Many people may be feeling uneasy about traveling these days, and we need to be able to rely on our local businesses to make our guests feel safe.
Here in Puerto Vallarta we live in a tourism-based economy with little other industry, and we simply must maintain our chief economy that feeds so many local businesses. How can we do that during this time of so many restrictions? We simply must take every precaution and follow every health guideline to the letter.
Hotels being where our tourist guests spend most of their time, I wanted to see what hotels were doing to keep their guests safe. I stepped into Vallarta Shores Resort, wearing my mask of course, and was immediately greeted with a friendly masked hostess who guided me through a sanitation mat and scanned my temperature. I was given a squirt of hand sanitizer and was glad to see that it was alcohol based instead of chemically based
Once inside everything looked brilliantly immaculate. All the employees as well as the guests were properly masked, and the floors were marked indicating social distancing standards. Colorful, hard-to-miss signs were placed throughout the common areas reminding guests of health safety measures. Hand sanitizer dispensers were also frequent, including right next to the elevator, which was restricted to two passengers at a time. The patio area had tables and chairs spaciously arranged for distancing, and from there guests can walk right out to the sandy beach to relax under their own private palapa.
I spoke with Vallarta Shores Manager Daniel Gonzales, and he stated, “The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance. There is nothing more important than keeping our guests healthy and comfortable. We have gone above and beyond all recommended safety precautions.” He went on to say that all surfaces in common areas such as lobby, halls, stairs, and elevator, are re-sanitized hourly. All employees are required to wear full face masks at all times, and to remain constantly aware of social distancing. Guest suites are meticulously cleaned daily, taking care to make sure every single surface is sanitized.
Vallarta Shores exclusively uses a food-grade citrus-based disinfectant that does not contain harsh chemicals and is made to be used on food surfaces. This is very important as many hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soaps, and disinfectants actually contain an array of harmful chemicals known to cause organ damage in humans. (Yes, go check your household soaps. Alcohol and citrus-based products are okay, otherwise do an Internet search on chemical ingredients.)
All in all, guests seemed to be quite content enjoying their oceanfront vacation stay in sunny Puerto Vallarta. Said one guest, “I would rather wear a mask on the beach than be confined to my own apartment at home. Breathing fresh ocean air and taking in the sound of the ocean all day and all night is pure pleasure.” When asked what he thought about safety in traveling at this time, he replied, “As long as everyone does their part in following the guidelines, from airport to airplane to taxi to hotel to restaurant, and back again, my biggest health risk worry is about getting a sunburn. We can’t stay home for the rest of our lives, we will just have to stay intelligently cautious and keep up with current information.”