Hotels using robots for delivery, cleaning up amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Picture this: you use your hotel app on your phone to request extra towels. Your phone rings and you hear your delivery is ready. Open the door and you will discover that a 3 foot tall bellboy has arrived with your sheets.

Did you imagine a robot? Because to some Hilton and Marriott Hotels across California, a robot is what you’ll find.

Industry and experts say it is relatively safe to stay in a hotel during the Coronavirus pandemic – as long as you follow protocols like wearing masks and social distancing. One sure-fire way to make sure you can socially distance yourself during your stay is to have items delivered by a robot to your room.

At the Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, Calif. (A Marriott hotel), Rosé, the “robot ambassador of social distancing” has been available to entertain guests since it opened in July 2018. But as of March, Rosé has become more than a simple artist.

Rosé can bring you anything, whether it’s on site or through a free shopping service: think wine, pillows, pet treats, towels and groceries. The robot is disinfected after each delivery.

“For customers who prefer contactless deliveries, Rosé offers them peace of mind as it can deliver items to their suite,” Scott Satterfield, General Manager of Hotel Trio, said in a statement.

You may be wondering if Rosé is replacing staff members who might otherwise deliver items. This is not the case: the robot cannot carry luggage, make beds or take reservations.

Other robots can be found at Marriott and Hilton properties in the Los Angeles area: Embassy Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport, Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX / Century Blvd, Homewood Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport, H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio Collection by Hilton, Residence Inn by Marriott Beverly Hills, and AC Hotel by Marriott Beverly Hills.

Every hotel in the properties had a robot available before the pandemic, although they are now much more popular. Katie Green, general manager of Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX, said in a statement that their robot, Wally, has been “used so much that it recently underwent a reboot. Now it has even more pizzazz in its way. “.

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Hotels also use robots for cleaning amid COVID-19

Of course, that’s not the only thing robots can be of use for in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic. They can help with hotels intense cleansing regimes, taking into account the new expectations of customers and industry in terms of cleanliness.

In Texas, the Westin Houston Medical Center the hotel went into action in March, adding two anti-virus bots.

Used in hospitals, the LightStrike Germ-Zapping robots, manufactured by Xenex Disinfection Services of San Antonio and costing approximately $ 100,000 each, emit broad-spectrum ultraviolet light to destroy viruses and bacteria in minutes. They do not replace regular hotel cleaning: they come in afterwards and provide a super sterilizing second breath without additional chemical risk.

“On one level, we deep cleaned everything and increased the frequency of cleaning public areas, but we further improved our routine by adding the two robots,” said Archit Sanghvi, vice president of operations at Pearl Hospitality, who owns and operates this Westin franchise.

Sister properties Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and The Beverly Hilton in California also use Xenex LightStrike robots. They will run for eight to 10 minutes in each room and will also help clean public toilets, elevators, kitchens, meeting rooms and disinfect luggage.

Direct exposure to general UV light is hazardous to human tissue, so after installation the robots work alone, at night in public areas and in each room after departure.

“It’s a costly investment,” says Sanghvi, “but we know we made the right decision because that’s going to be the norm, unfortunately. “

Contribution: Linda Laban

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