When the global pandemic was announced in 2020, just thinking about traveling anywhere was inconceivable. The usual scene of crowded cafes, busy restaurants, and bustling city streets, became deserted. People were locked in their homes. Many countries closed their borders. Traveling was a no-go. Little by little the world started to open up again with new restrictions as we all adapt to a ¨New Normal¨. Today that means social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing, working from home, and COVID testing.
All of this has become part of our new mindset during these pandemic times. Similarly, various industries started to re-evaluate their procedures and adapted them in a new way to comply with COVID-19 safety measures. The travel and hotel industry was negatively impacted during the pandemic. Never before has the lodging industry seen a crisis that brought travel to an abrupt halt. Hotels were temporarily closed, salaries were cut, staff members were furloughed, and in some cases lost their jobs.
Adapting to COVID
As the pandemic continues, most hotels have adapted to the new COVID-19 regulations. Aiming to keep their hotel guests as well as their staff safe, new health considerations were implemented, such as:
- Intense cleaning and sanitization of guest rooms, public spaces, and high touch areas.
- Re-arranging public spaces applying social distancing guidelines.
- Proper signage throughout the space reminding guests of COVID-19 protocols such as mask-wearing in public spaces and social distancing.
- Increasing the cleaning times in the back of house areas
- Training personnel about safety protocols and personal protective equipment.
As the times keep changing the hotel industry keeps adapting to the new challenges.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the new travel protocols starting on January 26, 2021. According to the new regulations, any travelers arriving into the United States, including citizens and legal residents must present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry or proof of having recently recovered from COVID-19. Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other countries now also require proof of COVID testing for all passengers arriving on inbound flights.
Now travelers need to take these new testing requirements into consideration. The tests also must be taken a minimum of 3 days prior to return travel, which requires planning. Trying to find a COVID testing facility while on vacation adds another dimension of stress for those who were just looking to have a stress-free holiday. The hotel industry responded to these new testing requirements and many hotels around the world have stepped up to offer on-site COVID testing for the peace of mind of their guests.
A Few of the Hotels Around the World that Offer On-Site Testing are:
Garza Blanca Resort & SPA Cancun, Mexico
The Yucatan Peninsula is also known as the perfect peninsula. It encompasses a wide variety of attractions that will make your stay here unforgettable. You can experience the richness of the Maya culture by visiting the pyramids in Tulum or Chichen Itzá, while also relaxing on the sun-drenched beaches.
Garza Blanca Resort & SPA Cancun is a brand-new resort located in the luxury destination of Cancun. This exotic area offers white sand beaches where you can experience adventure, romance, and relaxation. You can let go of all your worries and become one with the lavish surroundings. With recreational activities including water sports, a Wibit Aqua Park, beach volleyball, dance classes, and beachfront pools in a tropical dreamland, booking your stay here will transport you to a heavenly place of idyllic serenity.
In the spirit of easing all of your travel concerns, Garza Blanca offers on-site COVID testing. They provide their guests with complementary antigen testing. If a PCR test is required for reentry to their country of origin, they provide a discount for you to take this test, so the cost is approximately $150 US dollars. Both tests are administered on-property, so you don’t have to see your holiday interrupted.
Aiming to fully care for their guests, Garza Blanca is offering 14 nights complimentary accommodation through March 31, 2021 to any guest who tests positive for COVID-19 while staying at the resort.
Garza Blanca’s sister resort, Villa del Palmar Luxury Resort & Spa Cancun, is located adjacent to Garza Blanca. Villa del Palmar is also deeply committed to their guests’ well-being, and as such is another of the hotels offering on-site COVID testing. Villa del Palmar is also offering free antigen and discounted PCR testing onsite for those guests who need to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in their home country.
A reliable laboratory performs the tests on the hotel premises for the comfort of the guests. Villa del Palmar’s goal is that your stay is undisturbed, so you can enjoy to the fullest all of their amenities. Results are sent via email or can be printed if needed.
In the circumstance that a guest tests positive for COVID-19 at either of these luxury resorts, they can quarantine in the comfort of their suites.
Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
Eden Roc Cap Cana hotel is located in the private beachfront community of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. With bungalows and beachfront suites, this hotel offers an ideal spot for relaxation. Additionally to their services, the Eden Roc Cap Cana hotel is offering testing onsite.
They offer free Antigen/Molecular PCR tests done in the privacy of the guest´s room or in a designated area at the hotel. The guest can obtain their results within 36 to 48 hours. Also, all guests staying at the resort will receive health insurance from the government until March 31, 2021. If a guest tests positive, they will be taken to a room designated on the property for quarantine. Accommodation and expenses will be covered by the insurance.
Hotel Mousai, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Hotel Mousai is the first and only AAA Five Diamond-rated resort in Puerto Vallarta. This adults-only vacation spot, will captivate you with stunning interior design and architecture, in a luscious tropical setting.
When you stay at Hotel Mousai, you will be transported to paradise on Earth. Here you can enjoy stunning views of the Sierra Madre mountains as well as spot whales frolicking in the ocean right from the terrace of your suite during whale watching season, which is something quite spectacular!
Because Hotel Mousai aspires to bring an immersive experience throughout your stay, they implemented enhanced COVID protocols together with a safe and seamless service.
Furthermore, to deliver a stress-free stay, they offer complimentary antigen tests for all guests at the hotel. In case the guest will need a PCR test before returning home, they offer on-site testing at a discounted rate. You just need to schedule your COVID-19 test with the front desk upon check-in. It’s important to make your appointment 72 hours before departing from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico if you are returning to the United States, because the U.S. requires a COVID test within 72 hours of arrival.
Hotel Mousai also offers 14 nights complimentary room-only accommodation through March 31, 2021, so that in case your test results are positive, you can quarantine in the comfort of your luxury suite.
Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla
This resort extends along the secluded Maundays Bay on the astonishing Anguilla island in the British West Indies. Here you will find white sands and turquoise water, a paradise escape, where guests can relax and enjoy the surroundings.
Following this idea, The Belmond Cap Juluca offers what they have named a Worry-Free Departure. This means that they offer on-site COVID-19 tests, from reliable medical providers in order to comply with new requirements for different governments. They can arrange the test before departure for a fee. Appointments can be made with the concierge at the resort.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Aruba
This 40-acre private island with beach cabanas at the Oranjestad, Aruba offers a 24-hour casino as well as a tropical escape with breathtaking views, making your stay memorable.
The Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino – aiming to make your stay as relaxing as possible – provides an antigen COVID-19 test to all guests returning to the U.S. for $50, or a PCR test for $125. The results of the test are available in 24 hours.
In the event that the result of the COVID-19 test is positive, the local health department will be contacted, following Aruba’s COVID-19 protocol. Then, the COVID-positive guest will be transferred to safe and comfortable accommodations for the length of their recovery. The cost of the new accommodation will be covered by Aruba’s COVID-19 insurance.
Their testing facility is handled by MedCare Aruba, observing the requirements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Government of the United States of America, which states that a negative COVID test is required to enter the country. This must be performed a minimum of 72 hours prior to departing Aruba.
Couples Resorts, Jamaica
With four oceanfront resorts in Jamaica, Couples Resorts are, as the name suggests, ideal for couples. They count on 40 years of experience bringing luxury, romance, and value to couples. This Jamaican resort’s main goal has always been to make the stay of their guests hassle-free. Therefore, when the new COVID regulations for all guests traveling back to the United States were put in place, Couples Resorts came to the rescue.
All the four properties of Couple Resorts Jamaica offer free-of-charge rapid antigen testing, and results will be sent by email within 24 hours.
For those that require a PCR COVID test, it will be free of charge with a 6 nights minimum stay. Those staying less than 6 nights will be charged about $150 USD. The results of the test will be sent by email within 48 hours. In case the guest gets a false-positive test result, the re-testing will be at the guest’s expense. Guests who test positive will be quarantined in their room at no cost for 14 days. This applies to guests traveling until April 15, 2021.
All of the resorts mentioned in this article are top quality resorts and all received a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award putting them in the top 10% of all resort listings on Tripadvisor. Additionally, Hotel Mousai, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic were selected as the ¨Best of the Best,¨which puts them among the top 1% of all Tripadvisor listings.