Millennium Hotels promise safety in hotels through and post the COVID-19 pandemic
We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel company, which owns, manages and operates over 135 hotels across some 80 locations worldwide about the measures they have in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millennium operates 19 hotels in the UK with 5 currently open for key workers (Copthorne Hotel Merry Hill Dudley, Copthorne Hotel Plymouth, Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington, Millennium Gloucester Hotel London)
Hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have become so important. How are you ensuring both staff and guest safety?
We always adopt a risk-based approach to any initiatives therefore the hierarchy of hazard control is always adopted and control measures implemented. Whilst we can’t eliminate COVID-19, we can use operational management controls to reduce exposure such as undertaking comprehensive and detailed risk assessments for the management of suspected cases, contaminated rooms and implementing methods to secure social distancing, as well as, specifically located and readily available sanitisation gel, the encouragement and promotion of regular and thorough hand washing and drying. PPE is the means of last resort so our management controls are regularly reviewed to avoid too heavy reliance on PPE.
How is Millennium ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?
Enhanced precautionary measures have been introduced to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for our guests and team members. Heightened cleaning programmes are underway in our hotels and a number of additional measures are in place to keep guests and team members alike safe.
Managing all public areas to ensure social l distancing is adhered to in the lobby, restaurants, dining and conference rooms. In areas where handwashing is not immediately available, you will find hand sanitiser readily available in our hotels’ public areas. The risk assessment process, as well as precautionary measures, are ever-changing in light of information that is being released by the UK Government and we have and continue to adhere to all Government advice, especially where control measures can be adopted by our Company, even when the control measures are not hospitality centric.
How has COVID-19 impacted the way in which you work day-to-day?
Safety and the welfare of our employees and guests remain as always the heart of what we do and therefore all of our work practices. The way we interact with each other and our guests have been under close scrutiny to ensure that all control measures have been identified and implemented to reduce the transmission and exposure to the virus.
Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?
Where possible we have limited contact and respected the social distancing measures as endorsed and advised by the UK Government, we are currently reviewing the installation of screens and more contactless payment methods. Foodservice has been changed with the provision and method of delivery and currently preventing the use of bars and restaurants.
What if guests begin to show symptoms?
A Health Declaration questionnaire has been prepared and implemented for all hotel guests, visitors and contractors. Where an employee becomes unwell, these cases are fed through the HR system at hotel level and recorded as incidents on our SSHE e-portal. The purpose of the escalation is to take care of our employees’ welfare and to ensure our guests are aware that we take care of our employees, in order to safeguard our guests during their stay with us.
If an employee/guest or visitor attends the hotel and is presenting symptoms of the coronavirus, then attending employees must initially notify the Duty Manager, who will then assess the situation on the merits of each case. Our team members have been trained and will continually receive further training on how to handle such situations and the various ranges of advises being shared, from advising the guest to remain in their own room and self-isolate to providing them with the necessary contact details as communicated by the local authorities.
What is the business doing to stay up to date with updated recommendations from the government and the World Health Organization?
Our SSHE and HR teams received daily updates directly from the UK Government to ensure that all in the information is from a considered and trusted source. Whilst we are aware of the media coverage, we are very much secure in the processing and communicating of governmental advice and direction. We then use the information to provide our employees and guests with considered information, with subjectivity; we are the guiding force during this difficult time so we undertake our duty of care to our employees and guests with extreme seriousness and it is the main priority in our endeavours.
Are you still offering food at this time? What are the options?
In accordance with the social distancing guidance we are operating a Grab n Go breakfast and room food delivery service throughout the UK estate, whilst securing social distancing. However timing will vary from one location to another to ensure that all the control measures to prevent transmission and exposure remain effective.
Are your amenities closed due to the outbreak?
Again we are guided by the UK Government’s restrictions and ensure that only those permitted facilities and services are carried out. As a consequence, amenities such as pools, health & beauty centres as well as business lounges are temporarily closed.
Learn more about Millennium Hotels and what they are doing to ensure guest safety here.
Roomex is assisting companies with their project needs worldwide, whether it is supporting key workers with their long term stays in hotels or apartments, please reach out to us and see how we can help you.