Hotel provides guests with reassuring insight into safety steps

Guests of Barrow’s newest and biggest hotel – the Holiday Inn Express – are being provided with a reassuring insight of what to expect even before they check in.

The hotel has produced a special video showing in detail the comprehensive range of COVID-secure measures it has taken to keep its customers and staff

General manager Mark Winter said: “People are understandably concerned as they begin to venture out after lockdown.  The video shows all aspects of the steps we have taken – from arrival, self-service dining and through to departure.  Our guests have told us that it was really helpful.”

The 127-room Holiday Inn Express in Barrow re-opened for key workers at the start of June.  It is part of IHG, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, which has introduced a Clean Promise guarantee across all of its properties after developing an enhanced cleaning regime in response to the pandemic.

There are protective screens at reception and all members of staff wear personal protective equipment. Key cards are ready in envelopes for guests to pick up when they arrive.

There are prominent signs throughout the hotel helping customers keep to a social distance and a number of sanitiser stations have been installed.

“It’s obviously a bit different, but although we only opened in December we’d already built a reputation for fantastic customer service and that hasn’t changed,” said Mr Winter. “Our aim is to provide a home from home – and that even includes Netflix and a power shower in each room.”

Mark Ashall, of Ashall Projects, is the developer and a shareholder of the Holiday Inn Express in Barrow and the Holiday Inn Express in Middlesbrough. It re-opened for key workers in April.

“Both towns are bases for large number of key workers – both NHS staff and contractors who, for example, keep power stations running – so we were determined to do all we could to help them by opening safely as soon as possible,” he said.

“In each case we have been the first sizeable hotel in the area to re-open and the support and expertise of IHG has been invaluable. This has been particularly beneficial in Cumbria where, apart from our Holiday Inn Express in Barrow, there are relatively few chain hotels who can call upon such help.”

The hotel’s commercial manager Paul Weild said: “We’re in a prominent position in the town centre and when we opened we set out to be a prominent asset to our community, as well as for the many people who come to Barrow to work.”

The Holiday Inn Express was built on the site of a former police station in Barrow’s Market Street.  It opened on 2 December 2019 and employs 25 people, all recruited from the local area.

Fewer members of staff are needed at the moment but more will be brought back from furlough as demand grows for accommodation.

Watch the video