Business_news 5 major changes travelers can expect to see right away in hotels like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham as they open back up


A Four Seasons Sultanahmet Hotel staff member disinfects a room in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 21, 2020.

REUTERS/Umit Bektas

  • The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has releasednew safety and cleaning guidelinesfor hotels to use when reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Major hotel brands like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham have pledged to abide by the new protocols.
  • They include using contactless check in, getting rid of daily housekeeping, avoiding or limiting breakfast buffets, and encouraging self-parking instead of valet service.
  • Visit business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Prepare for a significantly different experience the next time you stay in a hotel.

As states and countries begin to reopen, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has releasednew safety and cleaning guidelinesfor the hotel industry.

Major hotel brands including Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Hyatt, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have pledged to abide by theSafe Stay initiative,which was created by the AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council in collaboration with public health experts, scientists, and medical leaders.

Some of the AHLA-recommended changes include getting rid of or limiting many aspects of a traditional hotel stay like daily housekeeping, breakfast buffets, and valet service.

Here are five major changes you can expect next time you stay in a hotel.

Business_news 1. You’ll check in with your smartphone.


The AHLA encourages contactless check in and payment processes whenever possible as hotels welcome back guests.

Many hotels, such asHilton, already have their own smartphone appthat allows you to check in and access your room — as well fitness centers, side doors, and any other areas you’d normally access with a key card — without interacting with another person.

Business_news 2. Don’t expect housekeeping to come clean your room every day.


Guests typically expect daily housekeeping in their hotel rooms unless they request their room be skipped. That’s about to change.

Per the new AHLA guidelines, housekeeping should not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested.

Rooms will be thoroughly cleaned after check-out as usual, with cleaners paying particular attention to disinfecting high-touch, nonporous objects like remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and water faucet handles, nightstands, telephones, light switches, luggage racks, and more.

The AHLA notes that “the frequency of room cleaning during a guest’s stay may be altered based on guest requirements.”

Business_news 3. Room service will now come via a bag dropped outside your door — or a server in full PPE.

Getty Images/Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd

The AHLA recommends that traditional room service be replaced with a no-contact delivery method.

This could come “in the form of a market bag left at the door,”as the general manager at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently told business Insider.

Or it could mean delivery by an employee outfitted in PPE, as at Luxury hotel brand Aman Resorts.

Business_news 4. Say goodbye to the traditional hotel breakfast buffet.

Ksenija Toyechkina/Shutterstock

Buffet service should be limited. Prepackaged foods and “grab and go” items should be the preferred method of food delivery, per the AHLA.

If a hotel chooses to continue offering a buffet, food should be served by an attendant in PPE; sneeze and cough shields should be placed at all food displays; and condiments, silverware, napkins, and glassware on tables should be limited to allow for proper disinfection between each guest.

Business_news 5. Instead of valet service, self-parking will be encouraged.

martinedoucet/Getty Images

If valet service is provided, the hotel must properly disinfect all contact points within the vehicle, per the AHLA.

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