No touch at every touchpoint: Chroma ensures guest safety with new Culture of Clean

No touch at every touchpoint: Chroma ensures guest safety with new Culture of Clean

—– Staff safety, too.

From as early as March the team at Chroma Hospitality, which manages both Crimson Hotels & Resorts and Quest Hotels & Resorts in the Philippines, has been spreading the message that their properties are locations for “worry-free bookings”.

Today, as travel restrictions around the world begin easing and they prepare for an uptick in guests, that message could not be clearer, with formalised processes that take safety and hygiene to new levels for hotels everywhere.

Taking no chances: guest arrival now begins at the airport

From the hotel vehicles with custom partitions between the driver and guests, to the contactless check-in process, every detail has been thought of by the team at Chroma. 

A scannable QR code, provided by the chauffeur prior to the airport-to-hotel commute, ensures guests know how the express check-in will work and how many people are allowed inside the hotel elevator. On arrival at the hotel, temperatures are taken, UV sanitisers disinfect all luggage, and the pre-completed check-in forms and health card questionnaires ensure that congestion in the lobby is drastically minimised.

“The streamlined arrival process ensures that, at least for now, we will have as little physical interaction as possible with our guests,” says the management group’s VP of e-commerce & revenue management, Sunish P Sadasivan. “Being in email contact with every guest prior to their arrival, despite how they’ve booked, has been crucial in this regard. The next step to be completed in the coming weeks is ensuring that those guests have their passports already digitally scanned and have easy access to their mobile room key by the time they arrive.”

Distancing of reservations

As part of Chroma’s Culture of Clean initiative, all checked out rooms will remain empty for 24 hours after thorough cleaning and disinfection, and high touch areas of the hotel will be cleaned every two hours by the heavily-protected staff.

Electrostatic sprays will be put to use during cleaning, as well as a UV bulb that will be fixed temporarily in the bedside lamp as an added sanitisation measure. Once complete, no one will be allowed to enter the room until the next guests arrive, and a seal marking the room as sanitised will be placed on the door for clarity. 

Sound like a lot? It is. But when describing the ultimate goal of the project, VP of operations Ria Jareno says that it will be worth it for the safety of both guests and their staff.

“The core aim is to provide peace of mind to our guests and staff, and to ensure we’ve done everything we can to keep them safe,” says Ria. “The added measures and others that we are considering certainly aren’t cheap, however we see it as a necessary investment for the future.”

To maintain the strict, 24-hour gap between room use, the team will closely monitor their room allocations and begin implementing minimum stays for busier periods. The staff, many of whom are currently working from home, will be required to complete an online course before being reinstated back into the schedule.

Learning with guests

When asked about the expected impact that all of this will have on guests, Sunish believes that while there will likely be a learning curve at the beginning, guests will ultimately appreciate the measures being taken and that, in time, greater efficiencies will be created.

“It’s going to be a new normal, and there may be some guests that don’t like it, but there will be a lot more that will be happy that every safety measure is being taken,” says Sunish. “I’ve seen a lot of new guests chatting with us and asking how it is that we are making our hotels and restaurants safe, so a lot of our guests will be anticipating stricter measures. In terms of their experience onsite, I think the digital check-in will ultimately make things smoother; guests won’t be waiting for a room, they will know when it’s ready via their mobile key.”

Emerging from one of the world’s longest lockdowns

With the soldier-enforced quarantine of the Philippines’ capital, Manila, and other large cities extended from April to June, the country’s lockdown is set to be one of the longest globally, which economically has been devastating and pushed the country into recession for the first time since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Commenting on the situation, Ria says, “The travel industry in the Philippines, as in every country globally, has been heavily impacted, however we are extremely lucky to have the support of our company at this time. Even at the one hotel that we have closed, the Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, our people are being taken care of, provided food and even accommodation within the hotel itself.” 

For Chroma, this level of care is unsurprising, and the Culture of Clean is yet another pledge of safety to the hotel’s staff and guests. The first initiative of its kind in the Philippines, it sets the bar high for the other hotels in the region, as they all slowly begin to awaken from their months-long COVID slumber.