Palladium Hotel Group is taking the pandemic’s challenges in stride, with its free Stay Safe Plus health insurance offering, on-site PCR testing and more, says Pilar Arizmendi-Stewart, Palladium Hotel Group’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, the Americas, in this edition of Take 5.
1. Palladium has done an incredible job implementing a wide range of health and safety protocols amid the pandemic. Can you tell us more about those protocols and has the initiative been successful?
“Through its partnership with SGS and employee training, Palladium Hotel Group has created protocols that ensure its properties continue to welcome travellers to a safe environment, and prioritize the health and safety of guests.
“The protocols put in place include rigorous cleaning, disinfection, and hand sanitizer dispensers in all areas, expansion of medical services, social distancing and capacity control, high level of food safety standards, and more. Our staff is equipped with infrared thermometers to conduct temperature checks, especially in entrance areas and closed spaces such as restaurants, gyms, spas and children’s areas.
“To ensure a safe vacation, Palladium Hotel Group has adapted to the “new normal” and created an online check-in and check-out process to minimize contact. Properties are also disinfecting the air and placing atmosphere purifiers. Another way Palladium Hotel Group continues to innovate is with our Pure Rooms, perfectly designed for people with allergies. The room goes through a seven-step sanitizing process, creating a healthier and allergen-free environment.”
2. Travellers want to know they are protected when they travel. What does Palladium want travellers, and travel agents, to know about its free COVID-19 insurance offering?
“We continue to innovate and provide effective ways for our guests to have a worry-free vacation with the offering of the Stay Safe Plus health insurance. The insurance is available free of charge for all guests who book direct and through tour operators or travel agents.
“We began to offer this industry-leading initiative to help our guests travel with peace of mind and build confidence in travel. It is in effect from the moment of check-in until check-out and may cover up to $100,000 Euros* or its equivalent in Canadian dollars in expenses associated with the COVID-19 infection.
“This includes medical fees, medicine from the medical care provided, hospitalization expenses, ambulance expenses requested by a doctor, medical transfers, emergency transfers, extension of stay, repatriation, driver services for medical reasons, return of companions, and more.”
3. Since Jan. 7, 2021 anyone travelling to Canada from abroad has been required to show proof of a negative PCR test before boarding their flight to Canada. Does Palladium offer PCR testing at its resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean? If not, does it offer assistance to Canadian guests who need to book PCR tests?
“Palladium Hotel Group is proud to add on-site testing to the list of the industry-leading initiatives developed to help combat the spread of COVID-19 as well as efforts made
to boost travel confidence. The PCR COVID-19 test is available at all Palladium Hotel Group properties in Mexico and the Caribbean to guests travelling to Canada with costs ranging between Cdn$177-$443. It is recommended that guests schedule appointments to test upon arrival on property. Resort staff will coordinate with guests to accommodate the appointments. Testing is available in the mornings, before noon, at the resorts’ on-site medical centres with results available by the evening if taken on a weekday or results available on Monday if taken during the weekend.
“If a guest receives a positive test while on property that prevents departure, our Stay Safe Plus Free Health Insurance will enter into effect. The cost of quarantine at the property will be covered for up to 10 days. Extended stay due to quarantine includes the guest, who will be isolated, plus, up to three travel companions sharing the same room. Guests will always have the option of visiting any local clinic to take the test on his/her own, in which property staff can assist with arranging.”
4. How is Palladium incentivizing travel right now?
“In addition to providing on-site Covid-19 testing, free medical insurance, and safety protocols certified by SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification services company, Palladium Hotel Group offers flexible cancellation policies so guests can book with confidence. The hotel group also incentivizes travel by being an industry leader and one of the first to provide all these additional services to help recover the trust in travel. Palladium Hotel Group also equips travel agents and partners with all the tools and materials necessary to meet their client’s needs and guarantee peace of mind.
“In the summer of 2020, Palladium Hotel Group launched Booking Pro by Palladium Connect , the company’s travel agent booking tool. Booking Pro allows agents to make bookings directly with Palladium Hotel Group, online, with no intermediaries. With Booking Pro by Palladium Connect, agents can book rooms for their clients, receive an instant online booking confirmation, and have access to exclusive benefits such as last room availability, guaranteed commission payment, and exclusive promotions, all available within the travel agent’s account. Palladium Hotel Group is working hard to help recover the travel industry by offering Palladium Rewards’ loyalty program and travel deals with personalized experiences. Customers can join the program free of charge and receive 2,500 points when they first register. They can use the points to enjoy even more experiences at the hotels and resorts.”
5. What message does Palladium want to get out to its travel agent partners in Canada?
“Palladium Hotel Group continues to take proactive steps to ensure the satisfaction of our guests. We are pleased to be able to provide support in accordance with the changing travel restrictions. At Palladium Hotel Group, we are making every single effort to redefine the travel experience.
“Our properties across the Caribbean and Mexico continue to attract guests looking for the perfect, all-inclusive luxury getaway, and we look forward to providing them with the ultimate Palladium experience while placing health and safety as the top priority.
“We are proud to align with trusted travel partners like Travelweek to make memorable and safe vacation experiences for our guests.”