Blog > Deluxe Hospitality in The Time of Physical Distancing
DELUXE HOSPITALITY IN THE TIME OF PHYSICAL DISTANCING
The corona virus pandemic that is affecting the planet is forcing everyone, without exception, to rethink their ways. Whether at home, at work or at social events, people around the world must adopt new measures, habits and reflexes if they do not want to be a vector of contamination, for themselves or for others.
The area most affected by the pandemic is unquestionably tourism. With borders closed, it is currently impossible to travel around the world. But what will happen once they open again? The odds are that a large majority of globetrotters will still want to leave the four walls of their home to set their sights on their own country, even if it means (re)discovering corners they have never before explored.
At Auberge Tom B&B, we asked ourselves how we could ensure that our pleasant, relaxing and healthy location would also be safe in times of pandemic. It goes without saying that many of the old practices are gone and that we needed to redefine what best practices will become in these circumstances. And this goes far beyond surface disinfection.
The following are the reasons why our B&B will remain a place of choice for those who want to escape from their homes worry-free and safely for a fun-filled getaway.
Two Separate Sections
We are fortunate to enjoy spaces that seem to have been designed to encourage physical distancing. Indeed, the second floor where the rooms are located is divided into two parts: the East Wing and the West Wing. Each of these wings has its own staircase.
On the East side, we have rooms Gatineau, Outaouais and Fortune (office space that can be transformed into as a spare room). On the West side, we have rooms Kingsmere and Meech.
Until further notice and unless otherwise specified, we will only open one room per wing, limiting the number of people in each. So if you are travelling as a couple and book the Kingsmere room, you will be the only one in your section. If you choose the Gatineau room instead, the same will apply.
That said, you could travel as a foursome and occupy both rooms in your wing.
Guests who have visited Auberge Tom B&B know that one of the many advantages of staying with us is the access to several indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. In other words, our guests are in no way confined to their rooms and enjoy exclusive use of most of the living areas (see relaxation areas).
Until the pandemic is a bad memory, it is easy for us to delimit some of these areas and associate them specifically with a wing.
For example, if you book room Kingsmere or Meech in the West Wing, you would get exclusive use of the ground floor living room, located at the foot of the stairs leading to your room, and the balcony attached to it.
If you were to reserve room Gatineau or Outaouais in the East wing, you would have exclusive access to the ground floor solarium, which is located right next to the staircase leading to your room.
The Lounge at terrace level is discussed below.
We couldn't conceive of a night at Auberge Tom B&B without the gourmet breakfast for which we are famous. This is why we have thought long and hard about our practices surrounding the service of this meal along with other meals served at our place.
So let's start with breakfast. We have rethought the service in order to avoid having all our guests in the dining room at the same time. It is therefore very easy for us to serve this meal one room at a time. This way, our guests are alone in the dining room for the duration of their meal and occupy a table that no one else would have used before them.
We have also created a continental breakfast formula to offer more flexibility to our guests for this meal. This way, those who are not used to eating a large meal in the morning or who prefer not to have a set time to eat it can order a light breakfast. We will then prepare a basket that we will leave in front of the bedroom door in the morning. Continental breakfast can be enjoyed in the room, on the balcony or on the terrace. We can even pack it to take away.
This formula will now be offered at all times.
We had started offering dinner in the fall with the excellent frozen gourmet meals from Les Fougères restaurant, and guests who took advantage of this service loved it. It couldn't have been any other way, because these gourmet dishes are as good as those served in fine restaurants. During our forced shutdown, we tasted each and every one of them and our Les Fougères meals became a real feast! But that's another story... ;-)
Based on these experiences, we decided to extend our catering service to other meals of the day and to also offer a range of snacks at very reasonable prices. Our guests will therefore be able, if they wish, to take all other meals at the B&B, either à la carte or in the form of packages.
We took advantage of this forced break to review our practices regarding snacks (fruit and cookies) and beverages. Of course, the new measures to curb the spread of the virus have a lot to do with our reorganization, but other considerations have also fueled our thinking, our goal having always been to offer high quality services to our guests while providing the safest and most environmentally friendly conditions possible. We are convinced that our new practices will be welcomed by our guests, and that they will find it very advantageous to have access to these extras in a safe and secure manner.
Our guests will thus be able to purchase, by the piece or in a package, at very reasonable prices, non-alcoholic beverages, fruit (solo or on a platter), homemade cookies, snacks ranging from Rochef chocolate bars to fine cheese platters), treats and other delicacies. Non-perishable products will be offered directly in the room in the form of a mini-bar, while fruit, cookies and other fresh based snacks will be prepared upon request.
The Lounge, a beautiful large room exclusively dedicated to our guests, is located at terrace level. There is a sitting area with a large TV screen as well as a kitchenette equipped with a sink, small appliances and utensils for making light meals. (see relaxation areas)
We have no intention of restricting access to the Lounge to our guests. That said, we will make sure to manage the traffic in this room so that guests who want to prepare a meal there do not have to share the area with other guests. We are confident that by accommodating a small number of guests at a time, we will be able to manage access to this room and other common areas while keeping them clean and safe.
Obviously, the new measures could not be complete without the following four actions, which are designed to prevent the spread of the virus, at least within our four walls.
As soon as they arrive at the B&B, our guests will be greeted with a bottle of hand sanitizing gel placed on a table next to the front door. Even before ringing the bell, they will be invited to disinfect their hands. Once inside, our guests have access to hand soap in their room and in the Lounge. They will be required to wash their hands before leaving the room and upon their return to the room. Luckily, the body care products we offer our guests are from Arbonne, a company known for its pure, safe and beneficial products that clean without drying or irritating the skin. Our guests are also provided with hand cream, a very useful product during these times of repeated hand washing.
Also, we plan on providing our guests with a small bottle of hand sanitizing gel that they can take along on their expeditions.
Wearing a mask
All travellers on the move should wear the mask. That said, we will recommend wearing the mask within our walls, but will not make it mandatory. We believe that with the limited number of guests within our four walls, the delimitation of spaces, physical distancing, repeated hand washing and additional surface decontamination measures, our environment will remain safe for all. Please note, however, that we will wear masks whenever in presence of our guests.
Until we are vaccinated against COVID-19, we will no longer be able to shake hands or receive hugs when our guests leave. We will keep a distance of 2 meters, except for meal service, for which we will take other safety measures. Services such as luggage transportation to the bedroom and shuttle will also be suspended.
During our forced break, we made a list of all the surfaces likely to be touched by our guests. This list will serve as a guide for us during the cleaning. Some surfaces, such as the doorbell and front door handle will be cleaned regularly. We use Melaleuca cleaning products, which are known for their high efficiency while being safe for our health and the environment. Among the range of products used, we use their melaleuca oil-based disinfectant and make our own pure alcohol-based sprayer.
Finally, all these measures could not achieve the desired results without the cooperation of our guests. Indeed, everyone has a role to play and we rely heavily on our guests to relentlessly apply the good hygiene practices that have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.
Until we all have been vaccinated, anyone with cold or flu-related symptoms should refrain from travelling as a precautionary measure. Should symptoms appear during the trip, our guests should notify us immediately so that we can take additional measures as quickly as possible and stop the contagion within our four walls.
There you go! I hope this article has reassured you and made you want to come visit us when we get the green light to resume our activities. For our part, please know that we are READY and REALLY looking forward to hosting you! We hope to be able to do so soon. In the meantime, we wish you a wonderful spring, because the wall-to-wall blue sky, the mild temperature and the blossoming of flowers and plants did not wait for our deconfinement to arrive! :-)