UK staycations are on the cards for Brits this summer, with many cancelling trips abroad in light of recent quarantine restrictions and flight cancellations.
Thankfully, hotels across the country are offering new services and experiences for guests as they are welcomed back – although some parts of the stay are likely to be scrapped to help follow social distancing guidelines.
Hotel spas, which have been able to open since July 13, have had to make big changes to how they operate due to the hands-on approach when it comes to customers.
Beauty salons have already revealed some of the ways they are making it safer, with no more magazines or complimentary food and drink offered anymore.
Alex Hurt, Spa Director at Weavers’ House Spa in the The Swan Hotel in Lavenham, explained how they will be making changes when they reopen this weekend.
One thing they won’t be doing is having perspex screens like beauty salons have been using.
Speaking to the Sun Online Travel, she said: “From the minute they come in the door, we will welcome guests – we don’t have the perspex screens as we don’t want people to feel like they’ve walked into a clinical environment.
“We will ask people to wear masks when they come in due to government guidelines and we have an additional table at reception to allow extra distance between the guest and staff.”
“Masks for clients in the rooms will be optional because the guidelines don’t say people have to.”
However, don’t expect to pop in for an express appointment or one-off treatment, with the spa only offering a new “combined” menu of services to try and stop crossovers of customers.
She said: “Timing is the problem – you have to manage the capacity.
“If you did a 30 minute or 60 minute treatment, that wouldn’t work.
“We’ve introduced a menu of specific treatments called the Reinvention Menu which are 90 minute treatments with a 30 minute turn around.
“This could be a combo treatments such as a massage and express manicure, or a massage and a body scrub.
“By doing 90 minute treatments, that allows us to control the amount of people who are coming into the facility so you wont get an accumulation of clients.”
“The 30 minutes then allows surfaces to be cleaned and turned over.”
Staff members will only service customers in one room per shift as well, to avoid cross-contamination, while only a limited team will return initially.
Don’t expect a relaxing session in the sauna or spa any time soon either – these have to remain closed due to government guidelines, but are able to reopen from August 1.
However, she said that spas are often “incredibly hygienic” compared to other parts of hotels because they have high turnover of guests, meaning constant cleaning throughout the day.
She also says demand is high already.
She added: “We had just two weeks from the government saying we could reopen to announcing our reopening date. I’ve been inundated with people who are beating down the doors to come back.”
“When we opened our schedule for bookings, I had people emailing about being front of the queue.
“From what I’m getting, August is going to be a busy month for us, and I would imagine there will be a surge of people who want to come back in as soon as possible.”
Here are some other ways hotels are changing post-pandemic.