11 May GSA helps Hotel de Russie get Covid-ready
Rome’s rich history and immense beauty attracts roughly nine million tourists each year. At its heart sits the 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. When artist Pablo Picasso and poet Jean Cocteau famously stayed at the hotel in 1917, the latter went so far as to dub it “paradise on earth”.
The hotel boasts 120 rooms in total and has a footfall of around 400 people – a mix of paying guests and people simply enjoying its bar, spa, or fine-dining facilities. It is crucial that procedures are in place – especially during the busy summer period – that safeguard visitors, residents and staff against Covid-19.
Our Covid-19 Certificate of International Good Practice has been crafted by a team of specialists spanning security, health and safety, and medicine. Weighed against the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other leading international advice and best practice, the thorough audit helps demonstrate to staff, guests, and corporate clients that addressing the threat of Covid and other infectious diseases is a high priority. Independently verified by UK government-approved qualifications body SFJ Awards, certification has to be renewed every 12 months, meaning providers are encouraged to continue delivering best practice.
In 2020 we were contacted by the hotel’s management, who wished to submit for accreditation under the scheme. “It is a very exacting process.”, says Rooms Division Manager Giuseppe Ostili. “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, and it is something that both our employees and guest value greatly.”
Seeing the benefits of accreditation, the hotel reapplied in 2021 and is keen to keep doing so. Often, guests assume that accommodation (especially luxury accommodation) adheres to the highest hygiene standards. This assumption can mean that hotel and serviced apartment owners are lax in their efforts. The pandemic has thrown this issue into sharp focus, and hotels globally are actively looking for ways to demonstrate their compliance – which is where we come in.