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The grand reopening: Cambridgeshire hotel adapts to ensure guests’ safety

Cambridge Belfry Picture: Paul Rogers (37481658)
Cambridge Belfry Picture: Paul Rogers (37481658)

Making sure a hotel visit is comfortable, enjoyable and safe has been the focus for staff at the DoubleTree By Hilton Cambridge Belfry.

As the industry prepares to reopen after a close to four-month closure because of the pandemic, work behind the scenes has been tireless.

General manager David Rowley has outlined some of the new procedures that will be place at the Cambourne hotel, and stressed that key to it all is to ensure guests enjoy their stay.

The Hilton CleanStay programme is all-encompassing and starts before check-in.

Signage will direct guests along appropriate routes round the hotel, and social distancing floor signage will be in place, along with hand sanitisers.

All members of Hilton Honours, which is free to join, will be able to use the straight-to-room system, allowing people to digitally check-in and use mobile phones to open the door to the room, making the process contactless.

At the rooms, there will be a hygiene seal on the doors from when the room was checked. Once the seal is broken and guests enter the room, they will have details of 10 ‘touchpoints’ that have been focused on.

Crockery and glassware has been replaced with takeaway cups and high-quality plastic replacement, and the remote control will have a hygiene seal so there is confidence that it has been cleaned between stays.

Face coverings will be optional for guests, but team members will be wearing them.

Perspex screens will be present in reception and also available for guests who are not Hilton Honours members or prefer a more traditional check-in, and each reception station will be sanitised after each guest.

A full breakfast option is available but will be plated, rather provided in a buffet.

In the restaurant, there will be social distancing between tables, and a booking system.

Guests will also be able to have their breakfast on the outdoor terrace by the lake.

An all-day menu will be offered in the bar and restaurant area, via table service.

Where possible, there will be a gap of at least a day between guests in rooms.

Cambridge Belfry Picture: Paul Rogers (37481655)
Cambridge Belfry Picture: Paul Rogers (37481655)

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Mr Rowley of the reopening. “As a team now, we’re working incredibly hard on the final touches. Since we closed our doors back in March, we’ve used that time to do some projects in the hotel to ensure it really is looking sharp and presentable.

“But also we’ve used the time to get ready to ensure that we’ve got safety at the top of the agenda. I’m feeling confident that we’re in a very good place.

“Our primary aim as a hospitality business is to give our guests a really fantastic experience. We want all these measures to be here and we’ve worked incredibly hard to make sure our guests can be 100 per cent confident in hygiene and cleanliness and enjoy their stay.

“Our aim as a Hilton hotel is to ensure guests have equally as great an experience as if we weren’t in this new normal.

“One of the key things is that our team are guest-focused and have looked at various touchpoints throughout the stay where we can ensure those extra things are done for our guests.”

The hotel hopes guests will make use of the outdoor areas, including the tennis courts and an area for croquet. They also have plans and procedures in place for the swimming pool, gym and spa, when the government eases restrictions.

During lockdown the hotel was able to assist the ambulance service by offering facilities for training as the call handling capacity was increased.

Also reopening on July 4 is the Cambridge Hilton City Centre Hotel, while the Gonville Hotel is due to reopen on July 5. The University Arms and the Holiday Inn in Impington have yet to announce their plans.

Read more:

The grand reopening: How Cambridge pubs aim to keep punters safe from Covid-19

The grand reopening: What you can expect now when you visit Cambridge restaurants

Your guide to visiting Cambridge - and staying safe - as lockdown eases

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