The Roomex Blog

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

Read More

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...

Read More

Dalata Hotel Group plc release new Keep Safe Programme

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. ...

Read More
COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

11 June 2020 Premier Inn launches CleanProtect, a new, enhanced hygiene promise To ensure both guest and employee safety, the Premier Inn has teamed up...

Read More
Why travel safety will be an ever-present focus post COVID-19

Why travel safety will be an ever-present focus post COVID-19

The travel industry, like most industries, has undergone major changes due to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, many of us have been...

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How to manage travel post lockdown: from project bookings to long term stays

How to manage travel post lockdown: from project bookings to long term stays

COVID-19 has quickly impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s taken a serious toll on our healthcare infrastructure, the economy, and of course,...

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Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

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Build high morale with your construction workforce with these 3 tips

Build high morale with your construction workforce with these 3 tips

There’s hardly an industry where retention isn’t a common topic among senior leadership, but it’s nothing short of a burning issue in markets that rely...

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How to improve employee engagement with your travelling workforce

How to improve employee engagement with your travelling workforce

Revenue might be the one thing that keeps a company’s doors open – but its people are still its most valuable asset. Keeping your staff involved and...

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How to ensure safe business travel for your staff

How to ensure safe business travel for your staff

Business travel isn’t always about continental breakfasts, expensing meals or wining and dining prospective clients. To make sure everything is fair,...

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP of Supply to get his insight on the accommodation industry and share some tips that will help companies prepare to travel again. This is the first in our "Getting Back on the Road" Series that aims to answer the questions travel managers and business travellers have.

1. How should companies prepare to introduce business travel again for their employees?

Keith Watson: After the industry got over from the immediate onslaught of cancellations, it became a case of how to manage and prepare for travelling again.  Now that hotels are almost ready to re-open their doors, the question of availability is soon to be resolved.

We see that business travellers are moving their focus towards each element of the trip from search and book, pre-arrival, in-trip and post trip processes. Business travellers’ requirements and expectations have changed. With these challenges travel companies, be it booking platforms or accommodation providers have been forced to optimise the experience for their customers.

Roomex recently carried out a survey of travellers.  When asked ‘What is your primary concern when staying at paid accommodation now?’  35% said ‘Social distancing’, whilst 29% said ‘Cleanliness of the hotel’.  The remaining  were split across ‘Contactless payment’, ‘Room comfort’, ‘Hotel facilities’ and ‘Quality food’.

Price is not the primary concern currently. Travellers need up to date information from hotels on cleanliness and new social distancing procedures.  Hotels have completely overhauled their processes and procedures providing extensive new collateral to make their customers feel confident and above all, safe.  At Roomex we have introduced RoomexClean, a new feature that brings this collateral into the search and book experience.

In order to prepare your staff for travelling again it is all about pre-trip organisation, make sure each traveller has the relevant information from the hotel that they are staying in so they know what to expect on arrival. Pre-check in confirmation calls are a great service that gives travellers a lot of confidence as processes and procedures are changing so fast. Overnight this service became the most critical component of Roomex’s customer service offering, as we could confirm if the hotel was open and inform the traveller on latest meal options and hygiene measures.

2. How will pricing of accommodation change and how should travel managers devise a strategy for this?

KW: The seasonal RFP is important, but it is quite literally half of the story that corporate needs to take a close look at savings. Essentially with so little occupancy in the market demand is not driving pricing. But the high degree of uncertainty means it is hard to forecast what has happened to the pre-COVID demand patterns. Are events in the future going to happen, how will segments of demand return?

The week of 15th June in the UK, weekday occupancy amongst open hotels was at 27%. However, when you consider supply that will be quickly coming back on stream from July 4th (ie whole-market occupancy) in the UK, this drops to around 6-7%.  Supply will return far faster than demand is likely to.

A fixed rate historically irons out the peaks in pricing for a company. The discount reflects their volume, but also gives assurance against paying a high demand-fueled price (blackout periods aside).  If a hotel isn’t actually reaching capacity, there won’t be any peaks – nothing to yield against. But there may well be troughs to take advantage of. 

Typically, any client will book a few hotels, a lot – close to their offices and client offices or projects their fulfilling. But 80-90% of all the hotels they book will be at far lower volume. This means that most of the possible savings will be in the middle and long tail of the curve. We have addressed this through Roomex Rates - fixed and dynamic rates we negotiate for all our clients to take advantage of. This help clients primarily with mid curve demand and then Roomex Saver+ for the long tail.

In the long tail, neither the clients nor Roomex have sufficient volume to negotiate a rate, so we open a broad bank of supply discounts from many sources.  Potentially 45-55% of the savings are in the long tail but it’s harder to deliver than simply negotiating a rate. It involves significant API development and yielding supply sources to ensure the client always gets the best rate.

3. What will business travellers look for when selecting a hotel?

KW: It’s all about ‘Clean’, nothing else matters, for now.  For travellers this is the new user-based star rating. What is more relevant the 10,000 pre COVID-19 reviews or the last 10 since March 23rd?

Social distancing measures, changes to housekeeping procedures and check-in process. This is probably the most fundamental change that will not be reversed.  What 9/11 did to drive change of security procedures within global travel, COVID-19 will do to hygiene processes within domestic and global travel.  The hotel stay will feel very different from that perspective, and travellers should feel reassured that hotels have stepped up to the challenge to make this enhanced level of safety their top priority.

4. Will travellers still be able to avail of Food & Beverage within the hotel?

KW: Hotels have had to find a way to make some provision within their own constraints that meets government guidelines. If the hotel can offer F&B it will be either at a reduced level of room service or a very basic ‘knock and drop’ or ‘breakfast in a bag’ option.  

As we approach July there are also hotels offering spaced dining facilities as a step to getting back to greater normality. This works reasonably well, but the key is that the booker and traveller know what to expect so part of the challenge has been to present that information accurately at time of booking.

Some chains such as Travelodge have teamed up with Deliveroo and Just Eat to make takeaway options easier.  We foresee that these partnerships will be a key driver for success within the travel sector going forward.

Avoiding out of pocket expenses for travellers such as meals, but also fuel and parking, is now a key concern for employers, especially as food options within the hotel may be reduced for a time. We have seen an uptick in interest of our pre-paid RoomexPay expense card as a result of this. The most important advice is to check all details with the hotel (or your Roomex Account Manager) before your trip. 

Learn more about Roomex and their initiatives with their hotel partners to keep those travelling during COVID-19 safe by getting in touch with them here

 

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Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

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.

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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...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. Hotel chains large and small are stepping up to create a safer environment for those traveling during and after the pandemic. Most have gone above and beyond to give travellers peace of mind. 

We spoke to Sarah Conway, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager for Dalata Hotel Group plc about the measures that they have put in place. Dalata Hotel Group is the largest hotel operator in Ireland, with a growing presence in the United Kingdom. The Group manages the Clayton Hotels, Maldron Hotels and Partner brands. The Group's portfolio now consists of 30 owned hotels, 11 leased hotels and three management contracts with a total of 9,208 bedrooms. In addition to this, Dalata is currently developing 11 new hotels. This will bring the total number of bedrooms in Dalata to over 12,000.

Hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have become so important. How are you ensuring both staff and guest safety?

Over the past few months, we have developed the Dalata Keep Safe Programme, which has involved the introduction of a wide range of protocols and systems that will ensure as much as possible our guests will have an enjoyable and safe visit to all our hotels. We have been testing these protocols and systems in our hotels with great success.

There are numerous initiatives we are undertaking to ensure as much as possible the safety and health of all our guests, employees and suppliers. Like for example, providing plenty of hand sanitizers around each hotel, providing nose and mouth masks to employees and clearly marking public areas to ensure social distancing. Above all, we want our guests, whether they are on business or leisure to have a relaxed enjoyable stay with us.

How are Dalata ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Cleaning is extremely important, but it is not enough. We have introduced thorough systems of sanitisation to ensure, as much as possible, that these areas are safe. Our guests will then have the option of using the lift or staircase to access their bedroom. Strict protocols on lift usage will be displayed on each floor. As guests arrive at their bedroom door, it will have a seal that will break on entering. After each room is cleaned thoroughly and key touchpoints are sanitised, we will fog the room with a special device that deals very effectively with viruses and other air and surface contaminants. This device is used in “Clean Room Technology” throughout the pharmaceutical sector and in some hospitals. Guests will know their room has been treated by the unbroken seal on your door. 

The contents of guestrooms have also been reviewed to remove non-essential, tactile items, such as pen, paper and bed cushions.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Before our guests arrive at our hotels, they will have the option of checking in online, so all they have to do is collect their bedroom key from our screened reception desk. Of course, they will have the option of checking in the usual way, should they choose to do so. Online check-out will also be an option. Guests will walk through our spacious public areas that will be thoroughly cleaned continuously throughout each day.

We will also be introducing new state-of-the art technology and additional contactless payment options to make the whole experience seamless.

Have your staff undergone training?

Yes, staff throughout each hotel will complete a dedicated training programme to ensure full implementation of each new measure and will follow the public health official advice and guidelines at all times. 

What is the business doing to stay up to date with updated recommendations from the government and the World Health Organization? 

All of our new health and safety protocols will be accredited by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing inspection and certification in the Health and Safety area. So, we are doing everything possible to protect the Health and Safety of all our guests, employees, and suppliers.

(“Bureau Veritas is a company specialized in testing, inspection, and certification, founded in 1828. It is headquartered in Paris and is present in 140 countries through a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories, and more than 78,000 employees.” https://group.bureauveritas.com)

Will you still be offering food? 

We will have a range of food and beverage options with in-room and main restaurant dining options available. This will include restaurants with table service for all meals (no self-service queuing). Again, there will be protocols in place that will be explained by our team in our public areas. The protocols that apply to guests will equally apply to all our employees both front and back of house. Our employee safety and health is as important as our guest safety.

Learn more about Dalata Hotel Group plc 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.

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Dalata Hotel Group plc release new Keep Safe Programme

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. ...

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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11 June 2020

Premier Inn launches CleanProtect, a new, enhanced hygiene promise

To ensure both guest and employee safety, the Premier Inn has teamed up with Diversey, a global leading cleaning and product supplier for the healthcare and hospitality industries to implement a rigorous daily cleaning regime across all their 800 properties in the U.K. and Ireland. All customer support staff at Roomex have been trained on these updates, and are free to chat through these initiatives with you. 

This programme that Premier Inn has implemented includes: 

  • Social distancing measures like Prespex screens and minimising contact at reception in place.
  • More frequent cleaning of high touch areas, and special attention to controls such as air conditioning and TV remotes in rooms.
  • Since they employ every member of their 9,000 housekeeping team directly, they are able to have better control of the standards. Management will be preforming additional room checks.
  • Linen will be laundered at over 60 degrees with disinfectant detergent and shower curtains will be replaced after every guest.
  • All team members have been provided face masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser.

Read the full announcement here. 

27 May 2020

Hotels increase cleaning measures to ensure safe stays for guests 

Hotel chains large and small are stepping up to create a safer environment for those traveling during the pandemic. All hotels in our platform are abiding by the cleaning guidelines recommended by The WHO. Most have gone above and beyond to give travellers a piece of mind. 

  • Atlas Hotels (Holiday Inn Express) deep clean hotels daily and sanitize public areas every hour. They've implemented new social distancing screens and mats to ensure guest and staff safety. Learn more about the measures they have taken here
  • Penta Hotels have been carefully following safety guidelines as outlined by the WHO and have increased cleaning in common and guest areas. They've run training's for staff on how to protect against transmission, and have implemented procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case in one of their properties. 
  • Staycity Aparthotels are cleaning public areas multiple times each day and deep cleaning rooms and public areas. An interesting safety note was that they are leaving rooms empty for 72 hours between guests, then deep cleaning the rooms. For long stay guests, where the normal in-stay cleaning service is not available, they are offering a cleaning pack and room refills as often as required. Learn more about their detailed cleaning strategy here
  • Best Western has required all hotels to install protective barriers at reception and will clean the desk after each guest. They have provided a in-room text service to minimise visits to reception and the use of the phone. All key cards will be sanitized prior to check in, and will be handed to guests safely. They are disinfecting busy areas regularly throughout the day and deep cleaning rooms. They have removed unnecessary room elements, like bed scarves and  note pads and pencils. If possible, rooms will be left vacant for at least 24 hours in between guests- and over 72 hours if the guest was unwell. The cleaning team has been trained on a detailed and comprehensive new checklist to keep themselves and guests safe. 
  • Leonardo Hotels (Jurys Inn) have gone completely cashless and has added protective screens at reception. They've implemented deep cleaning protocols, frequently clean heavy trafficked areas, increased bedroom checks by senior management, and reduced printed materials in the rooms. Their staff has also taken part in trainings to ensure their safety and the safety of guests. Learn more about what they are doing to keep guests safe here
  • Roomzzz Aparthotels has created contact free check ins and conducted specialised training for all employees to increase staff knowledge on infection control and sanitation. They too have increased sanitation and cleaning, wiping down heavy trafficked areas multiple times a day and deep cleaning rooms. Learn more about the measures they have taken here
  • IHG Hotels now include visible verification of sanitized items (e.g. glassware, remote control) and reduced room furnishings. They've also implemented touchless transactions, sanitized key cards and promise deep cleaning on high touch surfaces displayed with 'last cleaned' charts. There is hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and wipes available in guest rooms. They are working with external specialist from the Cleveland Clinic to ensure best practices and define even better solutions for cleaning and safety during this time. 
  • Lindner Hotels have installed protective screens at check in and sanitize hotel keys prior to guest arrival. All staff is required to wear masks. All documentation in hotel rooms such as menus and TV programmes will be replaced between guests. All room service ordered will be delivered in single use containers. To increase their social distancing, they've asked guests to select an accurate check in time to avoid crowds at reception. Cash payments are no longer excepted. 

Reach out to your account manager for direct queries regarding upcoming stays in any hotel booked through Roomex. We will update this list regularly, so check back to find more information about cleanliness measures in hotels. 

28 April 2020

Roomex Key Worker Support Package sees increase in Hotel Partners

Since its launch, our Key Worker Support Package has helped provide relief and accommodation to thousands of key workers traveling during the pandemic. Every day we're adding new hotel partners to the initiative, and as of today we have secured 245 Key Worker rates across hotels in the U.K. and Ireland. 

Learn more about our Key Worker Support package here, or get in touch with our team here to get started. 

16 April 2020

Hotels now offering boxed and takeaway meals 

Hotels around the U.K. and Ireland have adapted to serve Key Workers better with grab and go breakfasts and room service dinners. Travelodge is now opening a breakfast box option available 24 hours a day at all open hotels including a muffin, cereal, a musili bar, and juice. 

Note that all Travelodge Key Worker hotels are bookable through Roomex right now, and all the other properties are open for future bookings for stays after 8 May, subject to change if travel restrictions are extended.

Remember that Roomex contacts every traveller and hotel prior to stay to ensure the traveler knows what to expect upon arrival. 

31 March 2020

Roomex launches a Key Worker Support Package, offering a customised hotel programme tailored by a dedicated account manager, special hotel rates, and new, free in-trip expense card (RoomexPay)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, we rely on key workers to keep the country running. These heroes are caring for our families in hospitals, keeping the lights on in our homes, keeping our environments clean and keeping our shops stocked and operational.

At Roomex, we believe that the risks that these individuals are taking to keep us all safe are worth more than a simple thank you. We are honoured to work with those supporting our country in these trying times - and it’s our turn to support them.

Roomex is working with businesses, non-profits, and governments in some of the most affected areas to ensure that we reach COVID-19 responders who need accommodation away from home.

  • We have negotiated exclusive Key Worker Rates across the country that are available on your Roomex platform. Please ask us for the full list of hotels
  • We will work with you to provide a customised hotel programme based on your unique needs 
  • We are dedicating account managers to our customers that have Key Workers to ensure safety and peace of mind
  • As safety during this time is the most important, we ensure that all hotels that are offering this discount are cleaned to the standards recommended by the WHO 
  • Our team will assist you in drafting the required letter stating permission to travel that is required upon check-in at all hotels
  • We realise hotel expenses are only part of the overall requirement for you right now- so we are also offering RoomexPay free of charge as part of this Key Worker Rate package

If you're looking for support during this time, get in touch with our team at tryus@roomex.com 

Read More

30 March 2020
Travelodge to close hotels until 30 April 2020

Abiding by the new instructions by the U.K. government, Travelodge will temporarily close its hotels. However, some locations will remain open for critical and key workers. See the full statement here

25 March 2020

Premier Inn to close hotels until 30 April 2020

We have just received an update from Premier Inn that they have removed all of their hotels from sale up until 30th April 2020 in response to the government request to close all hotels.

For bookings on stays from 24th March - 31st May 2020

In order to comply with the latest Government guidelines if you have a stay in this period, please request a cancellation in your Roomex Platform. See below

For bookings on stays from 15th April - 31st May 2020

Based on the latest Government advice there is the opportunity to cancel bookings to obtain a full refund in your Roomex platform. The booking must be cancelled by 23.59 the day prior to arrival. See below

Alternatively, you can request to amend your booking. Please click on the ‘I want to amend this booking’ button to make your request to change dates.

How to cancel or amend a booking:

  • If you need to cancel a refundable booking, please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions.  
  • If you need to cancel a non-refundable rate please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions. A member of our Customer Success team will confirm your request ASAP. The booking must be cancelled the day prior to arrival.
  • If you want to amend a refundable booking please click on the ‘I want to amend this booking’ button to make your request
  • Please note that all refundable terms are set directly by the accommodation provider, Roomex cannot facilitate a refund on non-refundable reservations.

Please be advised that our Priority Support team is experiencing an unprecedented volume of queries and are working as best they can to get to every query as soon as possible.

Login to your platform 

23 March 2020

Travelodge to close restaurants 

Travelodge has announced also to close their restaurants this morning effective retrospectively from 20 March.

'In line with the government instruction and our commitment to the health and safety of all our customers and hotel team members, we’ve had to temporarily close our restaurants and bars at 22:00 Friday 20th March until further notice.'

20 March 2020

To ensure the fastest support:

To ensure the fastest response from our support team, if you're looking to change the date or cancel a booking please add the RX Number and the departure date in the email subject line with the words Date change or Cancellation. For example,



RX982130 - 23/3/20 - Date change 

Premier Inn to close restaurants

In response to government advice regarding social distancing, The Premier Inn has made the difficult decision to close all of their restaurants with effect from 21st March 2020 until further notice. However, their hotels currently remain open so your booking will not be affected and we will adjust the booking value accordingly.

19 March 2020

For all business travel during this time, please be advised to call the hotel in advance to ensure the hotel is fully operational. We are also in close contact with all of our suppliers and will continue to keep you updated.

18 March 2020

Over the last few weeks, both businesses and governments have come together to protect their employees and residents as the Coronavirus situation advances. Our hearts go out to all of our customers and their families that have been impacted by this virus - we’re all in this together.

For those that are still travelling, these times can be filled with uncertainty and fear. Like you - we’re constantly monitoring the situation and working with our customers to ensure that those who are travelling are safe. We’re here for you - no matter where you are, and no matter where this situation brings us. 

We will be continuously updating this page as a source of information on the current COVID-19 outbreak. Whether you need it now or later, it could be worth bookmarking. 

General Advice

As this situation develops on an hourly basis - it can be difficult to keep up. We are following the recommendations and guidance from the World Health Organization, (WHO) as well as the local governments of countries that customers are booking in. 

Useful links:

Travel FAQ’s

How to stay safe while travelling:

According to the WHO, hand washing (with soap and water or an alcohol-based gel) and social distancing are the keys to stopping the spread of Coronavirus. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth - and stay at least a metre away from others. When staying in hotels, keep the air conditioning to a minimum.

We also recommend calling hotels in advance of check-in to ensure the hotel is fully operational. 

What are hotels doing to keep guests safe? 

Hotels, of course, are playing their part - and a large number of our accommodation providers are following these steps:

  • Along with our usual cleaning protocols, Hotels are carrying out regular deep cleaning.
  • Providing hand sanitizers.
  • Holding thorough briefings with their customer-facing teams to ensure they are informed, ready for unfolding scenarios and taking preventative measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Roomex Platform FAQ’s 

Support Queries and Longer Wait Times 

Our Priority Support team is experiencing an increase in the volume of queries. They are working as best they can to get to every query as soon as possible. Please note that our accommodation providers and suppliers are also experiencing a larger volume of queries, impacting the time it takes us to best serve you.

The response time is naturally slower, but we want to assure you that we have increased the number of staff in Support to manage these queries and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

If your trip is not within the next 7 days, please hold off contacting customer service so we can help those travelling immediately. We will get back to you as soon as possible after weighing the urgency. 

To ensure the fastest response from our support team, if you're looking to change the date or cancel a booking please add the RX Number and the departure date in the email subject line with the words Date change or Cancellation. For example,

RX982130 - 23/3/20 - Date change 

Amending Bookings

If you are making a booking or changing the date of your reservation we recommend booking a refundable rate. 

  • If you need to cancel a refundable booking, please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions.  
  • If you want to amend a refundable booking please rebook with the new details on your platform, then cancel the original booking free of charge. 
  • Please note that all refundable terms are set directly by the accommodation provider, Roomex cannot facilitate a refund on non-refundable reservations.

Hotel updates 

Premiere Inn to close restaurants from 21 March

In response to government advice regarding social distancing, The Premier Inn has made the difficult decision to close all of their restaurants with effect from 21st March 2020 until further notice. However, their hotels currently remain open so your booking will not be affected and we will adjust the booking value accordingly.

Best practices 

Focus on Duty of Care 

If an employee has a problem while travelling, a lot of factors quickly come into play - from medical costs to repatriation. The first thing you’ll need to know is exactly where they are. Remember, in Roomex Analytics, you can quickly see where every employee is with our Duty of Care feature. You’ll find their contacts, location, and hotel, as well as any historical stays. Act fast, and stay calm - and know our customer care teams are also at the other end of the phone should you need us. 

Login to your platform and view you live Duty of Care map 

Remain flexible in the coming weeks

During these times more than ever, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your bookings both on Roomex and on any other site that you use to book air and train travel. Sometimes the fine print can leave you without a refund or an alternative flight or train. As we’ve mentioned earlier this month, we’ve recently released hundreds of exclusive Roomex Rates into your platform. These rates are refundable and extremely flexible, with late check-ins and last-minute cancellations. Learn more about these exclusive Roomex Rates here

Based on our tracking, we’ve seen the price of hotels dropping at the moment, so if you are willing to take the risk, you could also focus on organising trips later in the year. Also, always check your Roomex platform if the room your booking is refundable if you’re unsure the project will proceed. 

Get in touch with our support team at:

  1. In your platform - by clicking on the blue chat icon on bottom left of the screen
  2. Email: priority@roomex.com  
  3. U.K.: +44 20 7183 7737
  4. Ireland: +353 1 2966275
  5. Germany: 0800-0003899
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COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

11 June 2020 Premier Inn launches CleanProtect, a new, enhanced hygiene promise To ensure both guest and employee safety, the Premier Inn has teamed up...

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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The travel industry, like most industries, has undergone major changes due to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, many of us have been working from home to halt the spread of the virus. As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up, first domestically and then internationally. That’s not to say that travel will be the same as it was in 2019. Business and leisure travellers will have new worries, concerns and requests - all with the goal of keeping safe. 

Staying safe will be the main concern for workforce travellers post COVID-19, but what exactly will the new normal look like? 

1. New preferences for rooms 

Before the pandemic, many workforce travellers didn’t have much preference for the type of room they were booked into. In industries like construction, many didn’t mind sharing a hotel room with a colleague. Now, travellers are looking for more space. We’ve been seeing an increase in bookings on our platform for serviced apartments and aparthotels, particularly in the U.K. and in Germany. Guests have more space and have the ability to eat or cook in the room rather than dining out. Serviced apartments typically include a fully stocked kitchen, maid service or package, and sometimes even room service. 

2. Increased communication about cleaning measures on planes and in hotels 

We’re all nervous to begin travelling again, whether for leisure or business. But, hotels and travel platforms are putting in place many new operational changes to keep guests safe. We’ve talked to dozens of hotels and serviced apartments over the last few months who’ve shared detailed plans on new hygiene measures. Some are leaving rooms vacant for 72 hours between guests, all have increased cleaning standards in rooms and common areas, and many are providing comprehensive training to all staff to ensure compliance.

As a business traveller, you should expect information on the cleanliness of the hotel or apartment prior to arrival, and ensure they are complying with the guidelines recommended by the WHO. All properties listed on Roomex are certified clean and highlighted within the platform. Our travel experts are also contacting hotels on behalf of customers to ensure the hotel is abiding by stringent cleaning measures and is fully operational. 

3. Contactless payments 

The move to contactless payment has been gathering pace in recent times and has been sped up even further by COVID-19. Travelling with cash is going the way of ordering goods using a fax machine, and many companies are taking note. In our personal lives, we’ve become used to ‘tapping to pay’ with our mobile phones or credit cards - but in workforce travel, there are often many hoops to jump through and a lag in repayment. Not to mention, many merchants are no longer accepting cash due to the impacts of the pandemic, and requesting customers use a contactless payment method.

RoomexPay suite (1)

In reaction to these changes, Roomex has recently developed a solution for workforce travellers used to paying with cash and often out of pocket, RoomexPay. It’s a smart, end to end workforce spend management solution. Its prepaid card eliminates expense management and gives users full visibility and control of all in-trip spend. Many companies are uncomfortable providing travellers with corporate credit cards due to risks associated with them, and now with the decrease in acceptance of cash, RoomexPay will be the solution. Companies have full, remote control of how much money each card user has access to, and have a live, real-time view of every transaction, and can turn off any card within seconds through the app.

Learn more about the benefits of switching from cash to a prepaid credit card and eliminating the expense claim process with RoomexPay here. 

4. Flexible, refundable rates 

Travellers and travel managers are looking to book fully refundable rates for the foreseeable future. We’re unsure what the rest of the year will bring, and where the next ‘hotspot’ could be or if a project could be cancelled last minute. To reduce the stress and risk of financial loss, most hotels and serviced apartments are offering fully refundable and flexible rates. Our travel experts also recommend booking only flexible rates for the time being, until there is more stability. We’ve added an extra filter in Roomex to only display refundable rates, so they appear at the top of every search. 

5. Enhanced Duty of Care 

Duty of Care has always been a central part of business travel. The pandemic has increased the need for a detailed and well-thought duty of care to employees. One aspect of Duty of Care is knowing where all employees have travelled in the past, and exactly where they are should something happen.

A lot of companies still book workforce travel with multiple bookers through various leisure sites, making it difficult to maintain a procedure to keep track of all past, present and future trips. It’s recommended to use a centralised system to book workforce and business travel, especially for the duty of care aspect, so its fast and easy to look up reservations and locations. The second a booking is made in Roomex, it’s immediately viewable in Roomex Analytics where the user can view savings, compliance, city, booker, traveller, and more. On top of this, reservations also go directly into our live Duty of Care map. Here, users are able to view all trips, past, present and future and get in touch with any employee.

june duty of care

Get in touch with our hotel experts to learn more about updates we’ve made to this feature in reaction to the pandemic, and how it will benefit your duty of care policy. 

6. Tighter travel policies 

Many businesses have faced budget cuts due to the impacts of COVID-19, resulting in less flexibility in room night prices. Travel policies, more than ever are relevant for keeping travel budgets in check. The majority of CFO’s and finance teams don’t place controls around business travel- yet it can account for up to 10% of their total operating expenditure. By implementing a travel policy by city, team, or reason for travel, you’re able to gain visibility and get control of this unmanaged spend.

Roomex is personalised to each company, so travel policies are displayed right in the search results when looking for a hotel. The benefit to adding travel policies directly into your hotel booking platform is that bookers immediately know if the hotel they are looking at is in policy, and travel managers or finance teams can see at a glance who is booking most often out of policy and where. This detailed report shows how much your travel policies match reality. Because many companies are either updating their travel policies or creating them for the first time, we’re offering free travel policy consultation to advise you to create a company-wide travel policy for your staff. Get in touch our team here

Everyone is wondering what business travel will look like in a post-COVID-19 world, and doing their best to plan and provide employees with the information they need to stay safe while saving the business time and money. Whether that means providing a stronger duty of care, a tighter travel policy, rolling out a new expense platform, or booking more serviced apartments - business travellers will be safer than ever going forward.

Learn more about the services Roomex is offering to get businesses like yours back on the road by getting in touch with one of our travel experts today.

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Why travel safety will be an ever-present focus post COVID-19

Why travel safety will be an ever-present focus post COVID-19

The travel industry, like most industries, has undergone major changes due to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, many of us have been...

Read More
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COVID-19 has quickly impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s taken a serious toll on our healthcare infrastructure, the economy, and of course, travel. Many of us have been working remotely since the beginning of March - and have somewhat adjusted to a new normal. Our governments have put restrictions in place to protect us, and as they begin to lift, we face new questions, anxieties, and challenges. 

Key Workers have been travelling throughout the lockdown, and many businesses have updated their operations to best serve them, and keep them safe. In the travel industry, hotels have completely overhauled operations to increase cleanliness and safety of both guests and employees. Now, as construction and manufacturing industries, for example, get back on the road, businesses must quickly react to ensure they are in safe accommodation. On top of this, many businesses are facing budget and staff cuts, making managing these already difficult to coordinate bookings even more of a challenge. 

How to book safe accommodation for your workforce while remaining cost and time-sensitive:

1. Be flexible

Many hotels have closed down or halted operations due to the impacts of COVID-19. Particular chains or hotels that you’re used to booking may no longer be available. The good news is, there is often a similar property that is in the same price range and distance. It’s also good practice to book rooms with refundable rates at this time - as it’s had to predict the next change or amendment to our current travel restrictions. Platforms like Roomex are constantly updating their inventory with hotels that are available, and that are offering refundable rates. Our hotel experts promise a one hour response time and will negotiate and confirm project bookings on your behalf.  They will alert you to any changes you need to be aware of upon arrival with a confirmation call to the hotel, and are available for contact through live chat at any time. 

2. Get ready for a very different travel experience 

Workforce travel is not what it used to be. The entire experience has changed, from check-in, to how rooms look, to the way food is served. Many hotels have implemented social distancing screens at check-in, promise sanitized key cards, and have removed any non-essentials from the rooms such as menus and binders. Most hotels have halted dine-in services and will deliver boxed meals to guest rooms or for takeaway. Since we’re constantly negotiating large group rates, we promise safe hotels in-line with the WHO’s cleaning guidelines. Our team has clear direction into what particular hotels have done to ensure safety and they will inform you prior to check-in. 

3. Educate your staff on staying safe while on the road, and check in on them

Your most important asset is your team. They will likely be excited to get back to work and to some level of normalcy, but with caution. Just like you, the pandemic has impacted their day to day and how safe they feel while leaving their homes. You’ll want to provide them with the most up to date travel information for the location they are working, how to interact with colleagues and others on the job. Our hotel experts can guide you on how to have these conversations and send them off with helpful advice that our Key Worker customers have been following. We’ve updated our Duty of Care map so you’re able to get historical and future booking data so if there is another hotspot, you know what staff may have to quarantine. We can also provide bespoke, detailed reports on travel history and spend should you require it. If your staff needs anything on the road such as meeting rooms, meal services or meeting supplies like computers or projectors we can also work with you to accommodate any special requests. 

Business travel is going to be different - and managing project bookings and long term stays are no different. Coordinating such projects may seem difficult, but with some help, patience, and expertise, your team will be back on the road in no time. 

Our hotel experts have been reacting to the changes that the travel industry has undergone over the last few months - and have been making project bookings on behalf of front line staff and key workers. Get in touch with one of our travel experts here and we’ll advise your next group booking. 

 

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How to manage travel post lockdown: from project bookings to long term stays

How to manage travel post lockdown: from project bookings to long term stays

COVID-19 has quickly impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s taken a serious toll on our healthcare infrastructure, the economy, and of course,...

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

This week we spoke to Atlas Hotels, one of our partners on our Key Worker Support Package about the changes that COVID-19 has brought. Atlas Hotels are an award-winning hotel company operating 49 hotels under the global brands, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton by Hilton. Atlas Hotels provide all the convenience, value-for-money and reliable service you expect. Each of their hotels in the United Kingdom has been purpose-built with business travellers in mind.

Hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have become so important. How are you ensuring both staff and guest safety?

We deep clean all hotels daily – public areas/touchpoints will be sanitised hourly and all rooms will be thoroughly cleaned using Ecolab chemicals. Collateral is being removed in rooms to reduce touch points and a digital offering is being developed. Social distancing – screens, floor mats will be introduced for all hotels. Hand sanitiser stations are provided on arrival. Lifts will be restricted to room occupants only.

How are Holiday Inn Express's ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Rooms were already being cleaned to a high standard, however additional sanitising/deep cleaning will take place using Ecolab products, upon departure of every guest.

How has COVID-19 impacted the way in which you work day-to-day?

Our operations teams are working extremely hard to adapt to the new ways of working with the priority of safety for our guests and staff. We continue to offer food and beverage at our hotels adhering to government guidance on social distancing measures, checking in and taking payment via contactless solutions.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Social distancing measures are in place along with Perspex screens and hand sanitiser at every contact location

What if guests begin to show symptoms?

We advise the guest to call 111 and request that they self-isolate within their room.

What is the business doing to stay up to date with updated recommendations from the government and the World Health Organization? 

We are currently following and adhering to all government and world health organisation guidance, we are also gaining regular updates from our brand.

Are you still offering food at this time? 

We continue to offer food and beverage at our hotels adhering to government guidance on social distancing measures.  We welcome guests to use takeaway services alongside our food and beverage offerings.

Are your amenities closed due to the outbreak?

Our conference rooms are currently closed due to the outbreak.

“We are working on changes to meeting spaces to make them work for social distancing but these spaces alongside the public areas will remain highly restricted at this point”

Learn more about Atlas 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.

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Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

Read More
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