short-term plans to enhance their properties.
Extended stays are more critical
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises travelers entering the country and even from within the U.S. to quarantine themselves for 14 days when they arrive at their destination. COVID-19 symptoms will appear during that time frame, which is why extended stays are more critical than ever. People need a place built to house them for longer than a weekend, where they can cook and relax in something more substantial than a single room.
People need increased sanitation
Guests want to know they’ll book a room with a hotel that cares about their sanitary needs. Extended stay hotels can increase their sanitation routines by installing hand sanitizer stations and increase how often their cleaning service wipes down every suite and public area.
Extended stay properties can also take the extra step to provide a mask for each guest upon arrival. They’ll appreciate it more than less-than-sanitary chocolates on their pillow. Stocking in-suite kitchens with single-use supplies like cups and plates is another way to minimize the spread of the virus. It may also appeal more to potential guests who are already curious about using kitchens with minimalist designs and clean edges.
Hoteliers can invest in technology
It has also become critical for hotels of all sizes to invest in technology. Brand-specific apps help guests check-in upon arrival without waiting in line at the front desk. They can also include features like unlocking suite doors with the swipe of a phone or tap of a screen. Minimizing the use of physical suite keys is one less surface for guests to touch and possibly spread COVID-19.
Guests can also use a hotel’s app to control the thermostat without touching anything in the room. They might use a feature to order room service or place a carry-out order with the breakfast staff ahead of time. Technology increases a guest’s independence and keeps them safe from disease.
Take every precaution
Extended stay hoteliers should take every precaution to keep their guests and staff safe even after COVID-19 infection rates decrease over time. There could always be a spike or a hotspot that re-introduces the virus to your city, but these tips can prepare your property.
Expand your hotel’s use of technology, give guests single-use resources for their kitchens and prepare for increased bookings based on the need to quarantine after traveling. The extra effort will impress guests and make your property more appealing than those not trying to sanitize and meet the needs of the moment.