This summer, we launched our Stay Safe Pledge, a set of health and safety guidelines for both businesses and consumers. Our local businesses and hotel partners have taken this pledge, demonstrating their commitment to helping minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keeping us safe and healthy.
In this blog series, we will interview a Discover Saratoga member who has taken the pledge and discuss what actions they have implemented to keep their employees and customers safe. We will also discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on their business and their outlook for the future. Today’s Q&A is with Dan Fortier, general manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs.
What enhanced procedures do you have in place to keep your guests safe?
Our hotel has been proud to participate in Hilton CleanStay, which is a global program introducing a new standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection. Hilton CleanStay builds upon Hilton’s already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene, where commercial-grade cleaning products and upgraded protocols are currently in use, to ensure Hilton guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out. Some of the key features of this program that we are implementing are as follows:
- Hilton CleanStay Room Seal to indicate that guest rooms have not been accessed since they were cleaned
- Increased focused disinfection of top 10 high touch areas in guest rooms like light switches and door handles
- Increased cleaning and disinfection frequency of public areas
- Guest-accessible disinfecting wipes at entrances and high traffic areas
- Enhanced cleaning & operational changes to restaurants, bars, in-room dining and meeting spaces
- Reduced paper amenities (like pads and guest directories) in rooms
- Industry-leading contactless check-in and check-out with Digital Key
- Enhanced Team Member safety and well-being with personal protective equipment and enhanced training and protocols
What are you doing differently to ensure meeting attendees are safe and following health guidelines?
In addition to Hilton CleanStay, they have rolled out Hilton EventReady with CleanStay. Meeting rooms will be inspected to meet CleanStay Standards and entry doors will be visibly sealed to maintain a high level of sanitization. Customized room sets will reflect the flexible needs of the event and support physical distancing guidelines. Planners will receive a Hilton EventReady Room Checklist verifying that all key touchpoints have been cleaned and sanitized. Once the planner arrives, they will be presented the checklist by the Banquet Capitan and they will then break the door seal to ensure that they are the first person in the room since it’s been properly sanitized. Our meeting and event menus can be restructured to accommodate individual servings for you and your guests! Feel at ease knowing our staff is dedicated to ensuring a safe and pleasant experience for all.
What advice would you give to a meeting planner looking to host an event in Saratoga?
Event planners and attendees are expecting a higher standard of cleanliness than ever before. All departments in our hotel are committed to working with customers to achieve their business objectives through delivering event experiences that provide peace of mind from start to finish.
Will you continue to use any of the new initiatives you started due to the pandemic post COVID?
Absolutely! Being a hotel, our top priority has always cleanliness even before COVID. The global Hilton CleanStay program is setting the new elevated standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. We want all guests to enjoy a worry-free stay!
Why should people feel safe coming to your business?
Travel may look a little different right now, but our priorities have remained the same. We are still committed to providing you a safe and relaxing hotel stay! We understand that our guests’ expectations for hotel cleaning and disinfecting have changed. That’s why we are proud participant in Hilton CleanStay that builds upon our already rigorous cleaning standards by providing enhanced training for Team Members, increased cleaning of public areas and adjusted food and beverage service.