Hygiene is top of the agenda for holiday lets, hostels, hotels and any other accommodation that checks guests in and out regularly. It always has been. But now, with extra safety reassurances needed, both for customers and for staff, adding in new measures to make sure germs are kept at bay is a priority that’s second to none.
The hospitality industry was one of the worst hit during the global lockdown in the first half of 2020, and the measures that have been put in place have been extensive. Even for large hotels with management resources at hand to help wade through new requirements, it’s not been an easy journey. So, for smaller businesses, such as holiday lets, finding the best ways to give guests the reassurance they need to return and stay confidently is a minefield.
Here, our team take a look at some of the safety measures and cleaning techniques that might help…
Consider your contents
While it’s important to ensure your holiday let feels like a home from home, there may be some items you could remove for now, especially those items that are more difficult to clean. Items like books, board games and ornaments are regularly touched by guests and while they can provide wonderful distractions during wet weather days, its probably prudent to store them for now.
Your cleaning regime
Cleaning all surfaces has always been essential when keeping your holiday let clean and now understanding everything your guests may touch has never been more important. It can be a good idea to go around your property and to consider every possible item, putting together a cleaning plan as you go. From the obvious touch points like door handles and bannisters, to light switches, chairs and table tops. And, of course, remote controls and switches on appliances, too. Other areas to clean with warm soapy water and then disinfect include:
- Doors, door handles, bolts, keys and key safes
- Window handles and sills, blinds and curtain pulleys
- Bannisters, handrails, light switches and pulls
- Tables and chairs, highchairs
- TV remote controls, games consoles, stereos, piano/musical instruments
- Fridges and freezers, kettle and coffee machine, oven door and switches, toaster, iron, bins
- Toilet handles and toilet brushes, taps, showers
- Garden gates, outdoor bins, swings and equipment
When choosing your cleaning products for these items, disinfectants containing a diluted mix of bleach, or with at least 70% alcohol, should be effective against Covid-19. Read labels carefully, though, and make sure to also check the manufacturer’s guidance for the items you’re cleaning. For instance, TVs and similar items should not be cleaned with alcohol, which can damage the screens and the plastic casing around them.
Soft furnishings and bedding
Leaving some laundry bags and asking your guests to strip their beds and place bedding and towels into them at the end of their stay may not be the normal procedure, but it will mean your cleaning team members are safer, too. Remember to remove items from the bags gently so that germs aren’t shaken into the atmosphere.
As well as the normal rotation of bedding – from your duvet covers, sheets and pillowcases to the mattress and pillow protectors – your throws, cushions and soft furnishings will also need to be cleaned and now is a good time to think about having two sets to rotate, allowing you ample time to wash a set between guests.
Extra cleaning products
Leaving extra cleaning products for your guests to use while they’re staying would not normally be on the agenda, but it could offer your guests additional peace of mind and will remind them of cleaning protocols during their stay. Leaving hand sanitiser, as well as soap, is also a good idea.
Inform your guests
You’ve probably got an information folder at your holiday let, giving all the vital information about your property and about the local area. It’s a good idea to add in a section about cleaning, reassuring them about your own between guests cleaning regime and also letting them know where some additional cleaning products are, encouraging them to wipe down as they go, too.
Remember, laminating your information, or storing it in wipe clean sleeves within your folder, will mean you can also clean that in between occupants. Another option is to create an online info folder, with a QR code link that your guests can scan from their personal devices. Allowing you to give all the information, touch free.
Every home is different and each holiday let will need a different approach. Your team will be well used to cleaning your property and if you’re in any doubt, it’s always best to double check government guidance. Making sure your guests know your property has been properly cleaned will allow them to book up, relax and enjoy their stay with you.
Another consideration is making sure your insurance is up to date. Our Hospitality Division specialise in insurance for holiday homes for more information contact the team on 01473 343330.