HFP reader story: My life in a lockdown hotel

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One of our readers in currently based in a UK Crowne Plaza hotel whilst undertaking essential work.  Here is his story of how he is finding life in these strange times.

I am a key worker and had spent eight weeks in a Crowne Plaza prior to lockdown for work.  I have just returned to the same hotel for another two weeks but these two weeks will be very different.

I believe there are less than 10 guests occupying a hotel that has 140 rooms, four of whom are myself and my colleagues.  The rest are NHS staff and other essential workers. No other people are allowed at the hotel.

When we arrived, a sign on the locked door asked us to use our foot to push a doorbell to be let in.  Non residents are asked not to come in and instead call reception by telephone.

Life in a lockdown hotel

When I checked in, the various protocols were explained to me as I stood behind a rope to ensure the receptionist was given sufficient distance.  He explained he was living on site at the hotel to try and support those like me who need a place to stay whilst we work in the area.

Life in a lockdown hotel

Our rooms had been vacant for 10 days prior to our arrival to prevent any risk of lingering Covid-19.  Housekeeping are not able to enter our rooms during our stay.

The restaurant and bar area is all closed off.  To arrange for breakfast and dinner (room service) we send our orders via email.

Life in a lockdown hotel

Breakfast is “grab bag” style:

Life in a lockdown hotel

….. and dinner is limited to five main courses and two dessert choices.

The receptionist kindly brings our order, leaves it on the floor outside our door and asks that we wait for them to leave before opening the door.

A fully stocked trolly has been set up near reception with the essentials such as towels, toiletries, tea and coffee top ups, bars of soap etc.  There is a polite sign asking guests to use the alcohol gel provided before collecting anything.  They have also provided gloves for those who want them.

Life in a lockdown hotel

Over the eight weeks I stayed here prior to lockdown I became friendly with many of the staff.  All bar three are now furloughed with the three remaining doing rotating shifts.  There are also a couple of other support staff on site for cleaning and maintenance but I don’t believe they are here every day.

Life in a lockdown hotel

The staff and the hotel are doing as best they can in such difficult times to put everyone’s safety at the top of the list whilst also trying to provide some level of hospitality.  I take my hat off to them for staying open for us.

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  1. Missing Bas Vegas :-/ says:

    Nice to see this – not least because I’ve practically lived in CP Basingstoke for the 12 months prior to lockdown!

    The hotel is well looked after and has an excellent team… and so it’s great to see them keeping their lights on while also helping out our amazing key workers.

  2. kirtje says:

    I’m currently staying in the Hilton London Metropole with some of my NHS colleagues, plus a lot a Kuwaiti nationals who are awaiting repatriation flights – there is even a pop-up embassy!

    • Crafty says:

      Out of curiosity, who’s paying the rate – your employer, the hotel, or are you having to individually pay your way?

  3. Well done Crowne Plaza for letting people stay. A sobering read. I am so sorry for the staff who are furloughed but at least they are and haven’t lost their jobs. I do hope they get back to work and full pay ASAP.

    • Many hotels do this these days. Our Ibis (Shepherd’s Bush) also serves as a base for essential workers

      • Lady London says:

        Are they moderating their rates? I’ve never seen a rate I would consider reasonable at that Ibis.

  4. thank you to share this story, a different reality I don’t see

  5. Thank you for the write up. It’s really interesting to try and get an idea of how different places are operating under these strange and testing conditions.

    Stay safe


  6. Nathan says:

    Was a pleasure to write this up and again, a huge thank you to the staff at CP Basingstoke for all they are doing. Glad people have enjoyed reading.
    1 week down, 1 to go

  7. Great read. Thanks

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