Some hotels are opening pools with new procedures and protocols to practice social distancing and keep guests safe.
GLOBAL REPORT—As restrictions in place because of the pandemic begin to lift, hotels opening their pools for the summer are doing so in a much different way from last year.
MGM Resorts International has opened all its pools at its open hotels in Las Vegas, John Flynn, MGM Resorts’ VP of administration and health and safety advisor, said via email.
The company is operating at 50% occupancy at all its pool areas and is following all guidelines from the CDC and the state of Nevada, he said.
“Pool lounge chairs have been placed six feet apart between groups of guests to follow appropriate physical distancing measures,” he said. “In addition to having our employees trained to offer assistance, we have placed signage around each property to easily provide guests with guidance on keeping safe distancing. Guests also are encouraged to review our detailed Seven-Point Safety Plan on (our website).”
Poolside F&B and operations
Flynn said MGM is limiting food-and-beverage menus by its pools and will be serving all food in boxes rather than on trays.
He added that all guests are asked to eat in chairs and at cabanas rather than right by the pool.
The Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas will reopen in September and pools will open at this time, Isabelle Le Strat, GM at the property, said via email.
Le Strat said poolside food and drink orders will be taken by a team member while keeping social distancing in mind.
“QR code menus (will be) available and lunch will be served,” she said. “All food items served by the pool will be covered with a cloche.”
The pool bar and all-day dining outlet at Anatara Iko Mauritius will also be open for F&B, she said.
As an additional safety measure, Le Strat said chaise lounge chairs will be cleaned after every use and will be set apart at the appropriate distance.
“Towel entry, entry kiosks and all other desks and counters will be sanitized at least once per hour,” she said.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas has also reopened its pool and is using QR codes to provide F&B with little contact with guests, GM Andrew Davidson said.
Menu QR codes can be found all around the property, so food and drinks can be ordered from almost anywhere at the hotel, he said.
A printed menu that’s thrown away after one use is also available to guests who prefer it.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is also keeping pool guests safe by taking reservations for the pool to control how many people are there at once, he said.
A host is positioned at the door to the pool to control access, he said.
These new restrictions have led to a need for more staff to keep the pool up and running in a safe way, which presents another challenge for hotels watching expenses in a lower-demand environment, he added.