A lot of hotels and resorts are paying closer attention to details in these days of the Covid-19 pandemic. None more so than Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, Fl. The Forbes Five-Star property, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year, re-opened this past July 1 under Covid-19 safety guidelines. And it even implemented some of its own.
“I think guests now are just looking for security and comfort,’’ said Eau Palm Beach General Manager Tim Nardi. “I’ve had only positive remarks – even from the couple of guests who didn’t want to wear masks. You explain it to them and they understand. So, our guests are happy and having a good time.’’
That sense of security Nardi referred to begins even before check-in. A valet attendance uses a UV light to clean the door handles off each car prior to a guest getting out the car. The handle on each piece of luggage also gets a UV light cleaning; the mat on each bell cart is disinfected after each use; seat covers are put down in each car, and the gear shift and steering wheel in each car is covered.
Before a guest checks out, his or her car, Nardi said, is completely sanitized from the front seat to the trunk.
“All those kinds of little things … we’re doing them to make our guests feel secure,’’ said Nardi, who was named GM of the 309-room beachfront resort in July of 2019. “We do a lot of extraordinary things. All of our employees wear masks every day. Our shuttle busses have Plexiglas that separates drivers from the passengers. And we do temperature checks on each our employees.’’
Masks are mandatory for guests everywhere in the resort, except when consuming food. The resort’s outstanding Spa is fully open, as are Eau Palm Beach’s four restaurants. Angle, the resort’s signature restaurant, is open only on Friday and Saturday nights, and according to Nardi, has had a full reservation sheet for each night, albeit with reduced seating.
“For luxury resorts, it’s still the basics of giving guests a Five-Star experience,’’ Nardi said. “Knowing what the expectations are and how you are going to keep everyone informed – from reservations to the all the managers to the front desk people.’’
To those ends, Nardi said, the resort’s staff went through new orientation training immediately after re-opening.
“So much of what we do at a Five-Star property is about expression and emotion. It’s tough for guests to see you smile with a mask on,’’ Nardi said. “How does a guest know you’re smiling? A lot can be in your eyes and the quality of your voice.
“You have to take the time to communicate and get the message right. For example, the tempo of your speech. What’s your natural speaking tempo? Where does the emphasis go? Between that and eyes and gestures, we’re able to communicate.’’
And make guests feel secure.