At Swinton Estate we care about our family of employees and our guests. When we decided to close in March, we did it with a heavy heart but knew it was in the best interest of our employees and customers. We also understood that asking 130 employees to stay home during the pandemic is challenging. We chose to furlough the majority of our full-time and part-time staff and take appropriate action for those others to work and still retain an income. Hopefully, we have now passed our “peak”, our hospitals were not overrun, and we appear to have now acquired enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to sufficiently supply the NHS. As we are entering into a decelerating curve which must continue to “flatten” so we can re-emerge in a safe, sustainable way.
This plan presents what we will do to keep our guests, employees, and the local community from CV-19. Each operating department has its own set of procedures that highlights the new policies we are intending to be operating under. We will continue to refine and update the plan as the UK Government releases further information and provides us more advice. Our procedures are not exhaustive but are summarised here to give you some confidence that by booking your stay with us you are in good hands.
During the initial opening period, the hotel will only take 55% of its maximum residents with our cottages, lodges and yurts being restricted where appropriate.
All accommodation reservations are transferable to another date subject to availability and our new booking policy for reservations for short breaks using simply a credit card number to guarantee the booking up to 48 hours prior to arrival should give extra reassurance when deciding to come this year.
Samuel’s Restaurant will be open for breakfast each morning with lunch and dinner being served in The Terrace Restaurant. Afternoon Tea will be served in the Drawing Room and on the south terrace overlooking the deer park. Samuel’s Restaurant will be open for dinner from 1st August, opening initially for residents only.
Pre-booking of time slots are required by all residents and non-residents for food and beverage service. This relates to breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Customers without a reservation will be turned away from the hotel. This is to comply with the track and trace protocols set out by the UK government.
Café users at the Bivouac will need to maintain strict social distancing and ratios, and booking will be required in advance by telephoning or emailing and reserving a table. The café will be reserved for Bivouac residents only from 8.30 until 10am when it will open to the public.
Government guidelines do not let us open our swimming pools, gym and thermal areas and currently our treatment rooms remain closed. The Cottage salon will be open for hairdressing. For July, time slots will be pre-bookable with strict numbers to maintain good social distancing. The club will therefore remain closed to members unless wishing to use the cottage services.
As further restrictions get lifted, we will open the country club and spa services and hope to welcome members from the 1st August. From September we plan to open up our facilities to day guests and have a specific range of treatments available.
Our Cookery School will be open but with reduced classes and new social distancing measures applied. Face masks will be required by all students and staff initially.
Activities across the estate including fishing, clay shooting, trekking, falconry and golf are assumed all open by July. Our private walled parkland of 200 acres will have limited numbers of the public.
As we re-open we will be no longer taking cash and all payments must be either contactless or pin operated via the credit card terminal.
On the day of arrival all customers are required to email or bring with them signed declaration confirming they have NO symptoms relating to Covid-19. We reserve the right to ask customers to have their temperature recorded on arrival.
Prior to arrival customers will be encouraged to download the Swinton App on the smart phones. This will give access to current menus, timings, activities and further information about staying on the Estate. Guests will also be pointed to the website to review services on offer.
Guests will be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at 1 metre away from other groups of people not travelling with them; while standing in lines, using lifts, or moving around the Estate. Restaurant tables, drawing rooms and other physical layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing.
Throughout the Estate we will aim to meet or exceed recognised guidelines.
Employees will be reminded not to touch their faces and to practice physical distancing by standing at least three feet away from guests and other employees whenever possible. Use of face masks will be evident across the Estate where social distancing is not possible. Our aim by staff wearing masks is so that our customers do not have to.
Hand sanitiser dispensers, hands-free whenever possible, will be placed at key guest and employee entrances and contact areas such as driveways, reception areas, restaurant entrances, meeting and banqueting areas, lift landings, pools, treatment areas and exercise areas. Hand lotion will be provided in guest rooms and throughout the back of house for employees.
There will be health and hygiene reminders throughout the property including the proper way to wear, handle and dispose of masks, along with reminders to wash hands.
a) Each guest will receive an amenity bag during check-in containing hand sanitiser, wipes and a COVID-19 awareness card. Room toiletries will also be placed in the bag. Disposable masks will be available for guest at reception should they require them.
b) A spray bottle of sanitiser or wipes will be provided in each room for guest use (subject to availability and stored out of reach of small children).
The frequency of cleaning and sanitising has been increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including, but not limited to, reception desk, check elevators and lift buttons, door handles, public toilets, room keys and locks, stair handrails, gym equipment, dining surfaces and seating areas. Residents are requested to use their en-suite bathroom whenever possible rather than the public toilets.
Industry leading cleaning and sanitising protocols are used to clean guest rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items including television remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and furniture handles, taps, nightstands, telephones, light switches, radiator valves, window handles, alarm clocks, luggage racks and flooring.
As always, all bed linen and laundry will be changed between guests and continue to be washed at a high temperature. For guests staying more than 1-night bed linen will only be changed upon request at an agreed upon time (whilst the room is vacant). Dirty linen will be bagged in the guest room to eliminate excess contact while being transported to our onsite.
The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will also increase in high traffic back of house areas with an emphasis on the employee dining rooms, employee entrances, employee changing rooms, delivery areas, kitchens and staff accommodation.
Any area where guests queue will be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing. This includes check-in, check-out, spa reception.
Restaurants and bars will reduce seating capacities to allow for a minimum of six feet between each seated group/party of guests. Where social distancing can not be maintained staff will where protective face masks or visors.
Meeting and banquet set-up arrangements will allow for physical distancing between guests in all meetings and events. This will follow government guidelines based on allowed numbers and social distancing.
Pool seating will be configured to allow for at least six feet of separation between groups of guests. Chaise lounge chairs to be sanitised hourly reception desk and all other desks and counters to be sanitised at least once per hour.
a) We have discontinued print magazine and newspaper services throughout the public areas and limited printed collateral.
b) All packages for guests will be placed in sealed single-use plastic bags.
c) Guest packages delivered to the rooms will be placed outside the guest room, the delivery person will call the room and then wait six feet away to ensure the package is retrieved.
d) Guest laundry and dry-cleaning services available using contactless pick-up and delivery protocols.
e) Guest amenity deliveries will be consistent with In Room Dining (IRD) protocols and delivered with contactless procedures whenever possible.
f) Valet parking suspended.
g) Use of the Swinton app for service information on property.
h) A more detailed concierge call prior to arrival will need to take place 48 hours before arrival.
i) Encourage the use e-mail for all guest transactions, offer Internet / online solution and email receipts.
j) In certain areas the use of Perspex screens will be used i.e. bar, reception and spa areas.
Reception and Arrival
An online check-in form will be sent to each guest prior to arrival to ensure time spent at Reception is minimised. This form will include information about health prior to arriving and give guests instruction on how we will handle their arrival.
When a guest arrives at the hotel, they may drop off their luggage but will need to park their own cars.
Once their name is taken, we will confirm the activity/table bookings we hold for them, and take a preauthorisation. The credit card terminal will be sanitised in front of the customer, with a wipe just prior to handing it to them. After this is complete an offer of a porter to show the guest directly up to the room, with the key and the registration form being left inside the bedroom. Porters will be trained on social distancing and will remain the appropriate distance away from all guests. The lift will not be used by porters. Help with luggage will be offered by the porters and they will sanitise their hands each time they assist a guest with bags. The porter will leave the customer at their bedroom door, explaining that the door is unlocked, and the keys are inside.
In light of the recent pandemic, enhanced cleaning procedures will now be followed by the Housekeeping department.
In public areas, all touch points will be sanitised as frequently as possible. Door handles, bannisters, toilet handles/locks, taps etc will be done regularly. A member of staff will be employed throughout the day to solely sanitise public area touch points.
Extra time for cleaning will be allowed per bedroom for thoroughly sanitising all touch points.
Only hand dryers or disposable paper towels available in the public toilets
A daily service will only be available o request and at a coordinated time. Evening turndown will not be available currently.
After a guest’s departure the room will serviced and then be left unoccupied 20hrs before the next guest arrival.
Spa and Gym
The pool, thermal areas will be open along with the gym area. These will be bookable at 1 hour time slots and subject to government advise and guidelines. Alternative wellness options to be provided to guests as they are developed including in-room and outdoor wellness programming.
Cleaning of work areas, hard surfaces, handles and frequently touched surfaces to be sanitised at least once per hour and upon a shift change.
Signage will be prominently posted reminding guests of maximum occupancies and distancing guidelines
Restaurants, Bars & Lounges
a) The Host Podiums including all associated equipment to be sanitised frequently.
b) Service stations, service tables, beverage stations, counters, handrails and trays to be sanitised at least once per hour and logged by a manager.
c) POS terminals to be assigned to a single waiter where possible and sanitised between each user and before and after each shift. If multiple servers are assigned to a POS terminal, servers will sanitise their hands after each use.
d) Dining tables, bar tops, stools, and chairs to be sanitised after each use.
e) Condiments to be served in single use containers.
f) Bill presenters, pens and all other reusable guest contact items to be either sanitised after each use or single use.
g) Menus will be within the app or online however if required to be single use and/or disposable.
h) Sanitise trays (all types) and tray stands sanitised after each use.
i) Storage containers to be sanitised before and after each use.
j) Food preparation stations to be sanitised at least once per hour.
k) Kitchens to be deep cleaned and sanitised at least twice per day.
l) Food and beverage items being prepared to be transferred to other employees using contactless methods (leaving on expediting tables, conveyors, etc.).
m) Staff will wear masks for service of food and beverage when social distancing guidelines cannot be observed.
n) All self-serve condiments and utensils to be removed and available from cashiers or servers.
o) All straws to be wrapped.
p) Napkin service to be suspended until further notice (no placing in a guest’s lap or refolding).
q) Table side cooking to be suspended until further notice.
r) Bar snacks will be served per individual guest and not shared by the table.
s) All food and beverage items to be placed on the table, counter or other surface instead of being handed directly to a guest.
Room Service Physical serving
a) Set food on the stand in the hallway and notify guest when the table is outside of the guest’s room (plate covers remain) – guests will retrieve their own tray.
b) Request that guests notify the reception when finished with their meal and place their tray in the hallway outside of their room.
c) Printed room service menus to be removed from rooms and will sit within guest information that is provided on the hotel’s website and also under restaurant menus on the Swinton App.
d) Tea and coffee making facilities to be replaced with a complimentary hospitality tray on request basis with individual disposable sachets and spoons.
Whilst the Swinton Estate has endeavoured to comply with the guidelines and regulations set out for the coronavirus, due to the very nature of it being a highly contagious disease and a pandemic, we cannot be held accountable should customers be exposed to persons unknown to us as having COVID-19 and therefore agrees that they cannot pursue any claims against the company relating to coronavirus.
I acknowledge that the measures implemented by Swinton Estate to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 place personal responsibility on me for adhering to the requirements including, but not limited to, those relating to social distancing, personal hygiene, testing and reporting health issues in accordance with government guidelines. I accept that these provisions are required to protect the health and wellbeing of me, me family, fellow Guests and Team Members at Swinton Estate. I understand that failure to comply with any of these requirements is a serious matter and may result in me being requested to leave the Swinton Estate.