MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — COVID-19 has brought challenges to the hotel industry, leading people to ask: “Is it safe to stay at a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic?”
Some Myrtle Beach hotels have restructured operations and adopted new cleaning procedures amid COVID-19.
Check-ins will likely look different at first glance. Plexiglass barriers minimize face-to-face exposure and metal key fobs eliminate touch on common contact surfaces.
Downtown Myrtle Beach’s Westgate Resort is one of the large hotel chains turning to new policies during COVID-19 to limit guest-employee contact.
“We have pretty much re-imagined the entire guest experience,” Westgate Resort General Manager Carlos Brador said.
New technology is also playing a role in helping guests navigate a new and safer experience.
“From the guest checking in with a QR code where you don’t have to touch anyone else’s pen you can check-in through the application from your phone,” Brador said.
As guests enter the lobby they can use a mobile device to scan a QR code that will prompt them to check-in. They can provide their credit card, virtually sign, and there is simply no contact with the front desk.
It’s all a part of hotels working harder and smarter. Daily housekeeping, bellhops, luggage service, and beach chair rentals are among the list of services put on pause.
“We are no longer providing daily housekeeping services yet, Brador said. “If a guest requires service we ask them to vacate the unit and then we will go in and clean the property.”
Hotel experts say the major touch points in any hotel are doorways, handles, kitchen surfaces, bedding, bathrooms, switches, electronics, furniture, and temperature controls. Fitness centers and elevators are also among the list of high contact surfaces being cleaned every half hour to hour.
“There are a lot of good coming out of this such as the applications and measures being taken, I think some will remain after it’s all said and done,” Brador said.