At Dalata we are eagerly awaiting the day that we can welcome you, our guests, back to our Clayton Hotels. Our teams across the group are looking forward to getting back to what we do best -providing excellent and friendly service to all our guests. Over the past few months, some of our hotels have provided accommodation to front line workers and various other groups in need of support during these difficult times. I am delighted that our teams in Dalata were able to contribute to both the Ireland and UK Governments’ efforts in helping to fight and restrict the spread of COVID-19 and I am extremely grateful to them for all their efforts.
As we closed our hotels in Ireland and the UK in March, over 3,500 of our people were laid off temporarily. This is the first time in my fifty-year career that I have had to close hotels and lay off such numbers of wonderful people and it was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Many of these people are like family and I have watched many of them grow and progress in Dalata. The number of people that have had life enhancing opportunities in the company is something to behold. I am delighted to see that during the lockdown, many of our people undertook various training programmes and as we now prepare to open, all of our people will go through further rigorous training on maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our guests, employees and suppliers.
Over the past few months, we have developed the Dalata Keep Safe Programme, which has involved the introduction of a wide range of protocols and systems that will ensure as much as possible our guests will have an enjoyable and safe visit to all our hotels. We have been testing these protocols and systems in our hotels with great success.
While we would love to be able to keep things as normal as possible in our hotels, however, we will have to make some changes to the way we operate. We are lucky in Dalata that most of our hotels are large with very spacious public areas, so we will be able to manage social distancing well.
The Keep Safe Programme & New Guest Experience
Let me walk you through how it will work for you as a guest. Before you arrive at our hotels, you will have the option of checking in online, so all you have to do is collect your bedroom key from our screened reception desk. Of course, you will have the option of checking in the usual way, should you choose to do so. Online check-out will also be an option. You will walk through our spacious public areas that will be thoroughly cleaned continuously throughout each day. While I am on the subject, cleaning is extremely important, but it is not enough. We have introduced thorough systems of sanitisation to ensure, as much as possible, that these areas are safe. You will then have the option of using the lift or staircase to access your bedroom. Strict protocols on lift usage will be displayed on each floor. As you arrive at your bedroom door, it will have a seal that will break on entering. After each room is cleaned thoroughly and key touchpoints are sanitised, we will utilise a disinfectant cleaning spray for our guestrooms with a special product that deals very effectively with viruses and other air and surface contaminants. This device is used in “Clean Room Technology” throughout the pharmaceutical sector and in some hospitals. You will know your room has been treated by the unbroken seal on your door.
We will have a range of food and beverage options with in-room and main restaurant dining options available. Again, there will be protocols in place that will be explained by our team in our public areas.
The protocols that apply to you will equally apply to all our employees both front and back of house. Our employee safety and health is as important as our guest safety.
There are numerous other initiatives we are undertaking to ensure as much as possible the safety and health of all our guests, employees and suppliers. Like for example, providing plenty of hand sanitizers around each hotel, providing nose and mouth masks to employees and clearly marking public areas to ensure social distancing.
Above all, we want you as our guest, whether you are on business or leisure to have a relaxed enjoyable stay with us.
All of our new health and safety protocols will be accredited by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing inspection and certification in the Health and Safety area. So, we are doing everything possible to protect the Health and Safety of all our guests, employees, and suppliers.
Finally, I cannot overstate how much we are looking forward to having you stay with us.
Stay safe and well,
Chief Executive Officer