Florida, yet again, is making headlines. This time for becoming the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Although many are pressing pause on their summer plans, some are braving it out and making tequila out of lemons. As of July 1st, many hotels have reopened after being closed for almost 100 days. So, what is it like to stay at a hotel in Florida? Here’s the scoop.
I was invited to stay at Eau Palm Beach, a Forbes five-star resort, for the weekend (July 10-13). Leading up to my stay Charlie and I were a bit nervous (not going to lie!) about the experience and familiarized ourselves with the CDC guidelines in place. When we arrived at the resort, we valet our car and headed over to the lobby. At a glimpsed we noticed everyone wearing a mask, people were at least six feet apart from each other and multiple hand sanitizer stations. Once it was our turn to check-in with the receptionist, we noticed the hotel has a glass up on the desk for extra protection. Picture those glasses at the bank in between you and the teller. Very similar.
The whole check-in process is paperless. There was no signing documents as the reservation was done online. I did have to take out my card for incidentals, but the machine was located on my side. The only contact was when the receptionist handed out my room key.
On our way to the elevator, we continued to notice more hand sanitizers and people with masks on. The elevator experience can be quite uncertain, as you don’t know how many people will cramp up. Thankfully, throughout our whole stay, we noticed people being conscious and allowing proper distance.
Eau Palm Beach joys itself with so much outdoor space, which is fantastic during these moments. Although there are indoor restaurants, you have options to eat outside. The indoor ones are limited up to 50% capacity, which provides a smoother and safer experience. Every staff member around had a mask, including the servers.
Here are the main differentiators:
- Use of masks
- No buffet options
- Fewer people
- Besides housekeeping, no one else can enter your room. By this I mean, room services don’t cross the front door
- Staff members immediately clean after you are done with your area
- The spa has a limited menu
In detail at Eau Palm Beach:
- All dining outlets will space tables to allow for the recommended amount of social distancing.
- Daily à la carte daily breakfast service and an à la carte Sunday brunch service with live music by Arturo Romay.
- At the popular Eau Spa, a phased menu of massages and facials will be available. Salon Services will include manicures, pedicures, haircuts, and color. Operations will be focused on sanitation and maintaining social distancing by staggering appointment times and seating throughout the spa, including salon service stations. Guests will be asked a series of wellness questions prior to and upon arrival to ensure the safety of resort guests and employees.
- All team members will wear personal protective equipment while performing Spa and Salon Services to ensure the health and well-being of all.
- The resort’s Har-Tru clay tennis courts will accommodate a maximum of 12 guests at a time.
- AquaNuts and COAST children and teen programs will accommodate a maximum of 10 guests at a time.
- The Fitness Center will accommodate up to nine maximum guests, with six guests maximum in fitness classes, including three maximum guests for spin classes on the RealRyder bikes.
- In-room Peloton bikes are available to guests booking a suite, or a King bedded room. Bikes must be booked in advance; an additional charge applies.
For more info, here’s Eau Palm Beach guest health and safety promise. It sure is different to travel to Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, you will find some people not properly wearing their mask or being unaware of certain things. That is just the nature of our reality. Traveling to Florida during the coronavirus outbreak is very risky. Like with anything, we must be smart and take our own precautions. We were really pleased with our experience and were grateful to have been able to escape for a bit. We continue to not take any day for granted.
My stay at Eau Palm Beach was sponsored by the hotel.