An interview with our General Manager - Holiday Inn Southend

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Our health and safety measures

The whole team at Holiday Inn Southend is delighted to announce, with much excitement and anticipation that we reopen to all guests from Saturday 4th July following the Covid 19 lockdown.

Whilst the hotel remained open to accommodate key workers & NHS staff during the pandemic, we are delighted to finally get the go-ahead to re-open to the public after a long three months of being closed.

What our team has been doing to keep guest safe

Here the General Manager, Rohit Singh shares his insight into the work the team have been doing behind closed doors to prepare the hotel and welcome customers safely during the pandemic and once the hotel re-opens to the public:

“The team and I are thrilled with the plans to re-open tourism & hospitality in Southend. We’ve missed looking after all our new & regular guests over the past few months. We’ve used the time productively, as we remained open in support of key workers, and we have already adapted our ways of working, adopting new standards of cleanliness, to ensure we meet our customers’ new expectations.

We have rolled out training for everyone on social distancing and hygiene standards as well as job-specific training such as enhanced cleaning standards for our housekeepers and new food handling policies for our kitchen team.”

Rohit Singh, who has managed our popular Southend hotel for over six years continues:

“To ensure the utmost safety for our guests and staff, we have introduced minimal contact at check-in/check-out, including contactless payment, Perspex screens at contact areas throughout the hotel and sanitisation of room key cards before re-use.

Social distancing signage is all over the hotel to reinforce the stay apart message and hand sanitiser stations are in place at key locations for our guests. We have been busy preparing everything by adapting our InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) Clean Promise; ensuring your stay is as safe as possible.

The pandemic has presented many challenges for the hotel. “It was so sad back in March when the pandemic started, watching all the planes land at London Southend Airport and for them to stay unmoved for months on end.”

Supporting our key workers

Rohit continues:

“Welcoming front-line key workers has been a great honour and keeping our guests going is what ultimately has kept us going throughout. We have learned a new way of running our hotel safely, and that is what I want our customers to feel when they visit us. We have partnered with our globally recognised chemical provider Ecolab to increase the use of appropriate chemicals throughout the hotel.

We have also allocated more time for room cleaning with all non-essential items, including some decorative and information items being removed from rooms. The replenishment of towels and linen is available upon request to ensure no-one enters rooms unless requested.

The re-opening of the bar & restaurant has perhaps presented the greatest challenge of all. Although the hotel continues to offer a range of meals for collection in disposable packaging; other areas of food operations have had to change dramatically.

The so-called normal processes that we were used to before like buffet lunches and sharing platters have had to be reconsidered. Going forward weddings and family celebrations will look a little different.” Rohit states,

“But we remain optimistic and we will continue to extend our true hospitality even during a global pandemic. The health and safety of our customers and staff will always be our top priority and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.”

Take a look at the changes we have made to welcome guests safely or check out our IHG Clean Promise video below.

Accommodation can be booked by contacting the hotel direct on 01702543 001 (option 7) or book online!

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