What to Expect at the Sheridan House Inn in this time of COVID-19 (May 31,2020)
The health and well-being of everyone who comes through the doors of the Sheridan House Inn has always been a priority, but now, in the wake of a pandemic, it takes on more importance and has changed every aspect of our service to guests. We have always been exceptionally clean, but we now have added many additional measures to disinfect. There is comfort at staying at a small, secluded property like ours, as contact with others is limited, yet gracious hospitality still makes the stresses of life melt away. Especially in these uncertain times, a little getaway is so good for the soul, and it is our pledge to do all we can to make that time both enjoyable and safe.
– Mark and Debbie Santy, Innkeepers/owners
Lessening the Risk Involves Mutual Trust
Team Sheridan – Staff and innkeepers are continually screened, not working if ill and will self-quarantine if known to have been exposed to COVID-19. We will alert future guests of any known exposure to the virus. Team Sheridan members continually wash hands, wear masks and gloves when entering guest rooms, and will wear masks in the presence of guests based on the preference of the guest. Compared to hotels, our facility has very few individuals, minimizing exposure risk for all.
Guests – Just as we will notify future guests of any known exposure risk, we ask the same of our guests. If you become ill or have been exposed to COVID-19 within 2 weeks of arrival, for the well-being of others, please notify us for a cancellation. We want you well to be able to enjoy our hospitality, so we will provide you with a Gift Certificate of your entire payment, which you can apply to a new reservation anytime in the next 2 years. If you are unable to do that and cancel 7 days or more in advance, we will refund your deposit, minus a $25 cancellation fee.
If a guest becomes sick while staying here, please know that we will assist, on an individual basis, in whatever capacity necessary, including extending the stay for a fee, while quarantining from all others on property. In our desire for complete transparency, we will notify all appropriate individuals.
In putting our extensive procedures in place, we looked at guidelines issued by the CDC, State of Arizona, Safe Stay standards introduced by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), and the Select Safe criteria of Select Registry. Here are a few areas of particular importance:
Guest Rooms: All surfaces of guest rooms are disinfected with an EPA registered and approved product that kills viruses (including COVID-19) and bacteria. We have a high-tech electrostatic sprayer on order, which will arrive this summer, and is used as a fogger to ensure complete coverage in the room; at this time we are manually spraying and letting sit for the required time before thoroughly cleaning the room. Floors are cleaned with our signature 3-step process including a steam cleaning for sanitizing. All linens, towels, glassware, food items and paper are replaced before every guest. High touch items are treated again with disinfectant prior to new guest arrival. Whenever feasible, when a guest vacates, rooms remain untouched for more than a day, with the windows open.
Common Areas: Porches, dining areas, hallways, and the Hospitality Center areas are regularly sanitized and disinfected, paying close attention to high touch point surfaces.
Kitchen/Dishes: We use an EPA registered and approved sanitizing cleaner before and after both breakfast as well as our current dinner service on all kitchen and prep surfaces. Dishes are washed in a commercial dishwasher which also sanitizes them as it is much hotter than a home dishwasher. This is why we have not chosen to change to paper products like many establishments have.
Laundry: We have multiple covers on pillows and mattresses which are cleaned with each guest stay, along with all linens and towels. We are washing all laundry on the hottest cycle possible, using additives like vinegar, borax or Oxyclean in addition to laundry detergent to ensure proper disinfecting.
For Everyone’s Protection
There are hand-sanitizing stations and packets of antibacterial wipes at the entrances to both our buildings and the dining room for guest and staff use. We have set up a hand-washing sink in the Hospitality Center with anti-bacterial soap and encourage guest use. We are providing disinfecting wipes in the rooms for guests to use on high touch surfaces, if they desire. We have masks and gloves to provide to guests by request. Team Sheridan will wear masks based on guest preference.
We offer touchless payments through a credit card on file for reservation fees and any additional purchases. We are in the process of developing additional personalized technology products for our guests to use their smartphones to access information about the inn, the area restaurants, and things to do. These will be implemented in the coming months as they are finalized, all to minimize contact with surfaces or people, which could increase exposure risk.
Just as restaurants are providing dining in Arizona, we are serving our gourmet cooked-to-order breakfasts. We feel fortunate to be able to, as it is not the case in all states. We have never had buffets or communal seating/times, so breakfast remains much the same. We have removed tables to maintain social distancing if guests do eat in the same area and at the same time. We offer many private dining areas, including in-room and outside, along with a range of time for breakfast. We are currently offering nightly dinners to our guests, which are convenient but also are mean less risk of exposure than eating at a restaurant. We may or may not continue these, based on the service we feel is being provided by our local restaurants. We have homemade cookies in the room upon arrival, along with other items from our “Inn-dulgences” that guests may purchase. We offer picnics for purchase, for guests to take on their daily adventures, to further minimize exposure contact in crowded tourist areas. In keeping with industry guidelines, food items are not left out in the Welcome Center for guests to help themselves, other than a few pre-packaged snacks. For everyone’s protection, tables are set just prior to the meal service and are disinfected afterwards.
No Compromising on Hospitality
Staying at a B&B is different than a hotel, vacation rental, or AirBnB – and it mostly has to do with the personalized hospitality provided by the innkeepers. Even in this COVID-19 era, we will not compromise that, but will take our cue from guests, providing as little or as much contact as preferred. The travel industry is moving to “contact-less” impersonal experiences, which is needed in large facilities or in some instances. That may not be as important in a small property where your only contact is the innkeepers, and it can actually increase exposure risk in other ways. We keep current with what is open and what we feel is safe, and we will continue to provide our guests with whatever help we can to see that even their time away from our inn is a positive and less risky experience. We have intimate knowledge of the area and will individualize our recommendations based on guests’ expectations and limitations. We will provide housekeeping services to our guest rooms during a stay, but only if that is what the guest prefers. We will wear masks, or not, depending on guest preference. We are not a hotel, this is our home, and being treated like a friend in a home might mean different things to different guests, and that respect is what we will continue to give. A stay at the Sheridan House Inn is about caring for your emotional well-being and about strengthening the relationship with the one you love; we truly care about that and will do all we can to see that you leave better than you came.