The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville is tapping into local medical expertise through its partnership with Meharry Medical College. The luxury hotel is working with Meharry medical experts to review and extend health and safety protocols, says Dee Patel, managing director for The Hermitage Hotel.
To prepare for guests’ return once travel restrictions lifted, The Hermitage Hotel created operational protocols to protect guests and staff and invited a team from Meharry Medical College—which operates three drive-through testing sites in the Nashville area and has worked on the front-lines to help stop the spread of COVID-19—to review those procedures and advise the property on both front-of-house and back-of-house health and safety guidelines. As part of this partnership, the hotel opened its doors to Meharry Medical College President Dr. James E.K. Hildreth and his team to tour the property.
As part of these enhancements, travelers visiting the property will be asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines and use masks and will see increased cleaning and signage. The Hermitage Hotel has updated its décor and communal seating to allow for social distancing in public areas and has implemented a 72-hour room hold before checking in new guests. Patel adds, “Frequent sanitation efforts include monitoring the elevator movement, utilization of UV boxes, and electro sanitization daily, to name a few. The same efforts to provide a safe experience for our guests are also being executed in back-of-house, fostering a sense of trust and demonstrating our dedication to our associates.”
The hotel’s guidelines aim to improve “all back-of-the-house areas to demonstrate care for the health and safety of our employees, as well as several cosmetic projects to give our public spaces a facelift for our guests,” Patel says. The protocols also encompass its Capitol Grille and Oak Bar dining outlets, where Hermitage’s culinary team “stretched their imagination and created innovative epicurean experiences, available to guests in-house or for takeaway through our robust to-go program,” Patel adds.
Patel says there are many benefits to having a health and safety partner during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our partnership with Meharry Medical College was designed so that Meharry’s leading health experts would continue to review and recommend enhanced health and safety practices to the property, ensuring that we’re implementing the best and most exacting standards. Excellence is marked by going beyond the expected, and our partnership with Meharry enables our team to exceed basics and truly be exceptional in our safety practices.”
Employees and guests have also reacted positively to the new guidelines, Patel says, adding that guests want to know and trust that they are safe on-property, so it is important for hotels to communicate their efforts.
“Undoubtedly, guests are seeking a clean and safe place to stay, but in addition to new health protocols, they are also craving warm and welcoming service,” Patel says. “While adhering to non-negotiable guidelines, The Hermitage Hotel’s goal is to continue to enhance our guest experience by providing thoughtful, personalized, and genuine care.”
The hotel’s partnership with Meharry Medical College will continue in the future, Patel says. “As hotel procedures progress, Meharry will continue to advise on The Hermitage Hotel’s practices on a monthly basis as we evolve to embrace what’s ahead. We recognize what a remarkable partner we have in Meharry and are grateful to have them as a resource.”
Patel adds, “Our partnership with Meharry is yet another way for us to instill the highest level of confidence in our guests, our dining patrons, our community, and our associates, demonstrating our commitment to looking beyond the basics and showcasing empathy and compassion towards their health and safety.”