With the gradual re-opening of international borders and resumption of flights, Echo Resorts, the owning company for Gayana Marine Resort, Bunga Raya Island Resort and Borneo Eagle Resort, has undertaken safety initiatives to safeguard the well-being of its guests and employees in the wake of Covid-19.
Located on Pulau Gaya and Pulau Tiga in the State of Sabah, the three luxury resorts ceased operation temporarily from March to June as a result of global travel restrictions and the Movement Control Order imposed by the Malaysian government.
“Echo Resorts places high emphasis on extraordinary guest experiences. We have re-evaluated our operations in full with the help of the authorities; and carried out the necessary measures to ensure peace of mind for our guests when we reopen in the third quarter of this year,” commented Gillian Tan, Echo Resorts’ Owner Representative.
Arrival. From arrival to check-out, every step involving guest contact is fully scrutinized. It starts at the jetty with temperature screening for guests prior to boarding. Each guest will be given a life vest to wear for the duration of their stay. Seating capacity on the boats will be limited and marked for social distancing; and the boats thoroughly wiped down after each use. Upon arrival at the Resorts, guests will be handed pre-packed beverages and packaged wet wipes (replacing the traditional welcome drinks and wet towels) and gifted with specially designed face masks made in reusable fabric by Changgih Designs. For contactless purposes, the room compendium will be displayed digitally through an app sent to guests in advance.
Villas. Pending the respective configuration of each Resort, guests will check into villas carefully allocated in an alternate manner to avoid adjoining occupancy. From the air-conditioner to the mattresses, each accommodation unit will be thoroughly cleaned for three days upon check-out. Private villa pools are also sanitized at the same time. In keeping with its eco-friendly policy, complimentary aluminum water canisters are placed in the villas to allow guests to refill at water dispensers located in the public areas while hand sanitizers are freely available throughout the Resorts.
Food & Beverage. Social distancing protocols are practiced in the restaurants and bars. Buffets will be totally replaced by a la carte dining options to be displayed on blackboards in place of printed menus while the popular Breakfast by Boat will continue for the villas at Gayana Marine Resort.
Recreation. Sanitization at recreational facilities including gym equipment will be amped up with gym use booked in advance and limited to guests from one villa at any one time. Social distancing for deck chairs will be respected at the swimming pools. Leisure activities such as jungle trekking, canopy walk and other activities will be conducted individually or in private groups.
Public areas and back-of-the-house. More frequent cleaning using recommended industrial chemicals and disinfectants based on MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) specifications for prime effectiveness are implemented in the back-of-the-house areas such as the kitchen, pantries, housekeeping, offices and staff locker rooms. Preventive maintenance/sanitization programmes on the air conditioning, water treatments and laundry equipment are also being ramped up. Cleaning of public areas and restrooms will be intensified hourly while buggies will be sanitized after each use.
Employees. Besides the required use of masks for all staff, temperature screening will be carried out not only upon start of duty but three times during their shift. Management and security staff are being trained to manage guests and staff with Covid-19 symptoms in line with the Malaysian government guidelines. Ms Tan remarked, “As hoteliers and travelers ourselves, we understand what is important to our guests during these unprecedented times and no effort has been spared to ensure the well-being of guests and staff.”