Best Practices Protocols

The Black Dolphin Inn is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, and we are strictly following the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health. We place the highest priority on the health and well-being of our guests and associates and are constantly reviewing our hygienic protocols and attendant procedures. Accordingly, the Black Dolphin Inn has implemented the following measures:

• Touch-less hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the inn.
• All public area restrooms have been retrofitted with “touch-free” faucets, paper towel dispensers, and soap dispensers.
• Covid-19 signage has been installed throughout our facilities, in response to ensuring the safety and well-being of our guests.
• Consistent and frequent disinfecting of all high-touch surface areas, such as doorknobs, light switches, telephone instruments, locks, and in-room related controls.
• All guest room attendants and common area support staff are required to wear masks and gloves while on duty.
• We have modified our arsenal of cleaning products to include diluted bleach solutions for disinfectant purposes, and new cleaning agents have been placed into circulation with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens.
• A comprehensive and “detailed” deep-cleaning of each guestroom between stays.
• All staff are pre-screened with a hand –held forehead thermometer prior to reporting to work – to ensure that they are fever free.
• In-room clear, disposable plastic sleeves for the TV and A/C remotes.
• At the Guest Services Desk, where our guests check-in, we have installed a 3/8th inch tempered-glass built-in protection shield.
• All of our linens and terry goods are being machine washed in hot water as opposed to cold water as an additional protective measure. Concurrent with this, our commercial dryers are set at a minimum 120 degrees Fahrenheit – with provision for all linens to be sanitized.
• All of our guest rooms are now equipped with a coffee machine – along with a coffee organizer tray consisting of a variety of K-Pods, sugars, creamers, and related coffee accoutrements.
• Our award-winning breakfast is now being delivered to each of our guest rooms at pre-determined half hour increments (Knock & Drop) - as opposed to being served in our main lobby and bar area because of capacity restriction mandates.
• In an effort to minimize guest contact with our guests while cleaning, the Black Dolphin Inn housekeeping staff will complete a “contact-less” linen and guest amenity exchange each day – and as an option for our guests who want a full daily housekeeping service - our room attendants will offer to return at an alternate time to clean the unit when the guest departs the unit for the day.
• All in-room case-goods now have a glass table-top surface for more suitable surface cleaning and disinfectant. And, all-in room collateral materials have been placed underneath the glass to minimize key touch-points in the unit.
• Implementation of new sanitation procedures in our commercial grade kitchen
• All pens used for the signing of the guest registration card have been sanitized for single use only, and all of our room keys have been sanitized prior to their issuance to our guests at check-in.
• Credit card swipe machines have been eliminated from our inn and the handling of all payment transactions will be processed digitally by our staff through our point of sale system.
• We no longer offer magazines, books, and newspapers in our lobby area as these items are difficult to clean and sanitize.
• An Elkay water bottle filling station has been installed in the lobby area – giving our guests yet another option in procuring alternate water at our inn.

Over the next several weeks and months, the Black Dolphin Inn will be rolling out new procedures, cleaning protocols, and other related technology product and software advancements - some of which have been delayed because of disruptions in the supply chain for PPE related products.

The travel industry has almost irreversibly been changed by Covid-19. We believe that the new normal of social distancing will result in many travelers developing a profound and lasting aversion against widely shared spaces. This includes hotel lobbies, packed restaurants, communal recreation spaces and even guest rooms in properties with high guest turnover such as the big box franchise hotels. Thank goodness all hotels are not equal! 
We are pleased to provide you with an overview of the unique features of our boutique inn that provide us with a significant competitive edge as we adapt to profound changes in our industry:
• As a small boutique inn, with only 14 guest room and suites, our lack of size naturally inscribes fewer human interactions and less crowded space.
• Our mix of hotel rooms to suites (70%) with most units comprised of a single king bed, effectively reduces the number of guests that can occupy each unit versus some of the local big box franchise hotels, where the room rate quoted can include up to 6 guests in a hotel room or suite. 
• At the Black Dolphin Inn, guest stays tend to be longer – as opposed to the high guest turnover that have been historically prevalent with many of the big box properties.
• We are a “guest only” inn, where access is limited, versus the franchise hotels who rely on the “locals” to support their non -room revenue streams.
• Our inn is located in a high-end, water-front residential district – where you are more likely to interact with dolphins that patrol our dock - than our neighbors on each side of us.
• The Black Dolphin Inn is flanked by 2 natural geographic barriers (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Indian River Lagoon) to the east and 2 unoccupied buildings to the west, where we control the amount of human activity between us by virtue of our ownership of these premises. 
• The distance between the entryway of each of our guest units is quite substantial, in comparison to other hotels in which their guest rooms are in very close proximity to each other.
• The Black Dolphin Inn is intimate in scale, architecturally unique, and distinctive in its high level of personalized service. Our staff takes great pride in never being in the way – but never out of touch.
• All of our guest parking is on the “exterior” perimeter of our premises – as opposed to some of the more sterile corporate properties that feature poorly ventilated parking garages, tight spacing between vehicles, with pre-requisite elevator access to guest rooms and common areas.
• Over 30% of our guest accommodations have exterior entrances, which gives our guests the option of utilizing a private entrance to access their unit, as opposed to entering our main facilities through the lobby area. 
• As the Black Dolphin Inn is only 3 stories high, we do not have elevators, which are considered a very high “touch-point” with lots of guest interaction in a very confined space. 
• All of our guest rooms have multiple windows in all units that “actually” open for great ventilation and fresh air, as compared to many new hotel design specifications that are cost-engineered with fixed windows only. 
• Approximately 60% of our guest rooms have exterior balconies or outside terraces – so our guests can enjoy our Florida sunshine in the privacy of their unit or adjacent outdoor space.
• Each guest room has individual air-conditioning and heating systems, versus centralized or zoned systems of the big box franchise hotels that are more susceptible to an array of bacterial pathogens.
• Most of our guest accommodations have a stone or wood surface, some with a rug overlay that can be removed and cleaned off premises, as opposed to many hotels that have full carpet flooring that can serve as dust and dirt traps.
• As the Black Dolphin Inn does not cater to corporate business meetings and special event occasions, our guests will not have to be concerned about large on-site group activities that could be potentially disruptive to their stay, especially as it relates to the enforcement of distancing protocols.
• As a family-owned local business, we care more and can pivot quickly in responding to the new normal to which we are adapting in managing all of the key elements of our business.
The hospitality industry has always been about making our guests feel safe, welcomed, and comfortable. Small drive destinations, such as New Smyrna Beach, are ideal safe havens for our guests who are seeking an environment in which they can relax and enjoy the glorious diversity of our unique island setting. We will continue to listen to our guests and develop and implement new procedures that are designed to protect their safety and well-being. Remember, travel is a state of mind – you don’t necessarily have to go far away to feel far away. We wish you and your loved ones good health and great days ahead!
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