Hotels begin reopening in South Florida

Guests staying at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach will now be greeted with a new reality: Plexiglas at check-in, a temperature check, 24/7 access to a doctor, and a kit with masks, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes.

The beachfront resort, Miami-Dade’s largest, is among hotels reopening on Monday, more than two months after government-ordered closures. Though hotels are allowed to operate again – and some remained open as essential lodgers – not all will reopen on Monday, as demand is limited to drive tourism for now.

Last week, the Fontainebleau opened the restaurants Hakkasan and Strip Steak by Michael Mina, as restaurants in the city could begin reopening May 27. It’s offering its Miami Spice menus early for dine-in or takeout.

The resort is following its “ten commitments,” a list of guidelines it came up with that includes daily temperature checks, increased cleaning and sanitization protocols, Acrylic Plexiglas guards, touchfree devices in public restrooms, the mandatory use of masks and gloves for employees, and electrostatic disinfectant sprayers resembling something out of the movie “Ghostbusters,” Goldfarb said. Pool furniture is being spaced apart with pool ambassadors monitoring the property’s 11 pools. Per county guidelines, guests are required to wear masks in common areas such as lobbies.

Hotels and restaurants are now tasked with making their customers feel safe, experts say. In addition to spraying down hotel rooms, incorporating touchless technology and spacing out pool furniture, hoteliers may open up walls, increase ventilation, and add outdoor seating, said Adam Mopsick, CEO and co-founder of Amicon Management.

Anywhere that guests can congregate “creates a lot more pressure on [hotels] from an operational standpoint,” Mopsick said.

“All hotels, as they get designed now, are going to keep that spacing in mind,” he added. “The winners are going to be the ones that do the best job of getting in front of that.”

Hotel developer Ronny Finvarb of the Finvarb Group has two hotels now open in Miami Beach, the Residence Inn South Beach and the Courtyard Marriott South Beach, and plans to reopen his third on Friday, the Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach. All of Finvarb’s properties elsewhere in Florida and in Texas and Arizona are back open.