Is It Safe To Stay In A Hotel?
The overarching consideration when evaluating your OWN answer to this question is your personal health condition. Are you over 65? Do you have underlying health risk factors? Are you a caregiver for someone whose issues could make them particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and its potentially dangerous effects? No one is more qualified to answer that than you are. With that being said, here is what I recently experienced.
Full disclosure: I am a travel writer, a Type A travel writer. In the past 5 years, I have stayed in MANY hotels, B & Bs, resorts, etc. I have written dozens of accommodation reviews and have at least a half dozen assignments for more reviews right this minute. Until a few days ago, I had not stayed in a hotel for 3 1/2 months, and I was getting mighty antsy. For our first foray into a bit of pandemic-age travel, my husband and I spent the night at DoubleTree by Hilton in Decatur. I suppose in the back of our minds we reasoned that if "things didn't feel right," we could get back home pretty quickly. Instead, everything felt VERY right.
We walked into the lobby to find social distance stickers on the floor, staff members wearing masks, plexiglass separating guests from reception clerks, and hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere we looked.
A sign by the elevator gave guidelines for staying socially distant.
Our room had a seal on the door signifying that cleaning and sanitation had taken place.
During this pandemic, Hilton has partnered with the Lysol company for products specially-formulated to protect both staff and guests from spreading the virus.
Even the tv remote had been sanitized!
The room was sparkling clean, and I loved the freshly-laundered bed covering.
This particular DoubleTree location was previously known for its lavish breakfast and lunch buffets. Now, however, the restaurant on-site (Twist Bar and Grill) is open during limited hours with a very limited menu. We ate dinner there and had a wonderful meal. The prices, particularly at breakfast, are extremely reasonable. Our server wore a mask and gloves, and no condiments were on the table. Again, it was a squeaky clean environment.
Another great amenity at this DoubleTree by Hilton in Decatur, AL is the indoor/outdoor pool. I observed several families having a great time with this perk.
And, did I mention DoubleTree's famous cookies?? Warm, chocolate chips with oats, walnuts and a hint of cinnamon. SOOOO good! Please note that you have to request them. They're NOT just out in a high-traffic area.
I would also recommend that you request a river view room, if available. There's always something interesting to watch on the Tennessee River. :)
So, my conclusion? Yes. For ME, it is safe to stay in a hotel.
1) There is a heightened emphasis on cleanliness.
2) Since few people are traveling, the staff has time to give personal attention, and the atmosphere is relaxed.
3) The travel and tourism industry NEEDS us to return, and they are doing everything possible for us to do so safely.
In a couple of weeks, we'll be staying in a resort and then a cabin at a retreat center. I'll be sure to give you my thoughts about those, as well.
Here's my review of DoubleTree by Hilton that I wrote for Trip101.com. Read it for more details. https://trip101.com/article/doubletree-by-hilton-a-favorite-in-decatur-al