A hotel stay that doesn’t include a breakfast buffet, an in-room minibar and a coffee station would have been inconceivable to many Americans three months ago. But the onset of the coronavirus has prompted a sea change that could alter everything from how guests check in and eat to how rooms are cleaned.
Hotel experts predict that the pandemic will drastically alter hotel stays in coming months, prompting many properties to embrace a host of new practices, up to and including temperature checks upon guests’ arrivals.
“Hotels tend to be a reactive business,” said Chekitan Dev, a professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. “It’s taken COVID-19 for a lot of hotels to take a harder look at safety procedures and to up their game.”
Dev points to safety-conscious procedures enacted in recent days at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City as a prime example of the changes that could be coming soon to hotels across the country.
“We’re a guinea pig,” said Rudy Tauscher, general manager of the Four Seasons. “We’re at the forefront of the hospitality world’s ‘new normal.'”