Tourism is one of many industries that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines and cruises stand to lose hundreds of billions in revenue. Tourist hotspots from Rome to Paris to Sydney remain deserted, most now overtaken by pigeons. And hotels around the world have had to close their doors, not only endangering profits, but also the livelihoods of all the employees that make them run smoothly.
In spite of all this, several luxury hotels have chosen to use their resources to join the fight against COVID-19 in any way they can, whether it’s offering empty rooms to healthcare workers, fundraising for local organizations, providing food for their communities, or making sure their employees are taken care of no matter what. Here are the hospitality brands that have stepped up to the join the effort. The list will be updated as new announcements are made.
Arguably London’s toniest hotel, Claridge’s has been the choice refuge of Hollywood stars and royalty since the 19th century. As COVID-19 puts strains on the UK’s National Health Service, the hotel will invite NHS workers of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington to stay at the property. In addition to free boarding, doctors and nurses will also be provided with free breakfast and dinner.
LE SIRENUSE, POSITANO
Four Amalfi Coast properties, including Le Sirenuse, Hotel Santa Caterina, Il San Pietro di Positano, and Palazzo Avino are pledging support to a vaccine research fundraiser called “Together for a COVID-19 Vaccine.” Each hotel will offer ten e-vouchers worth €5,000 which will cover stays, various perks, and a dinner at Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890. The hotels hope to raise €200,000 through this effort.
Airbnb has launched a program that will offer free or subsidized housing for frontline COVID-19 responders. The company has partnered with UK’s National Health Service, Spain’s Barcelona Official Doctors Association, France’s Ministry of Housing, and California’s Sutter Health to facilitate bookings for medical professionals. To date, hosts in 160 countries have opened up more than 100,000 homes for pandemic responders (those interested in joining and opening up their homes can do so here). Airbnb has announced that it will waive fees for the first 100,000 stays booked through this program.
BELMOND CHARLESTON PLACE
In 2009, Mickey Bakst, general manager of the award-winning Charleston Grill restaurant in the Belmond property, launched Charleston Chefs Feed the Need to provide meals to the city’s neediest. This week, the organization will join the COVID-19 fight by partnering with local farmers and fishermen to put together donated grocery bags for out-of-work hospitality and food & beverage workers
ROSEWOOD CORDEVALLE, SAN MARTIN, CALIFORNIA
The Northern California property is taking care of its employees during the hotel’s closure by preparing care packages tailored to each individual’s needs. They include basics such as eggs, milk, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. The hotel is also providing food to local restaurants to assist with their to-go business, along with delivering food to law enforcement and elderly communities.
RANCHO VALENCIA, RANCHO SANTA FE
The Southern California resort is making sure its employees are taken care of while the property is closed. In addition to paying their salaries, the hotel has distributed all perishable foods on site to hourly employees and is providing tele-medical services. With San Diego nonprofit ProduceGood, Rancho Valencia is also organizing a canned food drive for employees and their families.
OCEAN HOUSE, RHODE ISLAND
The management company behind the stately Rhode Island hotel has been delivering free lunch to local children who have been unable to attend school for weeks. Food made by the hotel’s celebrated culinary team are distributed three times a week from a food truck (called Off the Menu) at Westerly Skating Rink.
UXUA CASA HOTEL, BRAZIL
The chef of the Trancoso hotel is preparing healthy meals (fish with a grain salad, prawns with quinoa) to distribute to all of the town’s residents.
FOUR SEASONS NEW YORK
Two weeks ago, Four Seasons New York owner Ty Warner decided to open his 368-room hotel, free of charge, to the doctors and nurses working overtime at the city’s hospitals, many of which—Mt. Sinai, Weill Cornell, New York Presbyterian, NYU Langone, and Bellevue—are located near the hotel’s East 57th Street, Billionaires’ Row location. “Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days,” he said in a statement. “They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate.”
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