In preparation to welcome guests back to the beauty and warmth of the Caribbean, Sandals Resorts International yesterday introduced a comprehensive programme designed to guarantee cleanliness standards and heightened health and safety measures that address changing consumer expectations in the wake of the impact the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had on the travel industry.
The resort chain, in a news release, said the measures dubbed ‘Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness’ will guarantee guests can enjoy their vacation worry-free with utmost confidence, from arrival to departure at all Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
“At Sandals Resorts, cleanliness and safety have always been priority number one. Our loyal guests and incredible team members are part of the Sandals family, and we take care of our family. Their health and safety are our focus,” the release quotes Sandals founder and Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
“We want our guests to not have to worry about a thing so they can enjoy the luxury included vacation they’ve trusted in time and time again. We’re doing everything we can to offer peace of mind during a time that has been difficult for the entire world, and that is why we have continued to evolve our protocols to maintain an even safer, healthier stay,” added Stewart, who is also chairman of this newspaper.
The resort chain explained that Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness will include several pre-emptive cleanliness measures that safeguard guests’ journey from arrival to departure, including additional health and well-being requirements across all points of contact on the resorts.
New and enhanced protocols that will take effect across all 15 Sandals Resorts and three Beaches Resorts include:
• All-encompassing Eighteen Touchpoint Practice: Sandals Resorts has completed a thorough research assessment of all points of guest contact, resulting in the integration of advanced hygiene practices across 18 key touch points, starting from the moment guests arrive at airport lounges through the entirety of the resort experience.
These touchpoints include the airport lounge; guest transfers to and from resort; guest rooms, food and beverage experiences; housekeeping and laundry; elite services including butler service and Club Sandals Concierge; maintenance; resort activities such as water sports; elevators; swimming pools, jacuzzis and spas; team members access points; fitness centres and the Red Lane Spa; public bathrooms; suppliers and receiving; all public areas including lobbies and beaches; back of house facilities such as storerooms and offices; Kids Camps and waterparks at Beaches Resorts; and HVAC systems.
• Enhanced Triple-check System for Cleaning and Sanitation: All resorts are diligently cleaned and sanitised on an ongoing basis, with a triple-check system and a minimum of three inspections daily. These inspections include all hard surfaces — from door handles and interiors of vehicles used for airport transfers; public restrooms, which are inspected, cleaned, and sanitised in 20-minute intervals; kitchens, bars and restaurants, including menus, tables, cutlery, glassware, chairs, and more; and swimming pools and hot tubs.
Additional hand sanitising stations will be provided for guests and team members throughout the resorts, at all dining locations and within each individual guest room. Any items that guests will come in contact with — from room cards to welcome cocktails glassware — are sanitised before distribution.
• New Certified Sandals Sanitised Guest Rooms: Sandals will introduce even more robust housekeeping measures as part of the protocol to include the introduction of additional hospital-grade disinfectants; electrical aerosol sprayers for advanced cleaning; the use of UV-LED lighting equipment to inspect cleanliness; air duct sanitisation for each arrival and upon each departure; weekly steam cleaning and sanitisation of carpeting; placement of antibacterial gels and soaps in each guest room; and strict adherence to the triple-check system.
• At-Home to In-Room Check-in, beginning in June: Guests will have the ability to check-in online, allowing them to skip the front desk and go directly to their room. A refreshing welcome cocktail, a personal antibacterial hand towel and individual in-room hand sanitiser will always await arriving guests.
• Social Distancing Practices: New ways to encourage guests to maintain a safe social distance while sustaining the relaxed experience the brand is known for, including: adding more airport transfers with fewer guests per vehicle; extending check-in times between visitors; setting up a safe social distance across restaurants, bars, and beaches; replacing handshakes with a nod and a smile; and restricting elevator trips to one couple per trip at Sandals Resorts and one family per trip at Beaches Resorts, with staff members taking alternative routes.
• Team Member Training and Precautionary Temperature Checks: Sandals is ensuring all team members stay healthy, both inside and outside the workplace, with ongoing specialised training on precautionary measures geared toward preventative protocols and added sanitation practices.
All staff will be required to know where the nearest hand sanitiser stations are located at all times, wear protective face gear and gloves at all times when on resort, and ensure uniforms are not worn during travel to and from work. All team members across resort locations will also undergo required temperature checks before the start of each shift in addition to stringent medical clearance.
• Supplier-held Standards: All vendors, suppliers and partners will be held to the new Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness standards by restricting delivery windows to one party at a time, while limiting physical contact; sanitising all touchpoints, including equipment, storage spaces, and access areas; and removing all outer packing upon arrival.
“Productive prevention has long been a key practice in safeguarding the health of all Sandals Resorts guests, team members, and supply chains,” the chain said in the news release. “Under the guidance of medical professionals and with constant monitoring of advice and instruction provided by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and local ministries of health in each country Sandals Resorts calls home, a dedicated quality inspection team, alongside environmental health and safety managers ensure strict adherence and seamless implementation of a sophisticated approach to prevent the spread of all illnesses. All resorts are equipped with medical stations staffed daily with a registered nurse and 24/7 on-call medical personnel.”
Sandals also pointed out that it has earned its place as the only hotel chain in the world to have all of its resorts certified by the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification programme — awarded to companies that deliver clean, safe, and healthy destinations for travellers whether they’re visiting, living, or working in the destination — with nine resorts currently holding master certification.
For more details on Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness please visit www.sandals.com.
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