Opening Day?? - During the Time of COVID-19
Updated: May 19, 2020
It’s the start of our 10th Season. We are so excited to celebrate our 10th year with you all.
Today would have been our opening day. But this year is not like any other year. COVID-19 had other ideas of how our season will play out. We are not allowed to open in May here in Maine under the Governors Janet Mills’ Executive Order. We are grateful for her leadership and planning to keep us all safe. Its a devastating blow not only to us, but to all Maine businesses across the state, especially those of us in the lodging industry as we will be one of the last sectors to be allowed to open.
We are figuring our way thru this. Each day brings us new insights on how we will be able not only to open but how to open safely for you our beloved guests, but also keep us and our staff safe.
We are opening in 2 Phases as outlined by the Maine Goverment. We are allowed to open in June to MAINE resident only. Then in beginning July 1, we will be allowed to open to “people from away”.
We love breakfast and we love cooking for you, our guests. In the forseeable future we will not be allowed to do our continental breakfast that we typically offer in addition to the hot home cooked served breakfast. In June, the current guidance is allowing us to do a bag breakfast option as a takeaway breakfast. This will be a big learning for us as we have never really done this before. Although, Eric does make a mean bagel sandwich with lots of drippy melty cheese. 😋
We are required to make changes to minimize person to person contact. Such things as our glass milk jugs we have used for years will be replaced with individual mini-cup creamers, individual sugar packets, etc. Anyone that has stayed with us before will know that we have been making changes over the years to reduce our plastic use, recyclables, and our trash. We have taken the pledge with our local Climate to Thrive. This pledge commits us to reducing our carbon footprint on this island. But at this time we have to think about your health and safety.
Hopefully during the second phase of our opening in July we will be able to start serving breakfast. We don’t have any guidance yet from our Govenor. We envision that if we are able to start serving breakfast we will have 2 person tables spaced 6 feet apart. We will offer fixed seating times, i.e. 8:00am, 8:45am, 9:30am. This allows Eric to be able to serve everyone in the breakfast room at the same time. Dishes will only be cleared after you have left the breakfast room. This will give us time to clear tables and sanitize them before the next seating. This will reduce the number of people that we can served at a time and you will need to sign up for a time slot.
Our second favorite eating time of the day. 🥰 In the foreseeable future we will not be able to do our usual spread with cookies, muffins, beloved Rum Balls, and homemade lemonade. We are looking at alternatives to this so you can still have Michelle’s molasses ginger cookies or her gooey chocolate chip brownies. We might individually wrap up the Cookie of the Day and hang a bag on your doorknob. We are still working out how this will work.
Daily housekeeping service for stay-over rooms has been temporarily suspended. This is to protect you from contamination from our staff but also to protect our staff from unnecessary exposure. We will leave whatever you need to refresh and restock outside of your door wrapped in plastic.
If you have stayed with us before you know that Cleaning was already a HUGE part of daily life around here. We have really high standards of cleanliness. But will be stepping up the disinfecting of high touch areas such as knobs, switches, handrails, coffee and water dispensers.
Extra pillows and blankets stored in the guest room closets will be removed and available upon guest request
Specific sanitation consideration will be paid to the following guest room areas:Desks, countertops, tables, and chairs TVs, cable boxes and remotes (where applicable) Thermostats Cabinetry pulls and hardware Doors and doorknobs Bathroom vanities and accessories Bathroom fixtures and hardware Windows, mirrors, and frames Lights and lighting controls Closets, hangers, and other amenities
We will also have hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes located around the inn for your use.
All paper items such as magazines, newspapers, guest books will be removed from room and only provided upon request.
We will will be continually monitoring new and evolving cleaning meothods as outlined by the Maine CDC, federal CDC and our hospitality professional associations that we are members of.
In Order to ensure that guest rooms and the common rooms are cleaned to the highest standards check-in times will be between 3:00pm-6:00pm. We will not be able to accommodate ANY early check-ins. In order to maintain our sanitization procedure Guest rooms will be locked when our housekeeper has finished cleaning it.
We assume that we will be required to perform some sort of health/safety check of our guests. (No guidance has been issued yet.) This may be something as simple as taking your temperature. In order to accomplish this guests must check-in during check-in hours of 3pm-6pm. Late arrivals can not be accommodated at this time.
Only registered guests will be allowed in the inn. The front door will be locked at all times and you will be required to use a key to enter the inn.
Check-out will be strictly adhered to ensure we have suffient time to clean and santize the room from the next guest.
We will be unable to hold/store luggage for guests.
We are working on a process for contact-less check-in. This will take a little longer to work out. As small business, a mom&pop business really, this is all so new to us. We’ll update this as we have a process for this.
You will be required to wear a mask upon entering the Holbrook House In any public area. We ask that you please abide by this in order to ensure the health and safety of your fellow guests. You never know who around you is vulnerable to this illness.
We ask that you stay home if you feel ill for any reason including have a fever, have been exposed to COVID-19, someone in your direct family has, or has been exposed to, COVID-19. We ask this as a home based business like ours we have close contact with our guests. If either Eric or I get sick from COVID-19 it will be a huge financial blow to us. This is not only our home but our sole source of income. We have several people in our family who are part of the vulnerable population and we are trying to find a balance between opening our B&B and ensuring the our health and that of our loved ones who depend on us.
We will place stations of hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes around the inn, especially by front door. Please use these prior to your use and after you touch something to protect the person behind you.
We not not have central A/C or heat. Each room this their own individual A/C unit, and either baseboard hot water heat or individual heat pumps and windows in each room to get fresh air. Thereby reducing your exposure to recirculated air.
While we wish today was opening day, because we miss each and everyone of you we are making the most of our time that we have before our new opening day in June. We have had so many projects we are working on and can’t wait to share them with you. Checkout our new ONLINE Store in the mean time.
Pictures to follow in another BLOG post of our ongoing projects and our new room reveal. Stayed tuned....
P.S This is our first BLOG so take pity on us...