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Lotte New York Palace offers ‘room of your own’ for frequent travelers

Rebecca Hubbard, Lotte New York Palace General Manager, joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss the reopening of the hotel on August 10th, safety protocols implemented and much more.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: It's back to business at the Lotte New York Palace. The luxury hotel closed in the middle of April and will be reopening on August 10. Here to discuss how the hotel experience will be different is the general manager of the hotel, Rebecca Hubbard.

Rebecca, good to-- good to see you here. Your hotel is very much palace-like. Big place. What are the safety protocols you've put in place to keep people safe as they venture back there?

REBECCA HUBBARD: Right. Thank you. Glad to be here. And safety protocols we have put in place are many things, starting with-- we are consulting with a gentleman, Dr. Robert Amler. He's helping guide us through to make sure that all of our safety protocols are up to speed with what's going on in compliance with the CDC today.

And, you know, we're doing many things to keep the hotel very clean-- frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, using electrostatic sprayers, making sure that we're using CDC- and EPA-approved chemicals, making sure that our staff is properly trained, wearing the proper PPE, and really being resilient in how we clean the rooms, and finally, making sure that we're washing our linens in high temperatures. And also-- so leaving some time in between the stays.

We have a great program that's going to launch on August 10 that's called a room of your own.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Hi, Rebecca, I'm curious what bookings have been like. I know you're a higher-end hotel. It's not a budget hotel. But what has demand been looking like? And is it coming from outside New York, outside the country even? Or are there more people who are doing this sort of staycation idea, you know, wanting to get out of the house but stay in a local hotel?

REBECCA HUBBARD: Yes. The bookings have been coming from mostly local business, although there are people that have to travel to New York for business. And so that's why we have developed this program-- a room of your own-- because you can have a room that only you stay in. And our frequent travelers-- mostly our corporate guests-- will be able to stay in a room just for themselves, with no other guests checked in between stays.

So the bookings that are coming are really people that may be having to travel to check on their businesses in New York. And it is some of the local market-- people looking to maybe escape to the city to just have a different change of environment.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, Rebecca, escaping to the city might be a little tougher. We're getting some breaking news here that the mayor of New York City has announced, beginning today, they will implement COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points to enforce mandatory two-week quarantine for many out-of-state visitors.

Do you feel as though measures-- or do you think measures like that will slow your recovery?

REBECCA HUBBARD: I think so. I think that what we've been doing is rolling with the changes every day. In this environment during the pandemic, we've had to make decisions daily on how we're going to do business and who we're going to do business with, because there have been restrictions in place.

I think that the biggest thing is that Lotte New York Palace is going to open and will remain open for the people that are able to travel. At we'll have the highest safety precautions in place for anyone that is able to come into the city.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Rebecca, real quick-- tell us, if you start getting COVID-19 positive results from employees, what happens to the hotel? Do you shut things down? Do you shut down parts of the hotel? What's the contingency plan?

REBECCA HUBBARD: I'm sorry. Can you repeat your question?

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What if an employee were to come down with the virus? What happens to the hotel? Do you shut things down? Or do you do it in stages?

REBECCA HUBBARD: So we have a lot of protocols in place. We have employee screening daily when the employees come in, temperature checking. And yes, if we were to have, you know, someone come down with the virus, we'd hopefully be able to catch that before in the employee screening, with the temperature check and the questions that we're asking, which is why we've been working with Dr. Amler to put many of these protocols in place to make sure we have the proper quarantine in place.

You know, teaching the employees for enhanced hygiene and making sure that everybody is wearing a mask and the proper protection really helps those things so that we would be prepared for something like that.