Working around COVID-19

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So far, 2020 continues to surprise us and keep us on our toes. No one expected this year to be what it is turning out to be: CoronaVirus, border shutdowns, social distancing, longer-than-expected closures, high unemployment and street demonstrations. Slowly, the restrictions are easing up and most of us in the hospitality industry are wondering what that means for us. Understandably, cancellations have been coming in. Reservations not so much, and that’s to be expected until everyone can feel safe again. When will that be? I suspect it will take a few years for the hospitality industry, as a whole, to return to some kind of “normal.”

Things are far from normal here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Shaw Festival is closed until August 1—so far. Stores are open but admission is restricted to only a few customers at a time. Please remember to bring your mask and be prepared to wear it. Restaurants, so far, are only offering curbside and patio service. Hopefully, that will loosen up a bit around early June, however capacity will probably be limited to 50% capacity so patio reservations will definitely be required. Hotels are also opening at 30% to 50% capacity, depending on the circumstances and the risks management is willing to take.

Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake was eerily quiet during the COVID-19 crisis on Victoria Day Weekend in 2020—normally one of our busiest weekends.

 

As for B&Bs, the situation is a bit more challenging. Prior to COVID-19, the intimate, friendly experience B&Bs were known for may now pose a problem for some guests—and owners. How do we ensure safe distancing in such close quarters yet deliver the service for which we are known? As you can imagine, we’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now. So here is what you can expect at Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake during the 2020 season. Of course, nothing is written in stone and we will make adjustments as required as we go along, but for now, this is the plan.

Our cancellation policy has changed.

We will not charge a 10% deposit to hold your reservation for the remainder of 2020. However, we do ask, in all fairness, that you cancel at least seven days prior to your arrival date, otherwise, you run the risk of being charged for the full amount of your stay if we are not able to rent out the room to someone else.

Prepare for your stay with us.

Please bring your own masks and gloves. All guests are asked to wear masks and gloves in the indoor common areas of our B&B. Masks and gloves are not required in your suite. If other guests are around when you are outdoors, we ask that you maintain a six-foot separation and/or wear your masks while on our property.

Relax on our covered veranda at Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (photo courtesy of Jane Hall)

 

Upon Arrival 

We may take your temperature prior to check-in. If your temperature is more than 100.3 (airline standards), you will not be allowed on the premises. In this case, a refund will not apply.

We will disinfect your luggage before you enter the B&B. Shoes must always be removed and left outdoors on our covered veranda prior to entering the B&B.

Cleaning Services

The proposed guidelines strongly recommend that we do not clean guest rooms throughout your stay. As such, your suite will only be cleaned upon your departure.

Hand sanitizers will be available throughout our premises, however, you might want to bring some of your own for use in your car or elsewhere. It is highly recommended that you do not leave hand sanitizers in your parked car on hot days as they may catch fire.

As a result, no food or drinks—other than water—are permitted in the room at any time. You are welcome to drink and enjoy your snacks on our covered veranda or on the patio, however, no lunches or dinners can be eaten indoors or outdoors on our premises. There are plenty of parks in the area for picnic lunches and dinners. We are happy to suggest places where you can pick up food for picnics.

Guests are welcome to relax with a glass of wine in our outdoor gazebo at Globetrotters Bed & Breakfast in Ontario. (photo courtesy of Jane Hall)

 

Breakfast and Coffee/Tea Service

You may have been here before and have come to expect Fernando’s wonderful breakfast creations. Unfortunately, we have had to adapt our breakfast service, however, freshness, flavours and quality will not be compromised.

Until further notice, our breakfast will now be a “Grab and Go” breakfast consisting of a fruit (apple, orange, pear, peach, etc.); orange, apple or tomato juice; a ham and cheese or egg sandwich; and coffee, tea or hot chocolate. You can take your breakfast with you or you’re welcome to eat it outside on our covered veranda or patio. If you plan to take your breakfast with you, please be sure to bring along your own portable mug so we can fill it with your hot beverage of choice.

For health and safety reasons, seating in our family room and the popular self-service coffee/tea bar in the library will not be available to guests this season.

As you can imagine, we are not happy about having to adapt the service we spent so many years finessing. However, we do have to ensure the safety of all guests—as well as our own. We pray that these are only temporary measures and that we will be able resume full service in 2021. Until then, we appreciate your kind understanding and look forward to welcoming you in 2020.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Your hosts, Fernando & Donna Vieira, invite you to come and taste the difference at Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.