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.
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.
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.
Breakfast is “grab bag” style:
….. 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.
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.
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.