At the end of August, on a beautiful summer day, Regional Sales Director, Zuzana Michalkova visited the Kimpton Saint George in Toronto to discover what protocols have been put in place for COVID-19. The hotel is located at the intersection of the Yorkville and Annex neighbourhoods, steps away from major attractions and restaurants. Zuzana shares her account below on her experience at the hotel.
I haven't stayed at a hotel since before COVID-19, so this was all very new for me, however, check-in was a very easy experience. Of course, it was very different than before with the addition of a plexiglass barrier between myself and the attendant at the front desk, we both wore masks, I swiped my own credit card and was given my room key and a cleanliness and safety kit on a sanitized tray. At the end of the check-in process, they took my number so they could text me and set up communication to request anything I needed via text.
It was great to speak with Nabeel Toubayly, the assistant general manager at the hotel, about the new protocols put in place. First and foremost, the hotel follows the IHG Clean Promise and has additional cleaning protocols to take it one step further, doing their best to provide guests with an enjoyable and safe stay. They clean the rooms using electrostatic sprayers, which disinfect areas within 5 minutes. In public areas, more intensive cleaning is done with elevator buttons, door handles and all other high-touch items being cleaned every few hours.
I appreciated that all staff is trained as new protocols are released since things are changing so rapidly and I was informed that IHG partners with the Cleveland Clinic and Ecolab to set their protocols. Their next step was to add automatic hand sanitizer machines and they said that they will continue adapting as new regulations come out.
The room was really nice! And i noticed right away how clean it was as well. Some things that have changed:
No throw pillows
Very limited items that would be transitioned from one guest to another.
Door hanger menu gone
Cocktail shaker no longer in room
Mini bar items are now available at the front desk bodega
I noticed there were large bottles of toileteries in the bathroom, which I appreciated from an environmental point of view, I was assured that they disinfect the large bottles and replace them after a certain amount of time. They also have small bottles available upon request as well as anything missing in the room such as bathrobes, which will come wrapped in plastic.
With the use of electrostatic sprayers, they now keep rooms vacant for 24 hours between guests.
In terms of amenities, the restaurant at the hotel was open with limited capacity and the gym was set to open the next week. Complimentary bikes are available for guests to use and enjoy the bike path on Bloor street and are sanitized between each use, The hotel offers their modified wine hour with modified guidelines such as staff serving the wine. Additionally, there is a bodega at the front desk in place of the in-room minibar.
At the time of the visit, the restaurant attached to the hotel, the Fortunate Fox, was open for outdoor dining, indoor dining as well as takeout. the restaurant is a third party vendor with their own cleaning standards, however, the Kimpton works closely with them to make sure it's up to their standards and of course the governments as well. The menu is displayed via QR code and the restaurant offers a grab n go service for guests.
As local government regulations dictate, the operations of the gym and restaurant are being impacted. At the moment the gym and restaurant are temporarily closed, but we are surrounded by nearby restaurants that offer numerous options for take out. And, there are bike & walking/jogging trails around to keep up with a fitness routine.
Meetings and Events
Meeting and event bookings are possible at the Kimpton Saint George. The hotel offers properly spaced surfaces, PPE kits as well as meal options that are suitable for this time. The hotel also offers a work from hotel office setup within its rooms, for those looking for a change of scenery, with parking and high speed internet included.
The staff at the hotel said something to me that really stuck. " Our goal is how can we adapt what we know we're good at doing, adapting with guidelines and keeping the hotel stay exciting. The Kimpton is all about the human connection and personalized service. Everything is curated from the lights to the music playing throughout the day" Truthfully, it really shows, which made my stay such an enjoyable one!
Interested in staying at the Kimpton Saint George? Contact us today.