It’s not business as usual at The Westin Jekyll Island, but things are beginning to return to normal.
Kevin Baker, director of sales and marketing for the oceanfront resort, says safety and cleanliness are a top priority. To ensure the comfort and safety of guests and associates the hotel adheres to strict procedures, per CDC, state and Marriott International guidelines. These regulations include rigorous cleaning practices, as well as requiring all staff and guests to wear masks while on the property, and practice social distancing throughout.
“The Westin brand is known for its world-class style and quality,” said Baker. “We want guests to leave feeling better than when they arrived.”
The five-story resort, which has 187 guest rooms and 13 suites, is also resuming its event business. While large-scale groups aren’t holding meetings, smaller groups of around 50 people, have begun to do business with the hotel once again. But Baker said out of town groups aren’t the only ones he’s courting. He encourages local residents and organizations to come enjoy what the hotel and Jekyll Island have to offer. And, if dining in one of the Westin Jekyll Island’s restaurants is part of the plan, for now a stay is necessary. While there, visitors can enjoy the on-site swimming pool and fitness center, as well as the nearby Jekyll Island amenities and points of interest.
“During our busier times, to ensure we can accommodate our guests safely, the restaurants are only available to Westin guests,” said Baker. “We’re working on finding the right balance, and hoping to open up more when the timing is right.”
Local residents who choose to spend some time at the Westin reap all the benefits of a destination retreat, without the complications of distance travel, he said.
“Eventually, we’ll get back to normal,” he said, adding that both business and leisure travelers can still take advantage of their Marriott Bonvoy points.
There’s also another way guests can enjoy the Westin experience and still earn their loyalty points, and that’s by taking advantage of a new off-site catering program The Westin Jekyll Island is currently rolling out, that will enable local meeting planners to have meals delivered to offices.
“The Westin culinary experience can be delivered,” Baker said.
Nowadays, meeting groups include small corporate groups, municipal organizations and leadership retreats.
“To ensure proper social distancing event space is at half-capacity,” he said, adding that The Westin Jekyll Island could comfortably accommodate a meeting right now for 60-80 people. “Executive retreats and planning sessions are resuming once again.”
Even weddings are occurring. Because of the outdoor venues available at The Westin, nuptials can happen safely and elegantly, with everything from the rooms to the reception handled on-site.
Baker explained that when setting up for a wedding, the space has to look just right. Spacing chairs too far apart can make a celebratory occasion look impersonal, so the resort oversets the seating area, and ensures that guests can practice appropriate social distancing.
Technology is another avenue The Westin Jekyll Island is expanding upon. When larger meetings resume, those who don’t feel comfortable attending meetings, have the option of streaming the proceedings directly to the television set in their rooms, but still partaking in receptions where they can be comfortable.