All-Inclusive Update in the Americas, Europe and Beyond

Here’s a primer to share with clients asking about what all-inclusive resorts are doing in light of the pandemic.

Club Med has developed its "Safe Together" program — enhanced hygiene and safety protocols that are being rolled out globally across all Club Med resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. With recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and through the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprising a specialized team of doctors and professors, these enhanced protocols include:

  • Deep cleaning and continual sanitization of all public areas; have disinfecting disposable wipes for elevator buttons and doorknobs (elevators completely disinfected every hour) 
  • Increasing the amount of single-plated food items; changing serving spoons at buffets every 20 minutes 
  • Continued sanitization of all areas of Kid’s Clubs daily 
  • Sanitization of airport transfer vehicles
  • Guest temperature checks upon check-in and periodically during stay; staff temperature checks at beginning of each work shift 
  • Expanded digital check-in and check-out services
  • Sanitizing sports equipment between each user

Riu Hotels & Resorts reports that of its hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico, it has reopened at least one hotel in each destination. In total, it has opened 20 of the 27 establishments in the Caribbean and its goal is, if everything progresses positively regarding the pandemic, to reopen more hotels in the coming weeks/months, said a spokesman.

RIU has created a comprehensive manual for post-COVID hotels. It comprises 17 protocols and addresses every day operations and customer service, as well as cleaning and disinfection. It was developed by RIU professionals in collaboration with the specialist consultancy firm Preverisk, and its main objective is the safety of the guests and the staff. The manual will be shared with the whole industry through a partnership called the "Post-Covid19 Hospitality Sector Alliance."

The departments at Riu Hotels & Resorts that from now on will apply the new measures in their everyday work include reception, housekeeping (cleaning), dining rooms, bars, kitchens, confectionery, goods reception, technical service center, industrial zones, staff areas, staff transport, fitness and entertainment. In this way, it can manage the reopening process in a comprehensive way that covers aspects from limiting the occupancy of the hotel and each of its areas, to the correct dosage of tried and tested virucidal products.

Staff is being trained on the new protocols and are being monitored to ensure they are in good health while at work. 

Hotel occupancy is being limited to 50 or 60 percent, or lower if local restrictions apply. Temperature checks are performed on guests at arrival and web check-in is in the works to reduce the handling of physical documents as much as possible. Reception desks have safety screens and employees are using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).Work stations and equipment used by employees are disinfected at the end of every day, while guests will be encouraged to use the hotel app to search for information and opening hours, again as a way of avoiding handling documents. The check-out time will be brought forward to 11 a.m., while check-in is delayed until 4 p.m. to allow time for the new room cleaning measures. In the lobbies, the information stand screens will no longer be interactive; rather, the information will be displayed on a loop.

For full information on the new protocols, which includes rooms and cleaning, dining and pools, visit

Sandals Resorts International has introduced new and enhanced protocols across all 15 Sandals Resorts and three Beaches Resorts. (Note: Opening dates for all resorts can be found at

The company says it has completed a thorough research assessment of all points of guest contact, resulting in the integration of advanced hygiene practices across 18 key touch points, which include the airport lounge; guest transfers to and from resort; guestrooms, food and beverage experiences; housekeeping and laundry; elite services, including butler service and Club Sandals Concierge; maintenance; resort activities such as water sports; elevators; swimming pools, Jacuzzis and spas; team members access points; fitness centers and the Red Lane Spa; public bathrooms; suppliers and receiving; all public areas, including lobbies and beaches; back of house facilities, such as store rooms and offices; Kids Camps and waterparks at Beaches Resorts; and HVAC systems.

Enhanced Triple-Check System for Cleaning and Sanitation: All resorts are diligently cleaned and sanitized on an ongoing basis, with a "Triple-Check" system and a minimum of three inspections daily. These inspections include all hard surfaces — from door handles and interiors of vehicles used for airport transfers; public restrooms, which are inspected, cleaned and sanitized in 20-minute intervals; kitchens, bars and restaurants, including menus, tables, cutlery, glassware, chairs and more; and swimming pools and hot tubs.

Additional hand sanitizing stations will be provided for guests and team members throughout the resorts, at all dining locations and within each individual guestroom. Any items that guests will come in contact with — from room cards to welcome cocktails glassware — are sanitized before distribution.

New Certified Sandals Sanitized Guest Rooms: The "Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness" includes the introduction of additional hospital-grade disinfectants; electrical aerosol sprayers for advanced cleaning; the use of UV-LED lighting equipment to inspect cleanliness; air duct sanitization for each arrival and upon each departure; weekly steam-cleaning and sanitization of carpeting; placement of anti-bacterial gels and soaps in each guestroom; and strict adherence to the "Triple-Check" System.

At-Home to In-Room Check-in, beginning in June: Guests will have the ability to check-in online, allowing them to skip the front desk and go directly to their room. A welcome cocktail, a personal anti-bacterial hand towel and individual in-room hand sanitizer will always await arriving guests.

Social Distancing Practices: Airport transfers will have fewer guests per vehicle; check-in times between visitors will be extended; safe social distancing will be established in restaurants, bars and beaches; handshakes will be replaced with a nod and a smile; and elevator trips will be restricted to one couple per trip at Sandals Resorts and one family per trip at Beaches Resorts, with staff members taking alternate routes.

Team Member Trainings and Precautionary Temperature Checks: Sandals is ensuring all team members stay healthy both inside and outside the workplace with ongoing specialized training on precautionary measures geared toward preventative protocols and added sanitation practices.

All staff will be required to know where the nearest hand sanitizer stations are located at all times, wear protective face gear and gloves at all times when on resort, and ensure uniforms are not worn during travel to and from work. All team members across resort locations will also undergo required temperature checks before the start of each shift in addition to stringent medical clearance.

Supplier-held Standards: All vendors, suppliers and partners will be held to the new "Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness" standards by restricting delivery windows to one party at a time, while limiting physical contact; sanitizing all touch points, including equipment, storage spaces and access areas; and removing all outer packing upon arrival.

Playa Hotels & Resorts is welcoming back guests and associates this summer to their all-inclusive resorts after temporarily suspending operations months earlier amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Most resorts will be open by the third week of July, while Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos will reopen September 24 and Hilton La Romana reopens October 1.

As part of the reopenings, Playa will be hosting travel advisors and trade media at their resorts in conjunction with the resort opening schedule.

In response to COVID-19, the all-inclusive resort company has developed "Playa Safe Stay" with the help of trusted global hospitality brands and key sectors of the travel industry to create a safe and fun vacation environment for guests.

“We have been working diligently for months — with the help of Hyatt and Hilton — on implementing new procedures and policies as part of Playa Safe Stay™ to ensure that a vacation at any Playa resort exceeds our guests’ expectations of both safety and fun,” says Gregory Maliassas, EVP and COO of Playa Resorts Management. For more information on "Playa Safe Stay", visit

Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts have announced "Purely Palace," advanced safety and cleanliness initiative for all resorts. This new program includes enhanced preventive actions across all points of contact. These new and enhanced measures will be implemented immediately across all Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts properties. For a full list of protocols, visit

Guests will be encouraged to check-in online through the resort app. Doing so reduces direct contact at the reception area by up to 90 percent. Floor markers have been installed to respect social distancing guidelines.

At Palace Resorts, floor markers will be put in place to enforce social distancing. 

Acrylic protective barriers have been installed at all guest check-in areas to protect both the guest and team member. Each guest will be asked to sign a declaration of health, confirming they are free of any COVID-19 related symptoms, have not had tested positive or come into contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 30 days. Incoming guests’ luggage will be immediately disinfected upon arrival. Housekeeping teams will follow strict quality and sanitation controls, including mandatory use of gloves, face shields, and facemasks while cleaning and disinfecting guestrooms. All mattresses will be professionally steamed to help eliminate any harmful viruses and bacteria.

Upon guest departure, each room will undergo a complete disinfection process using an electrostatic nebulizer system. Sanitation tablets will be installed in air conditioning units to eliminate potential viruses and bacteria. A health certification will be placed in each room, guaranteeing that everything has been completely disinfected to the highest and strictest standards.

Guests will also receive a personal hygiene kit in their rooms, which will include antibacterial gel, facemasks (for optional use, one per person) and disinfecting wipes.

All buffets will be removed from all restaurants. Floor markers will be put in place to enforce social distancing. While physical menus will be disinfected after each use, guests will be highly encouraged to view menus through the resort app. Each team member is required to wash their hands every 30 minutes.

Iberostar, here and below, has adopted new hygiene and safety measures and protocols, which have been developed in partnership with a medical advisory board. 

Palladium Hotel Group reports that it is implementing the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the expert authorities of the six countries in which it operates. 

The hotel company is reinforcing the cleaning and disinfection process of all of its hotel spaces; such as bedrooms, communal areas, meeting and event spaces, and staff work areas; as well as its transport vehicles, objects of common use and those items that arrive from outside, such as luggage.

Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout all the different areas of the hotel, and within guestrooms. Temperature checks with infrared thermometers will be carried out on employees, suppliers and guests, especially in the entrance areas and closed spaces such as the restaurants, gymnasium, spa, children’s area, etc. Social distancing will be enforced and reservations for services are encouraged, such as for the gym, children’s areas, and water area, among others. 

A maximum number of people in bars and restaurants will be established, as well as an appointment system to control access to these areas. Guests will also be escorted to their tables that will be previously set up with fully disinfected tableware. Palladium will also implement an “ozone and mist disinfection system” to purify the air. Online check-in and check-out will also be encouraged; employees are also being provided with necessary protective equipment and are undergoing specific training related to COVID.

Iberostar has reopened 45 hotels in nine countries, putting into practice new hygiene and safety measures and protocols which have been developed in partnership with a medical advisory board. In Europe and the Mediterranean, the company is now operating in Montenegro and Tunisia, as well as Spain (Majorca and Andalusia). In the Americas, it has opened four hotels: in Cancún, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit (Mexico) and one in Jamaica. Other hotels will reopen gradually.

Working closely with a medical advisory board consisting of renowned experts in public health, health security, virology and epidemiology, the Majorcan company has designed more than 300 sanitary safety measures grouped under the four principles of "How We Care:" Safe environment, hygiene standards, innovative experience and social spaces. Specifics are available at

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