New hotel “perks” during COVID era

Once upon a time, hotels wooed guests with luxurious offerings, such as free hot breakfasts and resort wifi. But now, various chains and boutique hotels are offering add-ons and incentives in response to COVID-19. Some hotels are going as far as healthcare access and on-demand doctors. Yes, properties are pledging best practices according to CDC and EPA guidelines such as frequent cleaning, air-filtration systems, contactless check-in, and decreased capacity, but some are really looking to please (and reassure).

At one Dominican Republic resort, visitors who show evidence of a negative COVID test have been assured a spot at an onsite hospital in the event their situation changes. The resort has arranged an entire floor to be reserved only for their hotel guests. For those staying over five days at Atlantis in Dubai, you can book free COVID testing in the comfort of your own suite.

Montage Hotels has formed a new partnership with One Medical, where guests can schedule virtual doctor’s visits and consultations while on the property, and continue to do so for an entire month after their departure.

Even golf resorts, a sport that has gained popularity thanks to open spaces and social distance, are making adjustments. One Colorado Springs resort removed real-life caddies and golf carts, replacing them with Tempo Walk. These hands-free, autonomous caddies come complete with GPS yardage and the capacity to hold a cooler of untouched drinks.

And while temperature checks at the door are not uncommon, The Cape, in Los Cabos, Mexico, is utilizing a full-body sanitation station at their entrance. As visitors walk through the report doors that are treated with a spray of nonstaining mist from head to toe. The hotel also offers sanitizer stations, QR codes for menus around the property and a little package of masks and sanitizers in-room.

For one resort in Montana, they’ve moved away from shuttle vans and busses. No this is not a chance for socially distanced black car transfers. Instead, the hotel leaves a Lexus at the baggage claim curb, so that guests can drive themselves.

Closer to home, Ocean House in Rhode Island has dreamed up a “BarMobile” experience, where an expert mixologist pushes a “Ferrari-red” bar cart from room-to-room, mixing craft drinks — with complimentary canapés — for guests to enjoy solo. At Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod, guests can set up private dining experiences seaside, on the lawn, in their rooms. With so many AAA Northeast Members headed to the Finger Lakes, places like the Inns of Aurora in upstate New York have reacted. The Inns built a five-mile trail system where guests can also take private archery and fishing lessons led by their new resident “Outdoorsman.” Not to be outdone, Nantucket’s White Elephant is now advertising rates for stays in 30-day increments, allowing travelers to social distance in elegance.

One thing is certain, the hotels are reacting to a demand for travel. People are still longing to step away, to visit new places and explore opportunities. The industry is reacting to the new traveler sentiment, one that shows people will travel if the accommodations are clean, safe, and compliant.

As you begin to plan your next escape, a AAA Travel advisor can help you navigate the travel landscape. Together, you and your advisor can find the destination and accommodations that will feed your wanderlust while doing all they can to protect your health. To speak with your advisor, please call 1-800-222-7448.