01 Apr GSA Hotel de Russie Case Study
About Hotel de Russie, Rome
The ancient city of Rome is steeped in wonder. Its rich history and immense beauty attracts roughly nine million tourists each year. At the centre of the Eternal City sits the Rocco Forte Group’s Hotel de Russie. Nestled between the iconic Piazza del Popolo and Spanish Steps, where the classical and the cosmopolitan combine, it has been an enduring favourite among artists, writers, politicians, even Tsars. Artist Pablo Picasso and poet Jean Cocteau famously stayed at the hotel in 1917, with the latter dubbing the destination as “paradise on earth”.
The Hotel de Russie boasts 120 rooms in total and has a footfall of around 400 people – a mix of guests staying at the hotel and people simply enjoying its bar, spa, or fine dining facilities. Hotel bookings are expected to rise from spring right through to the end of summer, so having procedures in place during this busy period that safeguard visitors, residents and staff against COVID-19 are essential to its Duty of Care.
The hotel wanted to demonstrate its commitment to the safety of its guests and employees by complying with all COVID-19 regulations. The hotel, therefore, sought a way to independently verify its procedures and processes in light of the potential risks posed by COVID-19.
About the Global Secure Accreditation (GSA) COVID-19 Certificate of International Good Practice
GSA’s COVID-19 International Certificate of Good Practice has been devised by an expert team consisting of vastly experienced security, health and safety, and medical professionals. Developed against the World Health Organisation (WHO) EU and other leading international advice and best practice, the audit is independently certified by the UK government-approved qualifications body, SFJ Awards. This helps providers demonstrate to their guests, corporate clients and staff that addressing the threat of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is a high priority. To demonstrate a continual focus on best practice, the Certificate is a renewable 12-month qualification, allowing organisations to continually improve their processes, derived from the Certificate’s international focus and application.
About the process
The management of Hotel de Russie engaged with GSA in 2020 to submit the hotel for accreditation under the scheme. Speaking about the process, Rooms Division Manager Giuseppe Ostili said: “It is a very exacting process. We pride ourselves on our high standards but, in some cases, we were able to review existing procedures to ensure we received certification. In Italy, there are laws to protect the safety of employees and guests, so having airtight procedures in place is critical. It is something that both our employees and our guests value greatly.”
Although achieving accreditation is challenging, the benefits of having this seal of approval cannot be understated. “It is not simply a certificate we put on our website for marketing purposes,” Giuseppe continues, “It is a reminder of our brand’s ethos of providing our guests an unforgettable experience. It may not be the most glamorous part of the overall Hotel de Russie experience, but it is what allows guests to fully enjoy that experience. Wherever they are – whether grabbing a drink at our bar, taking a dip in our pool, or unwinding in our spa – they can do so without worry.”
The hotel reapplied for accreditation in 2021 and are keen to keep doing so. “Fortunately, the GSA team made it really easy. Not only were they highly professional, but also passionate and reliable. They understood our commitment to the safety of our employees and our guests and were always on hand to assist with any queries we might have along the way”, concluded Giuseppe.
Often, guests assume that accommodation (especially luxury accommodation) adhere to the highest hygiene standards. This assumption can mean that hotel and service apartment owners do not take the necessary steps to ensure this is always the case. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown this issue into sharp focus and hotels globally are looking for ways to demonstrate their compliance to the highest levels of hygiene. The accreditation from GSA enables hotels, such as the Hotel de Russie to now publicly and independently demonstrate to key stakeholders that they comply with the highest possible standards of health and hygiene security.