Chateau Laurier eyes June reopening as hotels adjust guest experience during pandemic

After being closed for weeks, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier has a potential re-opening date during the COVID-19 pandemic

“We’re looking at June. Tentative June 15, but it’s in the air, could be sooner, could be later,” said Rick Corcoran, General Manager of the historic hotel in downtown Ottawa. The Chateau Laurier has been closed since March 21 due to the pandemic.

Regardless of where you stay, your next hotel visit almost anywhere will look different as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.

“Housekeepers are not allowed to enter the room if the room is occupied,” said Denis Gilles, General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn.

Many chains have or will modify its full-cleaning service from daily to once a week, unless otherwise requested. 

Guests at the Hilton are asked to put their garbage and used linen in the hallway. A staff member will come by to pick it up and the items will be replaced.

However, hotels say guests may have to do their part, like make their own bed, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

At the Hilton, each room will have a sealed sticker on every door to signify it’s been sanitized. Unnecessary items will be removed. 

“No more [note] pads, no more pens, no more in-room directories, all the extra touch points are going to be eliminated,” said Wayne Day, hotel manager of the Hilton Garden Inn. 

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier will check temperatures of staff and guests when it re-opens. Corcoran says staff with high temperatures will be asked to go home, while guests may be allowed to stay in a separate wing of the hotel.

The front desk at the iconic hotel could soon have plexiglass and the lobby have tape on the floor.

“We’re looking at not opening the gym for a little while, some of our services we’re going to hold back on,” Corcoran said.

From sitting down to eat at your favourite hotel restaurant to how your food is prepared, dining will looking a lot different, as well.

“We are not serving breakfast anymore. We have to-go boxes for the guests,” Gilles said.

“I’m in the process of removing tables to be in accordance to the law.”

Under Ontario’s pandemic measures, restaurants are not allowed to be open for dine-in service.

To allow time for bacteria to die, many hotel chains are not allowing anyone to enter a room for up to 72 hours after a guest checks out.