Cedar Court Hotels: Coming Out “Fighting Fit” for a Safe and Seamless Post-COVID Reopening
Operating for over 35 years, Cedar Court Hotels is now the leading collection of 4-star hotels in Yorkshire, with properties in Wakefield, Bradford Huddersfield and Harrogate. Cedar Court achieved this position by maintaining a proactive, “can-do” attitude to develop strong relationships with both prospective travelers and long-time guests.
Like the rest of UK’s hospitality industry, the COVID-19 pandemic came as a devastating shock to Cedar Court Hotels. On March 20th, Cedar Court Hotels made the tough decision to temporarily close their doors to the public to better protect their staff and customers, and to comply with social distancing mandates from the UK government. But as soon as the doors were closed, staff at Cedar Court Hotels began revamping their hotel to thrive in the new normal of the post-COVID recovery.
“As soon as the current situation became apparent,” said Emily Cox, the Group Revenue Manager at Cedar Court Hotels, “we took a stance to ensure that as a business we operated with a framework of kindness. We announced that Kindness was our new currency, and that we wanted to be known for how we behaved as a business towards our guests and corporate clients. […] We, like everyone else, are in the process of having to rethink how to best look after our guests, but with the usual flair and sense of fun that they have come to expect from us.”
To this end, Cedar Court Hotels worked to become a paradigm in post-COVID-19 preparedness. Cedar Court partnered with several major corporations in the health and safety space, who work directly alongside hotel staff to ensure that their hygiene and social distancing policies are as safe as possible for team members and guests. Additionally, the brand will film a promotional video highlighting these new safety measures, to reassure nervous travelers of Cedar Court’s commitment to safety and hygiene, and to aid in staff training.
A major component of Cedar Court’s commitment to social distancing has been their investment in mobile self-service check-in/out technology. “We expect that returning customers will expect a seamless flow throughout their guest journey,’” Emily explains, “By this we mean, that the queue at the local pub bar or the front desk will now be a real safety concern, rather than simply a minor annoyance.” Fortunately, Cedar Court Hotels has seen the promise of contactless technology for some time, and has already invested in mobile self-check-in, digital ordering, and automated key cutting.
Cedar Court Hotels currently use StayNTouch’s solutions to offer guests the ability to check-in prior to arrival from an email allowing for mobile check-in….following the guests journey, check out is made simple as StayNTouch enables us to send an invoice and email to allow mobile check out or for guests to complete check out on the iPad terminals. Our housekeeping team uses mobile devices to update room status to ensure rooms are always ready and available whenever the guest arrives. The guest experience can be totally contactless from checking-in through checking-out…however, for guests who want some reassurance one of our lobby hosts is on hand to assist.
Emily is optimistic about the future of Cedar Court Hotels post-COVID: They are looking forward to an anticipated upturn in their already strong domestic leisure business, and have developed a “truly fantastic family offer,” to capitalize on the trends towards more localized leisure vacations.
”Our hotels will reopen on July 6, 2020,” Emily exclaims, “and we cannot wait! We are coming out of the gate fighting fit!” Cedar Court Hotels has done an enormous amount of work in the background to ensure that their post-COVID guest journey is as safe and seamless as possible. Emily concludes, “The main thing for us is to ensure that we run our business safely and provide the best guest experience possible for the customers we expect to receive as we reopen.”