The new cleaning regime at RIU

date_range 4 February, 2021 question_answer 6 Comments

Maite Sentamans, Director of Corporate Housekeeping, explains the changes brought about by the pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19

When we visit a city, a house or a beach, much of our first impression is influenced by the aroma we perceive when we arrive. This is something very important because it will shape our view of the place in which we have just arrived and will colour our impression of it.

At RIU we like to take care of our guests right fro the start and, when you come into our hotels, you get the impression of freshly laundered sheets that makes us feel right at home. To make this possible there is a team of chambermaids working every day on the cleaning of our hotels.

That is why we want to dedicate this post to the entire cleaning crew which has made such a great effort over the last year and has been a key factor in the reopening of our hotels. Although we have always had very stringent standards of cleanliness at RIU, with the pandemic our team has had to redouble their efforts. Now, in addition to cleaning, we are disinfecting thoroughly so that we can guarantee the safety of our guests and staff.

How has the cleaning regiime changed at RIU with the virus COVID-19?

Maite Sentamans, Director of Corporate Housekeeping.

Maite Sentamans, Director of Corporate Housekeeping.

Heading RIU’s team of chambermaids is Maite Sentamans, Director of Corporate Housekeeping, who is in charge of organising it all. She herself affirms that “the biggest challenge we faced when we reopened the hotels was not solely cleaning them, in which already we were experts, but also disinfecting all surfaces so that we could gurantee the safety of guests and staff at all times. Ultimately, we neede our hotels to be safe environments”.

What steps has RIU taken to disinfect its hotels against the virus COVID-19?

As we have said in earlier posts, one of the first steps that RIU took, and the most important, was the development of a manual containing 17 comprehensive protocols which are followed by all the hotels which have reopened. These protocols set the guidelines to be followed by each department. In them, the new mode of operating is detailed in relation to: cleaning, customer service, buffets, reception, etc. In this way, all hotel departments follow the same operating procedures to ensure the safety of both guests and staff in any RIU Group hotel, regardless of the country in which it is located.

In the case of cleaning the hotels, although we already had exacting standards, the team had to make various changes, among which were, finding products to guarantee disinfection, cleanliness and approved as an antiviral against COVID-19. This was a complicated task given that RIU operates in 19 countries so it was necessary to look for antiviral products approved by the relevant authoritie in this matter such as, among others, the Ministry of Health (in Spain), the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency in nthe USA) or the authorities in Dubai. Likewise, the PPE made available to staff complies with the applicable regulations (such as EN, UNE, BS, DIN etc.) to ensure teh safety of guests and staff.

Maite Sentamans with the team of chambermaids at Hotel Riu Festival, Majorca.

Maite Sentamans with the team of chambermaids at Hotel Riu Festival, Majorca.

Thanks to the hard work by the departments involved in this task, we sourced products which are much kinder to the environment and to the people using them but at the same time ensuring they have effective antiviral properties against COVID-19. That is why at RIU we can confirm that there is now a new cleaning culture, both due to how it is carried out and the type of product used.

All RIU hotel departments are involved in cleaning

One of the strange things about this new way of doing things is that the cleaning tasks now involve the entire hotel, that is, they are no longer the responsibility of the chambermaids alone – now all departments have a part to play: Maintenance, Entertainment etc. As an example of this, every entertainer has to make sure that all the materials used in activities are disinfected afterwards.

Once the protocols were developed and the required material obtained to enable the cleaning team to carry out their tasks, the most important thing was to train the personnel in the different departments so that they were fully prepared and this was done in record time. The training was delivered through videoconferences and webinars with the support of the Training and Deep Cleaning teams etc. “The important thing was that our staff received the necessary training so that they could carry out their duties safely and without risks to their health” states Maite. Judging by the results, once the training was done, the hotels and all their teams were ready to reopen safely.

Maite Sentamans: “We already have the theory. Now comes the good bit: putting into practice everything we have learned”.

In oredr to develop and implement the protocols, it has been necessary to make an effort described by Maite as “mammoth” and that is because “we have had to carry out tests to determine the best way of applying the products so that safety and disinfection against COVID-19 could be guaranteed. All this was agreed with our Occupational Risk Assessment department to ensure that we were using both the appropriate chemicals and the required work equipment. It was also necessary to ensure that all our staff wore the appropriate PPE and maintained physical safety distance at work, both in the completion of their tasks and in their changing rooms, rest areas and the other places at work in addition to ensuring that the protocols were followed to the letter”, she confirms.

At RIU we are very happy with the outcome as we have created a new cleaning regime which has become “part of our day-to-day life and has been reinforced thanks to established protocols which allow us to have clean and disinfected hotels facing COVID-19. Furthermore, we can confirm that this new approach is here to stay”.

Here we want to thank the entire cleaning team for their efforts and congratulate them for what they have done and continue to do. Also, we want to thank you for your continued trust in RIU and choosing to spend your holidays with us in an environment considered secure against COVID-19. We will always be here for you!

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