Guests return as Harrogate hotels go the extra mile to keep visitors safe
Travelodge Harrogate reopened its doors to tourists last week, but staff have been working hard behind the scenes to keep guests safe throughout the pandemic.
The hotel was forced to close to leisure guests during the lockdowns, but remained open for key and critical workers, vulnerable groups and local authorities.
This led to the business launching TravelodgeProtec +, a programme of cleaning and social distancing measures in line with government guidance designed to keep its customers and teams safe and protected.
The programme includes comprehensive cleaning throughout using an antiviral disinfectant, additional post-clean room checks, an increased cleaning frequency in high touch points in public areas and rooms, thermally disinfecting all linen and towels, customer hand sanitising stations, protective reception screens, contactless payment and check out, and comprehensive training for every hotel team member on cleaning, hygiene and social distancing.
Manager Beatrix Tothne Bacsa, known as Betty, said: “We had a mix of customers staying with us during lockdown - this includes NHS workers, as we are close to Harrogate District Hospital, critical workers and business guests who are allowed to travel for work purposes.
“In hospitality, no two days are ever the same and it has been the same during the pandemic. At first it was a little strange but now it is business as usual and this is the new way of life for us. Our priority is to stay safe and keep our customers safe and to continue to deliver a great customer experience.”
Hungarian Betty, who has worked with the firm for eight years, explains how she and her team have been adapting.
She said: “At Travelodge, we love a challenge but this one is a mammoth one and we have embraced it as working as one team to deliver our best service. We love going the extra mile and putting a smile on our customers’ faces. The biggest challenge is keeping everyone’s spirits up. You have to come to work with an extra burst of energy to ensure team morale is high. We are operating in unprecedented and uncertain times.”
The 45-year-old married mum of two teenage boys started her career as a night receptionist at Harrogate Travelodge after moving to the UK from Hungary. In 2015, Travelodge opened its second hotel in Harrogate West Park and she moved there as a housekeeping supervisor. A year later, Betty was promoted to assistant hotel manager before successfully applying for the hotel manager role back at her first hotel, Harrogate Travelodge. Despite the challenges she has faced during the last 14 months, Betty is staying positive.
She said: “I never thought that I would experience a global pandemic and that we would have to go into several lockdowns. This is the type of situation you watch in movies and never expect to happen in real life. I do feel extremely proud to be part of Travelodge’s front line team and to be supporting my local community. It is such a privilege to play a small part in our country’s history. I do feel very grateful to have a great team who have all gone the extra mile to support me and our customers and have remained very positive through the pandemic.”