Author: Su-Jit Lin
Three hundred. Three hundred is the number of new measures Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has taken since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of its guests, employees, and even the land and sea its properties touch.
Some may argue that it’s excessive, but today, there’s no harm in exhibiting an abundance of caution. There’s only benefit, as the actions of a few can impact the well-being of many. And so this resort brand takes with great seriousness the importance of the health of every individual on every property under its prominent umbrella.
In fact, of Iberostar’s four pillars of their How We Care Principles, two are centered around COVID-19 guidelines: Standards of Hygiene and Social Distancing. The other categories of maintaining a safe environment and utilizing smart innovation, are close behind and also clearly related.
An expansion of a 60-year history of operating to some of the industry’s highest standards, the extensive How We Care initiative was developed with the assistance of their Medical Advisory Board department, the company’s Sustainability Office, and led by globally recognized travel and healthcare experts. Leading the push are Sebastian Crespi Rotger, founder and president of Biolinea International, and Dr. Javier Perez Fernandez, a specialist in intensive care and Miami hospital-based medical director. It was through working closely to determine best practices in tandem with the guidelines provided by global health and disease control organizations as well as public authorities, that this team developed the 300 measures “aimed at caring for our employees and ensuring the client’s experience” and “make customers feel safer than ever,” the brand promises.
Standards of Hygiene
Cleanliness was always an emphasis at Iberostar properties, along with usage of sustainable, eco-friendly products to keep things just so. However, they’ve adapted their protocols to even higher levels of vigilance.
The process begins even before your arrival, as all rooms are cleaned with certified biodegradable products known to eliminate 99.99% of viruses and bacteria 24 hours prior to check-in, with linens and textiles subjected to certified laundering processes. The full room cleaning includes all surfaces, the air conditioner vents, fumigation, and use of an electrostatic sprayer machine for the entire room and its carpets. Upon arrival, bags are disinfected by the bellhops, as are the golf carts used for transport of luggage and guests alike.
In shared spaces like dining and common areas, a more rigorous disinfection schedule is in place; common areas are closed off more frequently for intensive cleaning and all buffets and à la carte restaurants are deep cleaned between meal times. Plus, buffets are no longer self-serve, but rather, staff-assisted for your safety.
Recreational facilities receive amped up protocols as well, such as spa mat sanitizing; electrostatic spray cleaning for spa sandals, towels, and robes; sanitation of club house furniture, golf clubs, and golf carts, where only one player is permitted per cart; and you now can’t round a corner without encountering a hand sanitizer station.
Used to be that we’d all congregate at the bar, making new friends with guests and staff alike as we talked and laughed elbow to elbow. Opportunities to connect are still here at these inclusive resorts, but just from a little farther. Their picturesque outdoor spaces are now getting extra use as additional dining locations. Group activities tend to take place outside, and in six-foot increments from one another, including reconfigured seating for workshops, activities, and live music shows in addition to lounge chairs, hammocks, and communal areas.
Attendance limitations have also been introduced, with reservations needed for family workshops and activities (in groups of six or less), indoor shows, and à la carte dining, all to help avoid crowds and waiting.
Prefer to isolate and keep your getaway intimate? Room service is now no-contact, delivered in a closed and compostable packaging with reusable bamboo plates and implements.
Since 2018, Iberostar has invested in third-party verification to ensure local and international safety standards, achieving certification with Cristal International Standards, Earth Check, and more. What this means for you is that you can count on there being expertly trained personnel to be present at all times in case of health and safety events, 24/7 access to medical services, and secure property access. That’s in addition to measures that include inspection of all delivered goods and products to the hotels; prioritizing traceable and local foods; and, of course, strict compliance with WHO, CDC, and local agency recommendations, which are all subject to monitoring and updates.
Lastly, you may not think that technology implementation is overly related to COVID-19, but the truth is, having access to it just makes it a lot easier to stay out of physical reach while staying in metaphorical touch. Iberostar lets guests check in and out through an app on their own personal phones, minimizing touch points, and they also load all information on services, leisure activities, dinner reservations, and more so that you don’t need to have an in-person encounter to get details you need.
If you’re keeping count, we’re not quite up to the 300 measures they’ve put into place … but we think these highlights are a strong start. Most importantly, we don’t want to keep you here on this page longer than you need to be when you could, instead, be looking into experiencing them.