And the good news from Canadian hotels is…

MasterBUILT Keys of Hope celebrates essential workers

Sheldon Zandboar at the piano.

CALGARY — “As a thank you to all of Alberta’s essential service workers, our incredible front line team members and our valued guests, over the Easter Weekend we hosted an outdoor concert with pianist Sheldon Zandboar at the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary South, which is located across the street from the South Calgary Hospital,” Donna Fahey of MasterBUILT told CLN. 

“The hotel team volunteered their time to paint and decorate the piano and stage area.  The event was live streamed on Facebook, we had guests listening from an appropriate distance in their cars, or through their room windows.  It was a lovely event and we plan on celebrating the hard working essential workers through music over the coming weeks.”

MasterBUILT is also pleased to offer essential service workers the MasterBUILT Friends and Family rates at all of their hotels across Canada.

Sasquatch shows up at Harrison Beach Hotel

HARRISON HOT SPRINGS, B.C. The current global pandemic keeping people much closer to home, the world is witnessing a resurgence of animals rewilding our cities and towns. Much like the dolphins returning to Venetian canals and wild boars wandering the streets of Italy’s towns, so too has the legendary Sasquatch returned to its natural habitat in British Columbia’s Village of Harrison Hot Springs. 

Described as a bi-pedal mammal of exceptional size (sometimes reaching 14 feet tall) with great strength and reddish hair covering its entire body, the Sasquatch is legendary in Harrison Hot Springs with many regional sightings. Located 90 minutes east of Vancouver, the eco-tourism destination draws visitors from around the world in search of this elusive and legendary mammal. 

Amidst the endless COVID-19-centric news cycle, creative BC hospitality company True Key Hotels & Resorts has taken a light and humorous approach showcasing the return of the Sasquatch to BC’s lakeside Village of Harrison Hot Springs. With True Key’s Harrison Beach Hotel currently only open to accommodate essential workers, the hotel’s management team came up with a fun idea to focus on making people smile during this otherwise dire time in our collective history. 

“With Harrison Beach Hotel closed for all non-essential travel,” says hotel general manager, Jenn Buerge, “we wanted to bring joy and a little bit of humour to keep our past and future guests engaged while they are unable to visit us in person.” 

The simple idea to dress up in the Sasquatch suit and create content to share on social media has drawn strong engagement among the hotel’s followers. 

With this in mind, the hotel team has captured photo and video content, sharing it across Instagram and Facebook, of the Sasquatch enjoying the luxuries of the property, wandering the empty streets of Harrison and generally making himself at home touring the lakeside community well-known as a haven for the celebrated creature. The Sasquatch can also be seen dancing solo in the village square, showering in a steamy hotel shower, demonstrating proper social distancing and soaking in the lake vistas.

Serta Simmons: Stay Home, Send Beds

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Choice Hotels International, Inc. has partnered with mattress brand Serta, Inc., to contribute to its “Stay Home, Send Beds” initiative, which is providing bed donations to help address shortages at hospitals and temporary medical facilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Choice Privileges loyalty members can donate their points toward beds for hospitals in need and Choice will increase the impact by matching 100 per cent of donated points for a limited time. All Serta mattress donations are being facilitated through Relief Bed International, a non-profit organization that provides beds to impoverished people and disaster victims around the world.

“We want to do our part to help those on the frontlines and facilitate care for those in need and, right now, every bed counts,” says Robert McDowell, chief commercial officer, Choice Hotels. “Our customers are looking for ways to safely give back during this pandemic and we’re proud to give them a way to do just that by supporting communities in need and contributing to this important cause.”

Canada is participating in the initiative as well. Warren Becker, hospitality account manager for Serta Simmons, based in Calgary, said, “These are unprecedented times so we wanted to use our Calgary manufacturing capabilities to provide hospitals and care facilities with a product that is hospital grade, durable and sanitary.” Every mattress unit ordered provides a $7 donation to Relief Bed International, which will use it to help Canadian causes. For information contact: Wbecker@sertasimmons.com.

Coast helps healthcare workers and first responders

Kelli Steer.

VANCOUVER — On April 6, 2020 Coast Hotels launched its Coast Cares program, in an effort to provide accredited healthcare workers and first responders with a place to get a well-deserved rest.

“When we saw media stories about nurses and healthcare workers sleeping in their cars, we wanted to be part of the solution”, stated Kelli Steer, VP Hotel Operations. “While the hotel industry is also hurting during this crisis, we have empty rooms and we’re in a position to help.”

Coast Hotels has locations across western Canada that are in close proximity to hospitals and care centres, yet far enough away from the sounds that might get in the way of recharge. If it is more convenient for a healthcare or frontline worker to stay in a hotel than to travel home, this special $59 rate, which includes parking at most locations, makes it much more affordable. Day rates and flexible check-in/check-out times are available. Wi-fi is always complimentary at Coast Hotels.

While Coast Hotels has always had high standards for cleanliness, additional cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place at all Coast Hotels. These include increased frequency of cleaning key public spaces, wiping down frequently touched items such as elevator buttons and door handles, as well as completing comprehensive room cleaning and leaving additional time between guest room turnover.

In response to COVID-19, Coast Hotels has closed its swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, fitness centres,  and business centres. Many properties have also closed their food and beverage facilities at this time.    

Executive’s self-isolation specials

VANCOUVER — Executive Hotels are offering special discounted rates for self-isolation services for guests seeking accommodation for seven nights and more at all our locations across Canada and US. Guests who have a need to be transported away from it all with family and loved ones can reserve our luxury rooms, suites and fully furnished condos. “We want to help offer accommodation options for those trying to distance themselves from dense, multifamily urban settings,” the company said.

SilverChef announces community financing program

VANCOUVER —  SilverChef, Canada’s leading hospitality financier, has launched the national #ServingHospitality initiative in partnership with inKind – a community financing platform, which is expanding its operations into Canada to support this cause. The #ServingHospitality initiative aims to keep Canadian hospitality businesses resilient to the financial challenges caused by COVID-19 by providing them with an immediate cash injection, at a time when they need it most. 

As of April 22, customers will be able to purchase e-gift cards to the hospitality business of their choice – whether that’s a café, restaurant, coffee shop or bar – to be redeemed once the business reopens its doors. Registered hospitality businesses will also be offering an additional value credit on customer purchases between 10 per cent and 30 per cent. 

One hundred per cent of purchases will go directly to hospitality businesses, and customers will be able to redeem their e-gift card through the inKind app. Customers also have the option to share any portion of their gift card with friends and family through the inKind app. Anyone interested in supporting their favourite business should visit www.servinghospitality.org.

Hospitality businesses from British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan have already signed up to the #ServingHospitality initiative.