As we prepare to welcome our guests from 01st November 2020 we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests and our employees’ while still exceeding expectations and providing our usual Five Diamond / Six Star Diamond service. Though many details are still being finalized we wanted to share some of the steps being taken and new procedures which will be in place in our quest to continue to create memorable experiences. The list of protocols and procedures stated is not exhaustive as there will be additions and changes once regulations are amended or as we improve our safety practices
Compliance with Local Health Authority and the CDC Guidelines
Even though not stipulated as a prerequisite, we have decided to hire a Hygiene Manager at the level of a qualified health practitioner. This person’s primary responsibility will be to administer and monitor daily temperature checks of all employees reporting for duty and to flag employees who show signs of illness, COVID-19 related or not. This new position also aggressively monitors social distancing and other compliance procedures in staff areas and throughout the resort on a day to day basisThe checklist from our local authority along with CDC guidelines is being reviewed to ensure that this plan is in compliance. We have already begun purchasing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, full protective suits to be used if needed and approved cleaning supplies. The laws in Grenada now dictate that face masks must be worn in public areas at all time.
Signs and Visible Awareness Posters
A survey is currently being done of all staff and guest areas to identify key locations for signs to be placed. Once completed, these signs will be made locally and will be placed in numerous guest and staff areas of the resort. We also intend to work with our interior designers to ensure that these are tastefully done in keeping with the décor especially in our public areas.
Employees, Social Distancing, Physical Changes and Compliance
In order to ensure adherence to social distancing a decision has been taken to extend certain areas of our staff facilities and procedures are being put in place to limit the number of persons using these facilities at any given time. External extensions are going to be built for the staff changing rooms, the staff restaurant and the staff arrival and departure checkpoints. Seating in the staff restaurant will be reduced, and meal breaks stretched over longer periods of time. Employee shifts will be reviewed and additional shifts added to allow for less persons at work throughout shifts. On arrival at work, there will be mandatory temperature checks and electronic recording of attendance to allow accurate data in the event that contact tracing is needed. Restrictions and movement on and off property will also be implemented.
Training and Pre-opening Trials
Awareness training will commence in October along with trial runs in all departments in order to allow for adjustments to procedures and changes needed to be made. A comprehensive training programme is being prepared by each department for approval by end of June. Once we reopen, training continues as we assess the actual performance of our team. Currently all department heads are being trained virtually.
Cleaning Procedures and Guidelines
In compliance with new guidelines we will now have two room attendants clean each occupied guest room. This allows for keeping linen safe from contamination and for a more thorough job of cleaning being done in each room. Only approved chemicals will be used and we are in contact with our supplier. Individual mops and mops with disposable filters will be used. There will be less sweeping and more containment of dust and flying particles with the use of vacuum cleaners of which we have purchased enough so that each room attendant always carries one. In an effort to limit traffic to the rooms, turndown service will only be offered on request and we will have guests indicate from the outset of their stay if they require nightly turn-down service.
All of our public spaces will be cleaned every 15 to 30 minutes and additional staff will be stationed in our public area and high traffic areas like washrooms, check-in desks, gyms, close to dining areas to constantly clean and sanitize surfaces and other regularly touched areas such as door handles and push plates which will be cleaned based on frequency of use. Touchless hand sanitizing stations will be positioned throughout the resort in public areas as well outside of all rooms. Touchless soap dispensers will be placed in all public washrooms.
We have already been recognized for our cleaning and hygiene standards having recently received from the AAA, the Best of Housekeeping award for 2020 as well as many other accolades. Over the years our guests including our repeat guest family have always commended our housekeeping team on cleanliness and professionalism. Twenty-four hours will be allowed between departing and arriving rooms. Cleaning will be done only when guests are not physically in the rooms as per usual daily standard once the guests confirm agreement. There will be the option to refuse cleaning if guests are not comfortable with traffic. Enhanced cleaning standards and technologies will be rolled out to ensure that our rooms maintain their usual standard of amenities. Special attention will be paid to high touch areas and bathrooms.
The Nutmeg Pod Kids Club
As there is little control over children when it comes to social distancing and following hand- sanitizing procedures, we have decided that we are reopening without the service of the kids club being offered.
We are also suspending babysitting services as we do not believe that the present environment allows for the safety of infants and possible transmission of the COVID-19 to our team as babysitting requires physical contact.
All service at the Spa will be offered, except body treatments which are suspended until approved by local authorities.
The culinary experience at Spice is the highlight and one that has brought us numerous repeat guests. This is an experience we would only improve on and whilst menus are being amended to allow for social distancing in the kitchen and improved hygiene practices, we will still maintain, variety, freshness taste and the ‘wow factor’ in all our offerings. The team in the kitchen will be spread out over more shifts to allow more working room and less contact. Where contact is likely, full protective gear will be used. Food Safety Management System and HACCP processes remain in place. Preparation and presentation will be improved as the number of covers in the restaurant will be reduced due to social distancing.
Food supply requirements and guidelines for our suppliers are being put in place and this will be formalized with our suppliers. The receiving procedures will also be improved with systems put in place for perishables to be washed upon receipt and then stored or issued in the kitchen.
Restaurant Facilities and Dining Protocols
Room service will continue to be a dining option and we are now reviewing the procedures to make in-room dining just as enjoyable as seating in the restaurant. As indicated, we have engaged our interior designers to have the restaurant rearranged to reduce seating capacity by fifty percent to allow for social distancing. Seating arrangement at the bar will change to allow for bar stools to be set six feet apart from each pair. Loungers around the pool will be arranged below umbrellas in pairs also set six feet apart.
Employees will be wearing face masks at all times and guests will be expected to wear face masks at the bar and in the restaurants when communicating with employees. Paperless options are being explored. There will be no more buffets – no continental breakfast buffets nor the Friday evening and Sunday lunch barbeque buffets.
Protective gear will be purchased for our maintenance team to be used when accessing guest rooms. The team has also been charged with installing sanitizers in public areas throughout the property. There will be some amendments to the facilities in welcoming areas to allow for protective glass where necessary. Pools will be tested twice daily to determine chlorine and other chemical levels and the hot water throughout the resort especially in dishwashers and laundry washers will be checked at least twice per day.
Arrival and Departure Procedures
We are moving towards a contactless check-in and departure process with the ability to still do this with our SPICE team at the desks or through our usual Express Check-in service where guests are escorted directly to their rooms from the taxis after using our contactless check-in service. We are working closely with our designated resort taxis and drivers to ensure we manage all our guests’ transfers to and from the resort. We prefer to control which vehicles are used to ensure compliance with hygiene standards.
Guests, Social Distancing, Physical Changes and Compliance
Table seating will be limited to immediate family sharing the same suite which means a maximum of four. We will be guided by changes as stipulated by the local health authority. Seating in lounges and in the entertainment areas will also be carefully organized and whilst we would not wish to reduce the furniture in these areas, our literature, signage and our employees will guide guests on the seating arrangements.
Managing Possible Covid-19 Cases
Adequate arrangements are being made in the event that a guest is tested positive and needs to be quarantined. Guidelines for quarantine will be issued to all guests prior to arrival at the resort.