Hoteliers Transform the Future of In-Room Dining

A suite at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village
A suite at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

Across the country, hotels are evolving to adapt to new hygiene standards and social distancing protocols. In keeping their promise of safety to guests, many hoteliers are creating powerful innovation to lead travelers and the industry into a new kind of future. Several have started up or enhanced their in-room dining services as a way of creating a controlled experience that minimizes contact between guests and staff while maintaining a high-level of service.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort, ESPACIO: The Jewel of Waikiki, and The Roxbury at Stratton Falls are all sites intending to revamp their practices to make the most of the current situation for guests.

“Our goal is that when guests walk through the doors of The Westin Cape Coral Resort, they know that our commitment to their health and safety is a priority,” says Michael Tighe, general manager.

The Westin Cape Coral introduced Fridge Fills, a program to stock in-suite kitchens with ready-made meals, ingredient baskets, and recipes for guests to make in the comfort of their own rooms. “Special occasion kits” are available for birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations by request. The program is entirely contactless—and the ingredients are placed in guest refrigerators prior to check-in, and the meals are created in the hotel’s own kitchens.


Other measures at The Westin Cape Coral include reduced capacity with distanced table arrangements at the property’s outdoor restaurant, a social distanced bar area, employee temperature screenings, requiring masks for employees at all times, contactless service where possible, a QR code menu, and digital menu offerings for the upcoming months.

“We want our guests to understand what we’re doing today and plan for the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene, and social distancing,” continues Tighe.

As for ESPACIO, the property has been implementing Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s new Next Level cleaning program to help ensure guest’s health and safety from check-in to check-out. New tactics from this program include using CDC-approved cleaning agents with electrostatic sprayers, allowing 24 hours between reservations, and providing face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes for all guests. In addition, the hotel’s staff will be conducting daily health screenings, including temperature checks, for all employees before they enter the property. Other procedures will include new serving requirements for food service, and a digital thermal scanner that will scan every person who comes into the building.

As a contactless dining option, ESPACIO is offering a 24/7 butler service, contacting guests before their arrival to stock the suite’s kitchen pantry and refrigerator. During their stay, guests can make additional requests via an in-room iPad.

“Not only does the hotel offer built-in peace of mind, but the ESPACIO team is already trained to operate in a contactless capacity,” says Chef Jason Yamaguchi, executive chef at Mugen, the property’s onsite Japanese-French tasting concept.

At The Roxbury, co-owner Gregory Henderson says the demand for in-room add-ons at check-in has skyrocketed so much that staff can barely keep up with orders.

As part of its updated protocols, The Roxbury has created an à la carte breakfast option that can be delivered directly to guestrooms or set up outdoors. The property is also working with local restaurants and food trucks to deliver meals directly to guests’ doors.

Like many other businesses in the industry, Henderson says that The Roxbury’s entire team is doing everything they can to ensure that guests are comfortable.

“From hands-free and contactless check-in processes to hospital-grade sanitization products and partnerships with local eateries, we are ensuring a stay at The Roxbury at Stratton Falls is as safe and clean as possible,” Henderson adds.


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Lara Becker is a LODGING Magazine Summer 2020 intern.


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