A Visit to The Coeur d’Alene Inn During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 crisis has made people around the world change their habits overnight. Most of us started washing our hands more often and wearing masks in crowded spaces. Some individuals adopted new habits such as disinfecting groceries when coming home, coating our hands in copious amounts of sanitizer after leaving a public space, and using contactless delivery.
However, the responsibility cannot be on individuals alone to limit the spread of COVID-19. Businesses must also keep customers and employees safe in their establishments. Many have undertaken this task with grace. These businesses are requiring masks, implementing social distancing, installing sanitizer dispensers, and repeatedly wiping down surfaces. That being said, there are still too many businesses that have not prioritized their customer and employees’ health and safety.
So when I visited the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for an escape from my quarantine, I was impressed by their superb attention to detail and cleanliness. From the moment I walked through their doors, I felt immediately at ease. Let me break down exactly how much attention to detail they’ve shown in my brief stay:
Before my arrival, I received a message that I could check-in remotely using the Best Western App. They made the check-in process super easy. In the past, I would have to sign a registration card during check-in. Instead, they have temporarily taken that part out to limit person-to-person contact.
Guests still have the option of approaching the front desk to check-in. A glass sneeze guard has been placed at the front desk to separate the clerk from the guest. Yet, the employees are just as helpful as ever with check-in, check-out, and general questions. When I stopped by, I saw that they meticulously sanitize the guest keys and pens before and after each use.
While eating at a restaurant is currently a touchy (no pun intended) subject, Mulligan’s has done a great job of creating a safe environment. They reduced capacity, removed tables and chairs, and spaced out the remaining ones. All the tables, chairs, and surfaces around the restaurant are diligently washed and sanitized between use. This even includes the salt and pepper shakers!
They replaced the salad bar and buffet-style stations with freshly packaged meals. Most condiments have been packaged into single-serve containers. In situations where single-serve containers are not feasible, multi-use containers are thoroughly sanitized. Their menus were also changed to single-use, and the pens and check booklets were carefully sanitized between uses.
When refilling my drink, they brought me a new glass entirely to avoid possible contamination and brought me a fresh straw.
And while I loved dining at Mulligan’s, I decided to treat myself to some room service. It came with an automatic gratuity and room charge but that’s to be expected. I just placed my order and the delivery was contactless. They placed my food on an adorable tray and tray jack outside my door, knocked, and then left. It felt like a movie.
It’s no secret that Idaho has some dreadfully hot summers so I was so excited to take a dip into the pool. Their team spaced out all pool seating to promote social distancing, and they carefully monitor the chemical levels in the pool.
Their fitness center only allowed one guest at a time. As someone who gets stage fright about working out in front of strangers, this was perfect.
Like many other professionals, my work has allowed me to work from home during the pandemic. I decided to check out their business and conference center during my stay. As the second-largest event center in Coeur d’Alene, I’m not surprised that they had a thorough plan for keeping conference attendees safe.
The conference rooms were set up differently than usual. Conferences can be crowded but they spaced everything out to promote social distancing. The Coeur d’Alene Inn also posted signs to remind conference attendees to maintain a safe distance from each other.
During my visit, I learned they’re carefully sanitizing the conference center between use. This includes washing any linens or underlays. They also disinfect door handles, light/music switches, hard surfaces, microphones, and audiovisual equipment, podiums, tables, chairs, etc.
One of their managers even reviews the room set-ups DAILY to ensure that the rooms ensure social distancing.
Team Member Safety
The Coeur d’Alene Inn management values their employees and makes an effort to keep them safe. If anyone feels sick, they are required to stay home. They also get their temperatures checked before starting their shifts. If their temperature exceeds 100 degrees, they’re asked to go home or seek medical attention. Team members are also encouraged to wear gloves and masks as much as possible.
The employees are constantly washing their hands. Everyone washes their hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds at the start of their shift, after clocking in, and every hour. They also have to wash their hands after using the restroom, eating, smoking or vaping, touching their face, sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose. If they touch any object or surface such as a broom, vacuum, cash, telephone, or cash register, they wash their hands. The Coeur d’Alene Inn really goes the extra mile to ensure guests are safe.
Housekeeping was one area I was worried about. We’ve all heard of hotel housekeeping horror stories on the nightly television. But like everything else at The Coeur d’Alene Inn, their housekeeping detail was spotless and meticulous.
I was told to notify housekeeping when I would be out of my room. That way they could slip in and clean while limiting close contact as much as possible. Their housekeeping team uses industry-leading practices for cleaning and sanitizing rooms. They even pay extra attention to high-touch items including television remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and furniture handles, water faucet handles, nightstands, telephones, in-room control panels, light switches, temperature control panels, alarm clocks, luggage racks, and flooring. And while it does take a little longer, their team is committed to doing the job correctly.
Their housekeeping team changes all bed linen and laundry daily. They also wash them at a high temperature and in accordance with CDC guidelines, but they did that before the coronavirus anyway.
When I visited The Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, to say I was impressed was an understatement. I felt like they should teach a masterclass in how businesses should respond to a pandemic. The Best Western is dedicated to providing comfortable accommodations for their guests. And while this “new normal” might feel eerie and scary, finding a hotel that prioritizes the safety of their guests gave me a feeling of comfort I hadn’t felt in months.