Here is how Marriott India is preparing to welcome back guests as they re-open for business

It is almost a done deal, save any surprises, that hotels will be open for business on June 8, 2020, in India. How will hotels take on the challenge though to make you feel safe is a different question though. Marriott has been one of the bigger chains to make their plans public about the new state of travel.

Marriott Global Cleanliness Council formed.

Marriott, back in April 2020, created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to tackle the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel level and further advance the company’s efforts in this area. The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council is focused on developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviours that are designed to minimise risk and enhance safety for consumers and Marriott associates alike.

The Council will benefit from knowledge and input from both in-house and outside experts, including senior leaders from across Marriott disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate wellbeing.

Marriott is rolling out enhanced technologies, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitise surfaces throughout the hotel. Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens. The sprayers rapidly clean and disinfect entire areas and can be used in a hotel setting to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public spaces. Also, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitising keys for guests and devices shared by associates.

You should be able to read about the Global Cleanliness Council, here.

Marriott India’s Project We Care

Further to the announcement of Marriott’s Global Cleanliness Council, Marriott International in South Asia will be implementing Project We Care to execute elevated protocols & processes to maintain enhanced hygienic standards across their hotels in the region (primarily India, but Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan as well).

A pilot project is already underway at two of their hotels, JW Marriott Aerocity New Delhi & The Ritz-Carlton Pune, through which the chain will ensure these processes are followed across all their hotels in South Asia. We Care encompasses new SOPs for Back of the House, Associates, Front of the House and Guest Check-in/out.

With the entire focus on reducing the common touchpoints as much as possible and sanitising the remaining ones, every hotel has identified 145+ touchpoints to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current environment.

To effectively communicate sanitisation and hygiene protocols, hotels will develop interactive animated videos that can be viewed by scanning QR codes on every touchpoint. Scanning of these QR codes will lead to safety and quality assurances message showcased through an animated video. Experts from cleaning & hygiene companies such as Diversey & Ecolab will advise and assist in enhancing these protocols.

Few changes that guests will notice at the hotels would enlist, compulsory temperature checks for all guests, guest elevators to operate with a maximum capacity of 4 guests per lift, reduced seating space in restaurants with increased distance between tables, front desks equipped with protection shields, all associated with masks are amongst many other changes are part of the comprehensive plan.

Talking about the initiative, Mr Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said,

“The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted changes in hotel operations that could alter everything from how guests check-in and dine-in to how rooms are cleaned. Social distancing will have a place in our plans for at least a foreseeable future.  Through We Care, we will be implementing certain changes to adapt to the new normal. Hotels will need to move from aesthetically clean to clinically clean. Sanitisation and hygiene will be imperative to ensure safety of associates and as well as guests. The We Care program is an all encompassing attempt to ensure that  we align our protocols, hotel procedure, processes and hotel operations to instill a heightened sense of safety, security, comfort and consistency in our guests who walk into our  hotels as we re-emerge from this pandemic and embrace the new
normal”

Here is a list of some of the things Marriott Hotels in South Asia will do to make your next hotel stay safe.

  • Front of the house
    • Namaste to be used as the greeting for all guests at all touchpoints to maintain social distancing
    • Front Desks to have protection shields
    • Guest elevators to operate with no more than two guests per elevator
    • All guest elevators to have sanitisers, preferably sensor dispensers
    • Aesthetic markings recommended on the floor of the elevator to indicate where guests can stand
    • All guest stationary like pens used at the front desk to be sanitised after single-use
    • Temperature checks to be done for all guests
    • Mobile check-in to be encouraged, Mobile check-out mandatory for guests
  • Pre- Arrival
    • Pre-arrival guest email to be sent out three days before arrival to gather preferences
    • Online payment options will be proactively suggested for a seamless arrival experience
  • Guest transport
    • Chauffeur to wear protective gear such as masks and gloves at all times
    • The car will be disinfected after every trip from outside and within
    • Amenity kit per passenger to be placed in the vehicle comprising masks, and sanitisers
    • Guests to be mandated to only sit in the back seat
  • Guest Rooms
    • Regular Deep cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms
    • Chemicals used to disinfect and sanitise as per Hygiene Partners (Diversey/Ecolab)
    • All guest rooms will be held for 24hrs post check out before releasing it to another guest
    • Allocation of rooms with adjacent rooms vacant, if occupancy permits
    • Removal of the minibar and provide on request, alternatively have very minimal offerings
    • Disinfecting wipes or sanitisers to be placed in guest rooms
    • To have dry amenities like dental kit, comb, shaving kit etc. on request items
    • No newspapers to be delivered to guest rooms, offer to send digitised newspapers of guest choice
    • “Hygiene-in-charge” on every shift to ensure proper sanitisation and documentation of all touchpoints
  • Back of the house
    • All associates to download Arogya Setu App as a mandate
    • Temperature checks to be done for all guests and associates
    • Associates to wear masks at all times
    • Designated Cleanliness Champion
  • Restaurant & Lounges 
    • Restaurants to reduce seating capacities and increase the space between tables
    • Recommend maintaining at least 5 feet distance between each table. Highly recommend using only a smaller size table (4-6 people)
    • Restaurants encouraged to keep A-la-carte menus; change of buffet setups
    • Mandate masks – if guests are not wearing then to be offered one
    • Reduction in banquet capacity to 50%
    • Hand sanitizer to be placed at vantage visible points in the outlets
    • To review operating hours of the outlet and increase the hours, if required, to cater to guests
    • All restaurant tables need to be set up as per standard – disposable single-use placemats, tableware, centrepiece etc.
    • Use of digital menus to avoid contact and ease of disinfection

Bottomline

This looks pretty exhaustive to me, and as a significant cog of the travel industry, I’m sure hotels will go above and beyond to protect their guests and their staff from exposure to the new Virus. Having said that, I do hope this works in practice, and I am seriously considering heading to a hotel to check this out for myself when I can.

What do you think of the new hotel cleaning protocols from Marriott? Will they convince you to stay again in the coming days with this?


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Comments

  1. Once the Vaccination of Corona Virus / COVID – 19 is out in the market, hoping that by that time things will function like they were functioning Before.

  2. Ajay,
    How does Marriott propose patrons eat and drink in the restaurant if they’re wearing masks

    • @Venkatesh, the universal question for the travel industry. I suppose the mask is for when you are not on your table and moving around.

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