It’s likely that you have always appreciated a clean hotel room. But the COVID-19 pandemic is causing hotels around the world to rethink and raise the hygiene bar.
Marriott International — the third largest hotel chain in the world, with 30 brands, over 7,300 properties and over 1.3 million hotel rooms — is one of the companies making big changes.
“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. “We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority.”
To tackle the realities of doing business during and after a pandemic, the company created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council with input from scientists and infectious disease experts to develop new cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors.
Over the coming months, Marriott will be rolling out enhanced technologies, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces. This 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 will be used to rapidly clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.
Guests will also notice disinfecting wipes in each room for their personal use. There will be hand sanitizing stations and signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols. Furniture in public areas will be arranged to allow more space for distancing.
Marriott has looked for ways to allow guests to avoid touching surfaces and staff members. At over 3,200 of Marriott’s hotels, guests will be able to use their smartphones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without having to make contact with staff members.