At Hill House the wellbeing of our guests has always been of paramount importance to us, and as such we have always operated with extremely high standards of hygiene at all times, in all areas of Hill House. We have no staff and all the work is undertaken by Douglas and Harry, the two owners of the property who live on site.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the related the heightened alertness to health and safety of our guests and ourselves, we have put the following measures in place to further enhance our procedures and doubly ensure the personal safety of each and every person visiting Hill House, giving you complete peace of mind for the duration of your stay.
Please note that these measures are provided as guidelines only, and we reserve the right to update on a daily basis without prior notice given the evolving nature of the pandemic.
Staying with Confidence
We want you to feel safe and secure from the moment you pull up outside, to the moment you have to leave us. That is why we’ve enhanced our cleaning practices, guest interactions, inhouse procedures, and availability of information, to ensure your confidence and security.
We have developed these new enhanced procedures in accordance with a combination of the WHO guidelines, UK Hospitality recommendations and Government advice, to ensure that we are not only compliant, but going above and beyond to protect and reassure our guests and we. We have also undertaken a full risk assessment, outlining in detail how we are meeting these guidelines in every area of Hill House, which can be read here.
Section One: Key changes to safeguard the health of our guest and ourselves.
- Frequent and thorough hand sanitising
We have implemented a strict protocol of frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitiser, with hand washing with soap and water being the preferred method. Sanitiser – anti-viral, with a minimum 60% alcohol content – has been placed prominently in both front and back areas of the hotel to enable ourselves and our guests to sanitise frequently.
Sanitiser is available for use in the following areas: All entry and exit points to Hill House; on all landings; in all bedrooms; breakfast room;& drawing room.
B: Health and Safety Signage (front and back of house)
We are handing out health and hygiene reminders to all resident guests on arrival. They are also contained in our online guestbook, which will be sent out to you in advance of your stay. This advice contains information about, how at each part of the guest journey from arrival to departure, the recommended way to distance (especially on the stairs), sanitising, and other precautions (such as wearing masks and gloves) will be maintained.
We have also put up this signage in our back of house. Signage reminds us of the proper way to wear, handle and dispose of masks, use gloves, wash hands, sneeze and to avoid touching their faces.
- Action Plan for Responding to Health Concerns
Hill House is run solely by the two of us. As per official government advice, if either of us does not feel well or we have been informed that a guest is unwell we will, immediately inform the other of any pertinent incidents, including possibly sick guests in their rooms. We will treat all this information with discretion.
We will then minimize contact of the ill person with all guests in the establishment. This will be affected by providing the person with a mask, and, if the sick person cannot be transferred to a medical establishment, they will be isolated and contained within one room on a temporary basis. Once the sick person has left the premises, this room – and any other areas or touch points that may have been contaminated – will then be subjected to a quarantine and disinfectant, using gloves and a disposable apron, before it is made available again.
If a confirmed outbreak does occur at Hill House, in accordance with the advice of our local public health, we will
- Close the property immediately and quarantine for 14 days.
- Inform all parties with whom we may have come into contact under the government “ tack and trace scheme”
- Undertake a full deep clean and disinfectant of the whole of the property as required.
- Our General Responsibilities
We shall follow Government and WHO guidance regarding handwashing. We shall wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, or use anti-viral sanitizer when a sink is not available, after any of the following activities: using the toilet, sneezing, touching the face, cleaning, eating, drinking, accepting items from a guest (ID, cash, credit card, room key), taking a break, and before a shift and as needed throughout the shift. When appropriate, we shall wear gloves for added protection and sanitation efforts. Proper hand hygiene, in accordance with government and WHO guidelines, will be followed prior to and after removing the gloves.
A general commitment to hygiene shall be regularly reviewed, including keeping abreast of transmission threats outside of the workplace, infection and quarantine guidelines, and actions to reduce risk of infection in the home.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE, along with appropriate training for use and disposal, has been made available to us.
If doing tasks that generate splashes (e.g. while washing surfaces) or close contact with guests, we will be required to wear facial protection with a face shield and impermeable aprons. We have been instructed to wash hands after removing PPE.
Section Two: Further details
2A: Cleaning Products & Protocols
We have been trained, and will now clean with approved products followed by a second clean using disinfectant, per government advice.
Public Spaces and Communal Areas
Cleaning and disinfecting shall be frequent (multiple times per day) with an emphasis on frequent contact with hard non-porous surfaces including, but not limited to, entry and exit points, keyboards, bells, all door handles, room keys and locks, stair handrails, dining surfaces and all seating areas.
Guest Rooms / Housekeeping
Generally, all bedrooms will be left for 72 hours before being re-let.
Cleaning and disinfecting protocols will require that particular attention is paid to high-touch, hard non-porous items including
- television remote controls,
- toilet seats and handles,
- door and furniture handles,
- bedside tables,
- light switches,
- hairdryer handles,
- and wardrobe doors
Glasses and crockery will be removed and washed in a dishwasher (not the room sink). Room collateral will be kept to a minimum. We must follow handwashing guidelines as per PHE guidance. Disinfecting gloved hands will follow the same guidelines and frequency as that of handwashing.
During the guests stay
In order to protect the health of ourselves and that of our guests, room cleaning will be limited to
- Emptying of bins / collection of rubbish.
- Removal and replacement of hospitality tray
- Removal and replacement of towels every second day of a stay.
The frequency of room cleaning during a guest’s stay may be altered based on guest requirements. We will review the frequency of the cycle of cleaning and in-room services to take into account different lengths of stay.
Room cleaning will be undertaken in the absence of the guest, unless it is difficult for the guest to leave the room (e.g. due to mobility constraints) whereupon social distancing shall be observed in the presence of the guest.
Linens, towels and laundry are professionally laundered in accordance with government guidelines standards.
Dirty linen shall be bagged in the guest room to eliminate excess contact while being transported to the laundry facility.
We will clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with our usual products.
Back of the House
Cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch areas shall occur in accordance with government guidelines, including at least twice per day in high traffic areas. Handwashing stations and access to hand sanitizer have been made convenient and highly visible along with signage instructing proper technique.
Per government guidance we will use detergent and then available disinfectant which kills the virus and is made up from issued/installed disinfectant, used in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. This will be used on visibly clean surfaces.
We are following their regular sanitising regime as usual, and at the end of the shift going over all hand touch surfaces one more time before closing.
Rinsing processes ensure disinfection of crockery and glasses, either with water at a minimum of 60 degrees or suitable disinfectant.
Shared tools and equipment shall be disinfected after each shift or transfer to a new employee.
Breakfast service shall reduce in-person contact with other guests. We will also minimize dining items available on the tables. The current distance level should be maintained and customers are encouraged to
- Sit at allocated seats at breakfast table
- Be prompt in attending breakfast at the allocated timed slot.
- Order their cooked breakfast from a list the night before.
- Be alert to the arrival and departure of other guests from the breakfast table.
- Sanitise their hands as they enter and exit the breakfast room
Our breakfast buffet service will be removed, and instead buffet items will be served by an attendant from the kitchen And pre ordered in advance. The attendant will be wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), and utensils will be washed and changed more frequently. Minimal items will be placed on guest tables, including condiments, silverware, glassware, napkins, etc.
Customer contact with collateral such as menus, trays, napkins etc. has been limited to what is necessary, and cleaning / replacement is carried out after each use.
Where we come into contact with items used by customers, they need to ensure that they wash their hands before moving on to another task. Condiments and sauces are prepared individually upon request.
We have reviewed our menu options to ensure that cross-over and access to food is minimised.
Contactless or room account payments should be used whenever possible.
Potential pinch points have been identified and monitored as part of the overall risk assessment in our operational plan, including reference to the stairs, and monitoring of their use to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.
Guests are encouraged to leave the tray outside their door for collection. If they wish to retain their tray in the room, for later collection, this must be requested from reception.
2B: Physical/Social Distancing
Physical Distancing & Queuing
As recommended by the government and WHO’s social distancing guidelines, guests shall be advised verbally to practice physical distancing by standing at least two meters away from other groups of people not traveling with them, including any area where guests or we queue. When applicable, lobby furniture and other public seating areas have been reconfigured to promote social distancing. Guests will be encouraged to pay by card wherever possible.
We have been instructed to always sneeze or cough into the crook of their arms to prevent hands becoming contaminated. If they use a tissue, the advice is to bin it immediately into a bin with close fitting lid and not to leave it around on surfaces. They will wash their hands or use hand gel afterwards.
In anticipation of individual concerns of guests, we shall not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested, or approved, by the guest, or to comply with established safety protocols. We shall maintain the practice of cleaning rooms thoroughly following check-out, incorporating disinfectant. Where possible the rooms will be left empty for 3 days before re-use. Where is this no possible a deep disinfectant clean will be undertaken.
Seating at the large breakfast table in the breakfast room will be spaced 1.5 meters apart to allow separation between groups of guests. Servers will maintain the recommended physical distance from each other and guests where possible, and where this is not possible, they will wear masks and gloves. Table service will remain the norm, with the wearing protective masks and gloves as necessary, and keeping a safe distance in line with current Government distancing guidelines.
Based on the current Government guidance in place at the time, a maximum number of persons per premises has been calculated and recorded as part of our risk assessment. Due to the seating arrangements in the breakfast room and the narrow stairs, we have reduced the number of rooms that we are trading from 6 to 4. This means that we will have a maximum of 8 guests staying at any one time.
Arrival and Departure
We will practice social distancing. Check ins and check outs will be staggered so as to avoid queuing, and guests will be encouraged to wait in public areas, where seating will be appropriately distanced.
Card payments will always be encouraged and, where possible internet payment prior to arrival will be promoted.
We will still offer to assist with guests’ luggage, but will maintain social distancing whilst doing so. Luggage will be placed onto a dedicated tray as you arrive and will be taken to you room as you check in/park the car.
We ask all our guests to bring appropriately packed bags rather than a several loose items. After handling luggage, we will wash their hands or use a hand sanitiser.
Upon departure guests will be asked to put their keys in a bowl/box. We will then disinfect them before re-use by ourselves and/or another person.
Back of the House
Hill House is our home. As and when we have appropriate friends and family round in accordance will government guidelines we will practice the recommended physical distancing.
Section Three: The key guidelines we are adhering to
- UK Government guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings
- WHO guidance for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector
- WHO guidance for hand hygiene
- UK Hospitality COVID-19 Secure advice and risk assessment for hospitality businesses
Is there anything you would like further information about, or something you’re not sure of? If so, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team, who will be delighted to help you with your enquiry.