Americans may have skipped out their summer vacations, but they are eager to travel this Labor Day Weekend after months of being cooped up at home. A Travelocity survey in May revealed that most families were postponing or planning their first leisurely trip during COVID-19 for Labor Day weekend. Three in four families said they were planning outdoor and adventure activities for the holiday, and roughly half told the travel provider they would opt for water activities like visiting a beach or lake. “Labor Day could be the last chance until the holidays for many families and travelers who may have sat out their regular summer plans to get out of the house together,” says Katie Junod, General Manager at Travelocity. “With safety as the main priority, travelers are taking advantage of the time off to extend their stay and slow down, with activities and destinations that allow them to spend as much time as possible outside.”
According to the survey, 73% of families said they were planning outdoor activities and over 50% said they would opt for water activities, condo and cabin bookings have seen a 540% and 485% increase respectively and the average length of stay for the holiday weekend is up by double digits. Dr. Abraar Karan, Harvard Medical Doctor and COVID-19 researcher emphasizes that travelers should remember that the virus doesn’t take holidays. “Remember to wear masks consistently, try to socialize outdoors as indoor crowding is where transmission can happen most easily so avoid indoor bars. If you have your own hotel room, transmission risk should generally be low but again— remember to wear your mask in public spaces and watch out for crowding, such as to get into an elevator. Transmission can happen when you are least expecting,” he explained. “Even if you receive a negative rapid test before traveling I wouldn’t use that as a reason to stop masking or avoiding indoor crowds. In terms of rapid antigen tests— these have only just been approved under an FDA emergency use authorization. Even a positive rapid test needs to be confirmed by rtPCR. And, you can have false negatives with these tests, especially if you are a couple of days before your peak infectiousness.”
If you are looking to book a last minute getaway or already have one planned here is what to expect from airlines, rental car services and hotels.
Delta is one of the safest airlines to travel with due to their extensive cleaning measures and limited capacity on all of their flights. The airline uses electrostatic spraying that provides a safe and effective way to thoroughly clean an aircraft cabin from floor to ceiling, sanitizing areas that employees and customers frequently touch. These sprayers electrically charge and disperse liquid disinfectant in a fine mist that clings to surfaces such as seats, seat back screens, armrests, tray tables, doors, lavatories and galleys throughout the aircraft interior. This high-grade disinfectant is highly effective against many communicable diseases, including coronaviruses, and is immediately safe for customers and crew after it’s applied. Following the sanitization process a cleaning crews complete an extensive checklist of cleaning procedures using this same high-grade disinfectant to wipe down personal and common areas of the cabin.“Providing a clean and healthy flying experience goes beyond meeting customer expectations, it’s part of our commitment to safety,” said Eric Phillips, Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service and Cargo. “Our customers can fly with confidence knowing that, on every Delta flight, the cabin has been sanitized top to bottom, interior surfaces and common areas have been thoroughly cleaned and Delta team members have confirmed the aircraft meets our cleanliness standards before boarding ever begins.”
As customers look towards a new era of travel and flying, and carefully weigh out the best options for their health and safety, JSX is pioneering a revolutionary travel approach and customer experience dedicated to further enhancing safe, simple, and secure short-haul air travel. You get all the perks of flying semi-private without the high price tag with flights starting from $89 each way. With its new ‘JSX Simpli-Fly’ program, the hop-on jet service offers advanced safety and security protocols that allow customers to skip the crowds, hop on, and simply fly. As part of this new program, JSX became the first public U.S. air carrier to implement SafePointe TSS (Temperature Screening System) ®, a real-time A.I.-enabled thermal screening system that accurately detects elevated body temperatures without the customer stopping to look at a camera or device. JSX also offers advanced air circulation system that combines a significantly higher percentage of fresh versus recycled air while creating mass flow balance, meaning each section of the cabin has its own air induction and removal stream, seamless check-in to boarding procedures that take no more than 20 minutes, no shared TSA plastic bins or removing shoes and fast deplaning and limited bag handling with bags delivered moments after arrival.
Sixt Rental Car
Sixt is offering flexible bookings until the end of 2020 and has distributed hygiene materials and introduced intensive cleaning processes to minimize virus transmission in their branches. Additionally, they have built plexiglass counter screens in all branches, require all customers regardless of the local law to wear face coverings and a multi-step cleaning process to clean all vehicles.
A McCall, Idaho landmark since 1948, Shore Lodge is an award-winning resort located just two hours north of Boise right on the edge of the largest area of protected wilderness in the continental United States. The historic 77-room lakefront hotel is set in the heart of the Salmon River Mountains on the southern waters of Payette Lake, a 5,330-acre expanse of clean, glacial water. In response to COVID-19, Shore Lodge is strictly adhering to the guidelines set by the state of Idaho. The resort’s ongoing communication in working closely with the Central District Health Department and St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center has allowed the property to remain diligent in its efforts and launch a We Care initiative. You can expect a check-in ambassador in the lobby to assist guests and ensure social distancing standards are followed, new floor plans in the restaurants including limited seating, to ensure social distancing standards are followed, one- time use menus and individually sealed silverware.
As studies have shown that road trips to remote locations, specifically camping and the outdoors, will be on the rise for travel following the pandemic as people look to minimize risks related to the virus. Under Canvas, a preeminent glamping company with accommodations just minutes from some of America’s most iconic national parks and monuments around the U.S., connects travel and nature while offering all the comforts of a personal home. Each expansive campsite, made of private safari-inspired canvas lodging tents in spatial distance, are furnished with plush mattresses, luxe linens, and a wood burning stove. Guests can fall asleep under the stars, wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy a day hiking amongst incredible views in each of the seven destinations Under Canvas is located. Under Canvas has modified their operations through a variety of enhancements such as individual check-in/check-out via touch-screen kiosk, takeout food & beverage orders to private tents, EPA certified cleaning agents between guests stays and back of house, hand sanitizing stations available throughout camps and individual tents, and more.
The Hermitage Hotel
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville just one block from the state capitol, The Hermitage Hotel became a storied backdrop for an embattled mix of pro-and anti-suffragists, legislators and lobbyists in the summer of 1920 leading up to the ratification of the 19th amendment. As the nation celebrates the centennial anniversary of the women’s vote, The Hermitage Hotel is offering a wealth of fun, educational programming to teach guests about the suffrage movement, from socially distanced high teas with historic reenactors and a suffrage cocktail menu inspired by the suffragist leaders, to weekly history tours around the hotel and a suffrage themed dinner series featuring dishes from the 1920’s at the iconic Capitol Grille. The hotel has partnered with Meharry Medical College to review and implement enhanced health and safety practices at the hotel. After creating an operating protocol to serve guests as travel restrictions lift, the hotel invited Meharry President Dr. James Hildreth and his team to tour the property and evaluate the procedures, ensuring that The Hermitage Hotel was providing the utmost in health and safety for guests.
As an industry pioneer, 1 HOTELS, is committed to the health and safety of their team members and guests. In accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC, 1 Hotels constructed a sanitation and operations plan that takes into account the complete guest experience from before they arrive until they head back home. Every property, including 1 Hotel West Hollywood, 1 Hotel South Beach, 1 Hotel Central Park, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Baccarat Hotels (New York) & Treehouse Hotels (London), will have a newly implemented role, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, who will serve as a resource for guests and oversee the implementation of new procedures. 1 Hotel West Hollywood just received a certification of the completion of Disinfection Services. While the hotel was closed, extensive preventative maintenance of the building’s systems was completed to ensure the hotels are performing at the highest quality. Prior to reopening, a third-party laboratory verification company tested the indoor air and water for quality according to EPA and ASHRAE standards. These activities will continue on a regular basis. All properties will be completely sanitized using hospital-grade EPA approved agents and virus-eliminating UV technologies before opening the doors to the public. All guests and team members will enter the property only after their temperatures have been scanned and if they are wearing a mask. High touch points like door handles and elevator surfaces and public area furniture will be sanitized multiple times per day using UV technologies.
La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
All throughout quarantine, reality TV fans and wanderlusters alike have been dreaming of a magical escape to the iconic La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains, the timeless Hollywood hideaway reopened on Thursday, September 3 and is eager to welcome back its loyal guests, new fans and local friends. La Quinta Resort has refined the entire guest journey with subtle yet substantive “touches” that provide anticipatory service without unnecessary contact, from check-in to room service. The property is going above and beyond with Hilton’s newly-implemented CleanStay™ with Lysol, including a Hilton CleanStay Room Seal to indicate that a room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, “knock and go” dropped-off room service, and flexible housekeeping options. Mindful of the health and safety of guests and team members, La Quinta Resort has developed and implemented additional processes and procedures above CleanStay in order to provide guests with the confidence of a localized response to the unique nature of the resort. La Quinta Resort’s COVID-19 Playbook can be found here.
The Four Seasons Punta Mita
A prime location on the Pacific coast, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita celebrates the rich culture of Mexico one sunset at a time. Reconnect with family and friends; our “mi-casa, su casa” attitude invites you to feel the true spirit of Mexican hospitality. Punta Mita guests can stay in the resort or in the Private Retreats (villas and residences), but the resort continues to keep both of their beaches closed and with the 30% maximum occupancy. Upon arrival, there will be a screening procedure that may include temperature checking as well as a series of questions regarding health and recent travel. Rooms are disinfected daily with EPA approved products and will have blacklight inspection by room attendants and he property is equipped with the latest tools and technology, including electrostatic spraying, ozone technology for air purification and/or UV technology for HVAC systems.
Residing in 600 acres of the Colorado Plateau, and requiring an Act of Congress to be passed so it could be built here, Amangiri blends into countless untouched square miles of red rock country. In the last remnant of the truly wild West, this ‘mountain of peace’ is cradled by the greatest concentration of national parks in the United States – a staggering landscape of canyons, mesas, mountains, gorges, rapids and desert, with traces of human life dating back more than 10,000 years. In this grand theatre of nature, the modernist Suites of Amangiri and the tented Pavilions of nearby Camp Sarika offer an inspiring welcome to one of the world’s most dramatically secluded settings. Additionally, Camp Sarika, five minutes from the property, is surrounded by towers of desert rock. The tented Pavilions of Camp Sarika enable intimate encounters with the wonder of the wilderness, and no compromise on comfort. Some the COVID-19 protocols newly implemented include a mandatory twice daily temperature and wellness check for all hotel visitors and staff, reduced capacity of guests, limiting the maximum of five individuals to any activity, and entire replacement and replenishment of all in room amenities following each guest departure.
Ojai Valley Inn
The legendary luxury Five-Diamond resort, is the ideal retreat for a relaxing and rejuvenating Labor Day getaway. Sprawled across 220 heavenly acres of ancient oak and olive trees, wild sage and lavender, the legendary luxury Five-Diamond resort is just a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles. There is no better place to reconnect with friends and family, become one with nature and indulge in some quality relaxation. The property has added additional sanitation practices throughout the resort including cashless payments, sanitizer stations and distanced common areas.
Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa
A Forbes Five Star Retreat, has implemented a “Stay Safe Program” including partitions and physical distancing during check-in, contactless connections for resort services via smart phones and tablets, and sanitization happening at every turn (including electrostatic sprayers, UV light technology and HVAC systems equipped with UV technology). The resort has also implemented programming perfect for maintaining social distance including an “At Your Service Cocktail Cart”, opening their 42,000 square foot spa for secluded and private treatments and switching to à la carte Sunday brunch service in lieu of the traditional buffet.
Amangani in Jackson Hole, Wyoming sits on a secluded hilltop retreat on the fringes of Grand Teton National Park immersed in nature with year-round wildlife experiences. Guests can enjoy spacious suites with oversized terraces and views of the Snake River Valley, farm to table dining served fireside in suites, the restaurant, by the expansive pool or on the sun deck and a 35-metre outdoor infinity pool and a spa offering soothing holistic therapies. Similar to it’s sister property, Amangiri, Amangani has implemented a mandatory twice daily temperature and wellness check for all hotel visitors and staff, reduced capacity of guests, limiting the maximum of five individuals to any activity, private use of gym or spa for individual guests up to 30 minutes and entire replacement and replenishment of all in room amenities following each guest departure.
The 131-year-old historic landmark in Aspen, Colorado boasts luxurious, contemporary accommodations and modern amenities that honor the property’s iconic mountain spirit. The hotel’s luxurious and residential style suites offer everything from private elevator entrance to expansive outdoor patios and spectacular mountain views. In addition to the properties rigorous cleaning protocols, Hotel Jerome has provided wellness stations with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes that are available throughout the hotel. Guests will also receive complimentary masks, sanitizing wipes and a personal hand sanitizer upon their arrival.
The Beverly Hilton
The Beverly Hilton has announced the completion of their $35 million property wide renovation, as well as a suite of playful overnight packages, state-of-the-art new cleaning technologies, and a NEW poolside dining venue, MERCATO. With guest safety and comfort as its top priority, The Beverly Hilton has gone above and beyond with the implementation of Hilton’s newly-implemented CleanStay™ with Lysol protection protocols and hygiene standards. The hotel has engaged International SOS/Corporate Medical Advisors, the world’s leading medical and security services company, to develop a bespoke safety plan including advanced, hospital-grade sanitization technology. In addition to the new Hilton CleanStay™ with Lysol protection program, advanced safety and physical distancing measures have been implemented pre-arrival and throughout the guest experience. These innovations include:
Mayflower Inn & Spa
The Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, Connecticut is open and welcoming guests this summer for an ideal Labor Day weekend getaway from NYC. Situated on 58 sprawling acres, this charming countryside retreat is perfect for social distancing with unrivaled space and just 30 guest rooms. With a forthcoming Fall 2020 reimagination by acclaimed designer Celerie Kemble. Dining, activities, fitness and spa services have been adjusted to ensure social distance and frequent sanitation.
The Four Seasons George V
If you happen to be able to travel to Europe or are currently there a longtime favorite, The Four Seasons George V, Paris in the heart of the Golden Triangle reopened September 1st as it continues to ensure that guest, resident and employee health and safety remains its top priority. The Hotel’s goal is to instill the same level of trust and confidence in Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, as ever before implementing its Lead With Care enhanced global health and safety program that is being implemented at Four Seasons properties worldwide. A key part of this service experience will continue to be the Four Seasons App and Chat. As one of the only industry platforms powered by employees on property, not chatbots, this award-winning service will further allow guests to control how they engage with employees. While face-to-face interactions may be more limited, Four Seasons will remain as connected as ever. With the App and Chat, guests will have direct access to property teams in 100+ different languages. From the comfort of their own device, the App provides a contactless experience that does not compromise Four Seasons genuine care and signature service.
The Sixty Hotels has remained open for their communities throughout stay at home orders. The Sixty Soho, Beverly Hills and Lower East Side have incorporated new COVID-19 safe protocols such as daily health and wellness certifications are performed daily for all associates prior to entering the location, an onsite TravelMD, designated food and package delivery areas for guests, elevator protocols ensures that only one party will ride in an elevator at a time, special filters for air ducts have been installed to promote clean airflow throughout the building, fabric face masks, hand sanitizer, and other PPE items for guests, compressed spray cleaners and electrostatic spray cleaners and UV lights that are utilized on packages, guest’s luggage, and within HVAC to promote filtration.
Santa Barbara’s Hotel Californian features a Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and a modern Moorish vibe: the waterfront resort caters to the Hollywood elite, domestic and international visitors alike. Paying homage to a 1925 hotel formerly on the site, this lower State Street destination near Santa Barbara’s waterfront has been meticulously curated by Los Angeles developer Michael Rosenfeld (The Grove, Century Plaza Hotel) and features paseos, gardens, fountains and open plazas. The 121-room Hotel Californian is located adjacent to Santa Barbara’s vibrant Funk Zone and one block from Santa Barbara’s train station. The hotel’s stylish interior décor was designed by elite, A-list designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, embracing Santa Barbara style with impeccable, unexpected details and thought-provoking art at every turn. Due to COVID-19, the hotel has implemented creative protocols including keeping doors propped open where possible to minimize contact, and they are sanitizing luggage carts, elevators, complimentary bicycles, room keys and computer pads between each use. Rooms are sanitized with electrostatic sprayers following each guest’s departure. Seating at the pool and rooftop is spaced at least six feet apart.
Commodore Perry Estate
The Commodore Perry Estate just opened its doors in June of 2020 as Auberge’s first urban destination getaway. A modern revival of Jazz Age design and architecture – the storied resort-style hotel epitomizes 1920’s glamour and regality, completed with Austin charm and deeply-rooted southern hospitality. Located amidst ten lustrous acres and surrounded by cascading formal gardens, this gem of a resort is excited to welcome guests for Labor Day weekend with individually detailed rooms and suites and one-of-a-kind vintage furnishings. The hotel’s already rigorous cleaning regimens and protocols have been increased. Enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices have been put in place throughout the property and the overall cleaning frequency has been increased.
Monarch Beach Resort
Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California is a beachfront resort nestled along the coast of Dana Point introduces guests to a reimagined destination experience steeped in the relaxed sun-splashed sophistication of coastal Orange County. Monarch Beach Resort is continuing to make guest safety the utmost priority. To exceed the county’s health and safety standards and offer guests a comfortable and safe experience, the resort has introduced the StaySafe Program of cleanliness, sanitization and physical distancing practices. Safety protocols at Monarch Beach Resort are informed by the public health and epidemiology experts at University of California Irvine. This consultation agreement is the first of its kind between the resort and UCI. UCI’s public health and epidemiology experts review and provide recommendations to elevate the resort’s safety protocol, conduct site visits and develop employee training materials. The safety practices at Monarch Beach Resort have also been certified by the California Hotel & Lodging Association.
The Whitney Hotel
The Whitney Hotel is in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill. The property is revitalizing and expanding an existing hotel to create a new landmark at the corner of Charles Street and Cambridge Street in the treasured neighborhood. Named for Henry Melville Whitney, a prominent Boston industrialist and one-time owner of the site, The Whitney offers guests generous hospitality through sophisticated simplicity and cultured comforts. The Whitney team has developed Rest Assured, a 5-point program designed to ensure guests and staff may be put at ease while on property. Rest Assured measures include advanced cleaning protocols, new service offerings, innovative accommodations and technologies, proactive communications, and more. Full details on Rest Assured program here.
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Set on 125 acres of Sonoran Desert terrain in affluent Paradise Valley, the resort is home to 453-rooms with private casita-style entrances with a garden patio or balcony, 36 holes of championship golf, six tennis courts, a 32,000-square-foot spa, four swimming pools, and seven restaurants and lounges. Restaurants that are currently open are Rita’s Cantina and Patio and Starbucks along with food service at Jackrabbit Pool on select days. JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa embodies the spirit of the Southwest with its peaceful desert setting, private grounds for hiking and meditation, and more. Consisting of in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations, the Marriott Cleanliness Council is redefining cleaning and safety standards. Hand sanitizing stations are installed at hotel entrances, at front desks, elevator banks, and meeting spaces. Signage in public spaces remind guests to maintain social distancing. Marriott is cleaning public spaces and high-traffic areas, with increased frequency, dedicated staff, and recommended cleaning agents. In guest rooms, there are elevated rigorous protocols to thoroughly clean all surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectants, and housekeeping is placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guest use. Marriott is rolling out enhanced technologies including electrostatic sprayers to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel, and is also testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing guest keys and devices shared by associates.
Bolero At Europa Village
Experience Europa Village’s captivating new winery resort with the Escape to Bolero package. Immerse yourself in Spanish ambiance with an overnight stay in one of Bolero’s private casitas. Indulge in tapas and microbrews at Bolero Restaurante, delight in the luscious flavors of Bolero wines throughout the village, and savor the experience at Brio, a Spanish boutique offering mementos from your travels. At this time they are limiting the number of guests to only 50% capacity and have expanded their dining and activities to ensure social distancing.
The Shore Club Long Bay Beach
The Shore Club Long Bay Beach is the first and only resort on Long Bay Beach, a secluded and private escape on the island with extensive beach and four pools and outdoor space to enjoy. Villas are the ultimate in privacy as they are gated and have a private pool and beach path, and have been celebrity favorites with Tracey Morgan and Chrissy Metz both staying there in the last year. You must provide a negative COVID-19 test five days prior to arriving to Turks and Caicos. The resort has established robust protocols to ensure the continuous deep cleaning of the property and undergone a deep clean prior to reopening in addition to implementing various measures to protect against Covid-19. Enhanced cleaning standards will continue to be monitored and regularly reviewed by each properties leadership team to ensure your safety and well-being throughout the duration of your stay.
Perry Lane Hotel
The Perry Lane Hotel is a destination for cultural insiders boasting 167 stylishly-appointed guest rooms including 12 suites; rooftop pool; library; lounge; three unique dining concepts; designer retail space; and an array of other secrets hidden behind Savannah’s storied curtains. Nestled among the ardent squares in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District, Perry Lane Hotel pays homage to the neighborhood’s ambiance and rich architecture and perfectly positions travelers for a wider and more nuanced appreciation of the city, ripe with southern charm and expertly-curated adventures. Under the Marriott umbrella, the brand recently announced the creation of the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council – consisting of in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations. Together, the council members will work to develop a new generation of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors for Marriott’s more than 7,300 properties around the globe.