Torquay-based hotel group TLH Leisure Resort opened its doors again on Saturday, July 4, after a three-month lockdown.
The resort comprises four hotels and extensive leisure facilities, which are also enjoyed by a strong local market.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been considerable on this multi-faceted hospitality business, which employs 300 permanent staff.
Opening up is taking place on a phased basis, with the TLH Toorak Hotel being the first of the four properties in the group to open its doors.
The process of emerging from such a long period of closure is not without its challenges but managing director Jason Garside is confident the business will bounce back.
During closure, a much-reduced workforce has been busy making the resort Covid-19 secure, using the hospitality industry guidelines issued by the Government.
Measures have included:
• social distance markers and one-way routes
• automatic hand sanitisers at key entry points
• new table layouts in restaurants and bars with a ‘seated to be served’ policy
• glass screens at receptions and till points
• deep cleaning and sanitising of bedrooms between stays
• appropriate PPE for TLH colleagues
• full training programme for all TLH colleagues prior and during the reopening phase
• track and trace procedures in bars and restaurants.
Mr Garside said: “The unprecedented opportunity of having empty hotels for a period of time has also allowed for a programme of deep cleaning, decorating and general maintenance, so improving the customer experience.”
A full programme of training has been put together by group training manager Mary-Ann Fudge.
Mary-Ann said: “It has been a challenge but there has been a huge amount of support from the English Riviera BID company, who appreciate how important it is we get these procedures right.
“Customer confidence is everything but we also want to ensure our teams feel secure and confident when being asked to return to work.”
The ‘pre-return to work rraining’ has focused on creating Covid-secure practises and procedures, covering social distancing, hand washing, prevention of transmission/personal contact, track and trace, cleaning and hygiene, colleague procedures – and, finally, customer’s journey and customer service.”
All TLH colleagues will have completed the training before being asked to return to work.
Jaosn Garside said: “It is essential that our hard-working teams feel confident in providing the top-rate service we are known for.
“Likewise, it is vital customers feel secure to come back to stay and to use our facilities.
“We believe we have done everything we can to ensure an enjoyable and relaxing customer experience while following Covid-19-secure procedures.
“We are still the same friendly team behind any screens or masks - people are at the very heart of what we do.
“We are now receiving bookings for the rest of the summer and on into the winter months.
“As of yet, some of the resort’s key leisure facilities have not been permitted to reopen but are all ready to go as soon as the restrictions are lifted. These include the popular Aztec indoor pool complex, the outdoor pools, the Aztec Spa, Gym and Fitness Studio.
“Entertainment activities are also restricted at the moment. This has impacted the local market but other areas such as the Aztec Bistro, Alberts and Aztec Games are all open and welcoming customers with open arms while being fully compliant with Covid-19-secure guidelines.”
The TLH marketing team have been busy behind the scenes preparing a ‘Relax, Refresh, Revive’ campaign, encouraging visitors to come to the ‘Naturally Inspiring’ English Riviera.
The area is renowned for fresh air, wide open spaces and safely socially distanced holidays. Making the most of our natural landscape will be key while other activities are restricted.
More details of TLH Leisure Resort’s Covid-19 procedures can be found a www.tlh.co.uk/how-we-are-making-your-stay-covid-19-secure