A Chat with Tim Morrison, General Manager, Hamilton Princess and Beach Club
What is it like being at the helm of a full-service hotel and resort property during the current global health crisis?
This has been an incredibly challenging time for the tourism industry, facing a challenge that has never been seen before. However, the tenacity and optimism of our colleagues at the hotel and the tourism industry is unmatched.
How has the pandemic changed how you view your role as General Manager?
The unprecedented situation that we have found ourselves in has reinforced to me how much a family we are at Hamilton Princess. It has instilled even more of a sense of importance of being empathetic to everyone’s challenges during this incredibly challenging time. It’s also been an important time to strengthen our bonds in the community and to give back. We were pleased to be able to support our friends on the front lines in a number of ways, including handing out breakfasts and lunches to first responders during the lockdown.
What steps has your hotel taken to ensure that guests and colleagues remain “Safe and Well”?
A wide range of new and ever-evolving health and safety protocols have been installed, in line with the latest government guidelines. Some of these measures include temperature checks for everyone entering the property, hand sanitiser stations throughout the hotel, physical distancing markers and table placement, masks required throughout indoor and outdoor public spaces and a maximum of two guests in elevators at any time. These restrictions apply to our colleagues, too.
The new operational standards being implemented at the hotel and at Fairmont properties across North & Central America were developed and vetted by a team of international expert advisors to ensure maximum efficacy in preventing the spread of all viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19.
How are colleagues advised of changes and trained on new health and safety procedures?
Colleagues all undertook “re-orientation” sessions upon the reopening of the hotel, which covered general health and safety, new procedures, and regulations. Additionally, our teams have received specialized training for their departments, i.e. Food & Beverage and Housekeeping have all received in-depth training on new procedures, techniques, and practices.
Can you tell me about your enhanced cleaning and social distancing procedures?
Guest rooms and public areas are carefully cleaned by our specially trained, professional housekeepers and cleaning staff, using EPA-registered disinfectants that have proven effective in preventing the transmission of all viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19. Guest rooms are cleaned every three days to reduce close contact between colleagues and guests and as an additional precaution, they are left vacant for a minimum of 48 hours after being used for a stay, prior to a deep clean before new arrivals.
Do guests have access to any sort of telemedicine or health advisory service?
Hamilton Princess has an innovative new service, in partnership with AXA, a world leader in insurance and assistance, to provide complimentary medical support to in-house guests. Any guest with a non-urgent medical need can be put in touch with a medical practitioner over the phone for no cost. Currently available in English and French, the service will be available in German, Portuguese and Spanish shortly.
How has the pandemic impacted food and beverage service?
The government restrictions regarding dining out have been an interesting challenge to work with. However, we believe the Food & Beverage team, particularly at Crown & Anchor, have risen to the task admirably. Crown & Anchor’s revamped Sunday brunch is served at the tableside but loses none of the fun of a traditional brunch and has received rave reviews. One of the small measures we have taken that has been appreciated is the hooks installed at each seat for masks to be hung.
What is a typical Spa experience like at the moment?
Exhale Spa is still a safe and restful haven for those looking to unwind. Not much has changed for those undertaking spa treatments except that clients are asked to wear their masks throughout, and their therapists will be wearing a mask and face shield to ensure peace of mind. In compliance with Government regulations, guests from overseas are not able to use the spa and gym/fitness classes until they receive their negative day 8 and 14 test results, respectively.
How do Hamilton Princess colleagues go above and beyond legislated requirements to make guests feel welcome and safe?
All guests at Hamilton Princess receive a wellness kit on arrival, which includes masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes, ensuring they have everything they need to feel safe.
We have also received very positive feedback on our “quarantine keys”: in line with Government regulations, guests arriving from overseas must quarantine until they receive their negative arrival test result. To ensure a smooth process, these guests are given a special “quarantine key” to their room which is active for only one hour. They are then given a new key once they share their negative test result with our Front Desk team. These quarantine keys are visually different from the normal ones which enable our colleagues to ensure that no one is breaking quarantine and gives our guests confidence in dining out with us.