Seaside Stories

COVID: What to Expect at Hotels and Vacation Rentals

May 28, 2020 | by Jen Anderson

Great news for those craving the revitalizing sea air and the sounds of the crashing surf from your balcony: Seaside’s hotels and vacation rentals are open and prepared with safety precautions as the North Oregon Coast welcomes visitors once again. In fact, in addition to meeting all CDC and American Hotel and Lodging Association guidelines, some lodging entities in Seaside have banded together to form their own self-certification standards for reopening.

So whether you’re ready to check into your favorite oceanfront retreat, family-friendly rental or romantic boutique, you can sleep easy knowing our properties are doing everything to keep you and your loved ones safe, comfortable and confident during your well-earned getaway. We asked a few of our property managers for specifics on what to expect during your stay in Seaside — here’s what they said: 

Check-In Procedures 

From a contact-free experience to a modified and distanced check in, properties in Seaside are keeping safety top of mind. At the Seashore Inn, for instance, credit cards are taken over the phone and an app sends registration cards directly to a guest’s smart phone for review and signature. At Beachside Inn and Beach Drive Suites vacation rentals, guests are typically checked in at the related hotel property Seaside Oceanfront Inn on the south Prom. However, key boxes and self check-in for both off-site properties will be used during the phased reopening to limit contact between guests and employees. This contact-free check in will also be available for hotel guests that would like to avoid in-person contact.

“We are adding a pre-arrival letter to go with confirmations explaining what to expect when guests arrive so the experience is a little more comfortable,” said Andy Mercer, co-owner of the Seaside Oceanfront Inn and related properties.

Extra Emphasis On Clean 

While COVID-19 is causing properties to redouble their efforts, hotels and other lodging have been cleaning extremely effectively against more-common contagions like norovirus for decades already. They’re fully equipped with the proper chemicals to protect against the novel coronavirus, said Brandon Kraft, who manages the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Seaside Convention Center and Comfort Inn & Suites by Seaside Convention Center.

The Seashore Inn conducts deep cleans on all rooms that are changed over. Extra time is allowed for housekeepers to disinfect thoroughly. “We have adopted AHLA ‘Safe Stay’ enhanced cleaning standards,” said property manager Jeremy Strober.

Other adaptations include leaving public space doors open to minimize contact with door handles, as well as UV and Ozone devices to purify soft surfaces. Some properties are adding fogging machines to their arsenal, said Mercer, adding that checklists and training for staff have expanded and become more strict.

Social Distancing And More

From plexiglass shields at the front desk to floor markers for personal distancing, the new normal will look a little different in public spaces even if the Seaside experience remains unchanged. Masks, gloves, signage, and sanitizer will be everywhere. Guests should expect some limitations on lobby access, including possibly waiting outside during peak check-in times. “Enjoy the salt air and relax you made it to the beach!,” said Mercer.

Pools, Gyms and Lobby Seating

According to Kraft, expect properties to have closed access to pools, hot tubs, and fitness facilities at this time per guidelines from the health department. Lobby seating will be limited and staff will monitor the flow of traffic to help keep everyone safe and exposure minimized.

Hotel Restaurants and Bars 

For the time being, at least, there will be no sit-down breakfast at many properties. Strober said the Seashore Inn will have focus on takeout and delivery of individually-wrapped products. Coffee will be removed from the lobby, but each room will receive extra supplies for in-room brewing. Kraft says his properties will offer grab-and-go breakfast.

As a hotel with onsite fine dining, Mercer said the Seaside Oceanfront Inn is expecting a huge increase to the number of guests requesting room service and is creating a menu to offer a better in-room and to-go service experience. 

All In This Together 

Despite a long career in hotels, Mercer said he’d never seen competing properties come together to source supplies, share best practices and work together for guests the way Seaside properties have done during this pandemic. “Our staff is working hard to balance comfort and fun with masks and sanitizers. Just come with a spirit of adventure and be ready for some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

Strober believes guests will be understanding and respectful of new policies and procedures, even if they might be inconvenient at times. “We’ll do everything we can to keep guests safe,” he said, “and help them navigate the new normal to have a fantastic time in our beach town.”

Find Seaside’s full directory of lodging properties and options here.

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