As we are all adjusting to new travel norms, Larkin Hospitality is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and employees every step of the way.
In the last few weeks, Larkin Hospitality has taken a series of precautionary steps in response to this developing public health impact. These include increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures at all of our properties. While there is no proven playbook for how to handle the situation we are currently in, we have made a commitment that we will continue to be driven by data, science and public health guidelines as we evaluate and evolve these safety protocols and policies.
Public health experts say that it will take some time for life to return to a sense of normalcy, and even at that point we will have a new definition of what normal is. What we can do now is take what we know about the virus and give our employees and guests the tools they need to be safe and responsible, along with create environments designed to curb its spread.
As we prepare for the future, our priority is reopening in a manner that puts health and safety at the center of our operations. We believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things: the health and well-being of our employees and guests, while also playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus.
Hotel Changes due to COVID-19
As of May 22nd, hotels across Vermont are permitted to accept overnight reservations from those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement or are considered essential workers per Governor Scott's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive order. In order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees, some of our standard operating procedures and amenities have been modified or eliminated for the time being. Based on the latest government requirements and recommendations, we have made the following adjustments:
For All Properties:
Health Questionnaire: All guests must complete a health questionnaire, which could be completed via phone or electronic means such as email, upon check-in. Any guests that exhibit signs of illness or COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival may not be allowed to check in. If symptoms begin during their stay they must be asked to leave and return home if possible. If departure is not possible, guests must self-isolate for the remainder of their stay and the Vermont Department of Health must be contacted immediately.
Certificate of Compliance: Upon check-in, all properties will require a signed copy of the Certificate of Compliance from each guest, attesting they have met the 14-day quarantine requirement.
Housekeeping: Housekeeping service will be provided upon departure only, in order to maintain social distancing and ensure the safest environment for both guests and employees. Employees will supply fresh linens and trash removal to guests upon request. Soiled linens must be placed in the bag provided and left outside of the guestroom door by the guest. New linen will then be delivered and left at the door by an employee.
Elevators: Elevator capacity has been limited to 2 people or 1 party at a time.
Social Gatherings: There are to be no gatherings of more than 10 people on the property at any given time.
Face Coverings: For your health and safety, all employees are required to wear a face covering while on property. We encourage our guests to do the same unless there is an underlying health condition.
For Applicable Properties:
Dining: Our current dining options vary per property. Please contact the property directly to find out what is being offered.
Shuttle: Shuttle capacity has been limited to 2 people or 1 party at a time and masks are encouraged while occupying the shuttle.
Fitness Center: Guests who wish to use the fitness center must sign up for a specific time slot to continue social distancing practices. Guests are required to disinfect the fitness center equipment after each use. Disinfecting wipes are provided.
Swimming Pool: Our swimming pools will remain closed at this time.
Dry Cleaning: Dry cleaning services have been suspended, but guest laundry facilities remain fully open.
We ask that all guests continue to follow social distancing guidelines provided by the CDC while on property. Should you have questions regarding our new policies, please contact the Front Desk.
We thank you for your understanding as we work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and support the health and well-being of our employees, guests, and our communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What cleaning practices have been put into place?
Although our cleaning protocols have always been important, we have increased the amount of routine cleaning, with a focus on high-touch surfaces and common areas such as tables, elevator buttons, water fountains, ice and vending machines, room keys, light switches, guest room amenities, luggage carts, and door handles.
Larkin Hospitality solely uses disinfectant products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency's criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for surfaces. On a regular basis, we are working to adopt the latest guidance on hygiene and cleaning. Our health and safety measures are designed to address COVID-19 and include everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and common area cleaning procedures.
Is COVID-19 specific training being made available to associates?
Larkin Hospitality has put in place a Return to Operations Plan which include specific measures we are actively taking to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in our hotels. The plan establishes and explains the policies, practices, and conditions necessary to meet the guidelines of state and local health officials. Communication and training will be ongoing as we receive updated information and guidance from the Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Routine mandatory meetings with staff are held to reinforce safety, answer questions, and review current policies. We want to ensure each employee fully understands the policies in place and feels confident answering questions that may be asked by guests or others. Employees will receive comprehensive training on new health and safety protocols, on proper wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reinforced training on the importance of handwashing, cleaning, and physical distancing guidelines.
Are products used to sanitize common areas and guestrooms non-toxic and safe particularly for people with allergies?
Our properties use EPA approved cleaning products that are safe for associates and guests. If you have specific allergen or safety questions regarding the products we are using, we encourage you to reach out to Kevin Dowd, Director of Health and Safety, at Kevin.Dowd@LarkinHospitality.com.
What hygiene and safety items are being used and made available to all guests?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact for a prolonged period. This has been defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of someone for 10 minutes or more. To avoid close contact, physical distancing, also called social distancing is being implemented at each property. Where possible areas of each hotel will be clearly marked to assist with social distancing, and signage will be placed to encourage one-way traffic flow with marked entrances and exits. Where applicable, furniture in the lobby and other public seating areas, as well as breakrooms and back offices, will be reconfigured to promote social distancing. Where this isn't feasible, we will mitigate as best as possible with plexiglass barriers, face shields or clear signage.
Larkin Hospitality is installing more hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, including hotel entrances and near the front desk.
Are there limits on how many people can congregate in lobbies or other public areas?
To practice social distancing, you must remain 6 feet (two arms' lengths) from others, do not gather in groups of more than 10, and stay out of crowded places. Employees, guests, and visitors are prohibited from gathering in groups in confined areas, including elevators. A maximum of 2 people or 1 party are allowed in an elevator at one time. Employees are not permitted to be in an elevator with a guest.
What will happen when a guest checks in and must stand in line?
Our properties are implementing social distancing guidelines which meet or exceed local guidance, including signage, physical partitions at the front desk and floor markers to help guests maintain appropriate social distancing.
At applicable properties, guests are encouraged to use our Mobile check-in, chat, and mobile/digital key features to by-pass the front desk altogether.
What hotel cleaning procedures changed as a result of the pandemic?
Regular housekeeping practices are still being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools, shuttle vehicles and areas in the work environment including restrooms, break rooms, eating areas, and meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in hightouch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, etc. All non-essential items that create touch points have been removed from public areas and guest rooms.
At this time to reduce employee and guest exposures will not be providing typical housekeeping service. This means our housekeeping team will not be entering your guest room during the length of the stay. If you need anything during the length of your stay, please contact the front desk. Employees will supply fresh linens to guests upon request. Soiled linens must be placed in the bag provided and left outside of the guestroom door by the guest. New linen will then be delivered and left at the door by an employee.
Checkouts will remain untouched for 24 hours before an employee can enter the room. When entering the room, employees must open windows and doors where applicable to increase air circulation. When possible, guest doors leading to the corridor must remain closed when cleaning. Employees must disinfect all surfaces potentially contacted by the previous guest. This includes, but is not limited to: light switches and all bathroom surfaces, telephones, TV and TV remote control, door handles, thermostat or AC controls, dresser handles, inside drawers, hangers, luggage rack, and safe, ironing board and iron, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, pens, and wand or pull chords for sheers and drapes.
Additionally, employees are required to wear a face covering while on property. Wearing face coverings is an additional public health measure that employees must take in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Gloves will continue to be worn by employees who require them to do their jobs and will be required by anyone who is cleaning or disinfecting.
Is the hotel that I am staying at following these enhanced cleanliness standards?
Larkin Hospitality has made it a standard for all our properties to follow these guidelines. We have designated a Safety Health Officer at each property who is responsible for implementing and complying with our new polices to preserve the safety, health, and wellbeing of our employees and guests.
If I have any questions about the cleaning standards of the hotel I'm staying at, whom should I contact?
Should you have any questions, please contact Kevin Dowd, Director of Health and Safety, at Kevin.Dowd@LarkinHospitality.com.