This article is part of an ongoing series, “Is It Safe…“, where I explore how companies in the travel industry are handling the COVID-19 crisis. All reports are first-hand accounts from my past year working remotely in Europe.
One of the main advantages to staying in an international hotel brand like Hilton over an Airbnb rental is the consistency of the experience. This means that typically a night at the Hilton San Diego will feel the same as a night in the Hilton in Podgorica, Montenegro (where I filed this report). In this era of COVID-19, I really wanted to check in to see how the Hilton brand was handling the challenges of the current crisis.
My overnight stay quickly put me at ease. The staff all wore masks and the check-in counter had an additional plastic shield. Signage across the lobby let guests know about social distancing along with stations that provided hand sanitizer. The door to my room had been sealed with a “CleanStay” sticker, Hilton’s major initiative when it comes to COVID-19 safety.
Hilton has partnered with the company behind Lysol to help them develop the CleanStay program. Besides the typical deep clean of a room, there is also additional disinfecting of all switches and electronic controls, handles and knobs, major bathroom surfaces, and the remote control. Housekeeping services are what you feel comfortable in regards to personal safety. There’s also an option for contactless arrival so you can skip the front desk by checking in remotely with the app.
I didn’t eat in the restaurant because I still believe it’s utter madness to eat indoors, but there was room service with extended hours (everything in the city shuts down at 8:00 pm). I also didn’t use the recently opened gym facility as nearly every expert in the world recommends avoiding them.
Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay at a Hilton again. While no overnight lodging can guarantee to be 100% safe, Hilton’s additional safety measures made my stay comfortable and relaxing during these stressful times.