Mini-Bars Are Out. UV Wanding of Luggage Is In. And Other Covid-Induced Changes at Mid-Atlantic Hotels and Resorts.

A private fitness center and a personal butler do sound nice.

As summer plans to fly to Croatia or board a Mediterranean cruise have crumbled, many Washingtonians have opted for vacations closer to home. Still, some wonder: Is it safe to stay at a hotel or resort with potentially hundreds of guests? Just like other businesses, travel destinations are adapting to these pandemic times: encouraging social distancing, requiring employees to wear masks, disinfecting high-touch areas constantly—sometimes every hour. We reached out to a handful of hotels and resorts in the Mid-Atlantic and asked what else is now in and out at their destinations. Though not every place has adopted all of these measures, here’s an idea of the kinds of experiences to expect.

Front-desk check-in Curbside, contactless check-in
No-questions-asked bellhops UV wanding of luggage. At Primland Resort in Virginia, guest luggage—along with frequently touched surfaces—is treated with UV wands.
Valet parking Self-parking
Lots of other guests Limiting capacity
Free afternoon tea Free face masks and hand sanitizer
Decorative pillows Minimizing hard-to-clean decor
Spontaneous game of croquet Croquet reservations. The Tides Inn in Virginia is requiring private reservations for all activities—not just tennis but also sports such as croquet and bocce.
Nightly turndown Cleaning on request
Multi-course meals in the dining room Room-service tasting menus
Romantic dining-room alcoves Private outdoor tables. The Inn at Perry Cabin has two new dining options: a table for two in a converted greenhouse and a gazebo table for up to four.
Guided group activities Private everything. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania is making all of its activities—including miniature golf, paintball, movies, and basketball—open to one family at a time.
Hitting the fitness center whenever Reserving the fitness center. When the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore reopens this fall, guests will be able to access the exercise room only by private reservation.
Late check-out and early check-in Gaps of 24 hours or more between guests
Using elevators. At the Wylder Tilghman Island, public elevators are now off-limits to guests. Climbing stairs
Lounging in the lobby Lounging in your room
Indoor movies Outdoor movies
Pre-visit guest-preference survey Pre-visit health questionnaire
Hourlong spa treatments Express spa treatments
Central HVAC system Individual HVAC units. While few hotels can switch their heating and air conditioning, some, such as the Wylder Tilghman Island, have individual HVAC units in each room; the air flows in from the outside and is not circulated property-wide.
Mini-bars Snacks on request
Visiting the concierge desk Texting your private butler. Nemacolin is offering dedicated butler service for guests.
Retrieving a golf ball from the greens cup Inverted cups. Primland has inverted the greens cups on its course—you “make” a putt by simply touching what’s protruding from the hole.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.