Celebrating Our 2020 Cape May Inn Reopening & Two Anniversaries!
Safe & Healthy Cape May
As we look forward to our Cape May Inn reopening for the 2020 summer season, Anna Marie and I are reflecting on just how fortunate we are to live and work in such a magical, healthy place. Cape May became America’s first seaside resort in the 1800s because of the healthy fresh air and cool ocean breezes that city dwellers sought as a refuge from the hot, pestilent atmosphere found during the summer months in most major cities of that time. The healthy sea air that we still enjoy today contains tiny droplets of seawater enriched with salt, iodine, magnesium, and trace elements, which are scattered into the air by wind and waves. These surf-generated aerosols stimulate immune reactions in both the skin and lungs. The crashing waves also create negatively charged ion particles, which have an air cleansing effect. The very air we breathe in Cape May is helping us create a healthy atmosphere for your arrival at The Queen Victoria!
Anna Marie and I are anxious to celebrate not only our healthy and safe 2020 reopening but our 16th year of owning The Queen Victoria (May 26th ) and the 40th anniversary of The Queen Victoria’s operations with all of our many returning guests and those of you who will be enjoying your first visit to The Queen Victoria in the coming months. We know that you are looking forward to a relaxing, peaceful, and enjoyable visit to Cape May and all its charms as the summer of 2020 approaches. I assure you that our every waking moment for the last two months has been spent contemplating how to ensure that those expectations are safely met.
To that end, we have evaluated every aspect of our operation with an eye toward elevating The Queen Victoria’s enjoyable, clean, and safe atmosphere to even higher levels. We would like to share with you some of the changes that we’ll be implementing for your peace of mind.
Hospitality & Amenities
The Queen Victoria is renowned as a welcoming and friendly destination, and that will not be changing. It will just be a little different. The first change that you’ll experience upon your arrival will be our “Express Check-in”. Rather than subject everybody to our traditionally comprehensive (kind of long) check-in process, we’ll be producing a packet with your name on it that contains all the information you need for your visit, along with 2 sanitized sets of keys for your room. We will be charging the arrival balance due for each reservation the morning of your arrival date, prior to your arrival, so no actual interaction will be required at the desk for the vast majority of arriving guests (except those that prefer to pay cash, or those for whom we don’t have a valid credit card on file). These packets, which will be arrayed on the dining room table of The Queen Victoria building for our guests to simply pick up, will also have a registration form that can be signed with the sanitized Queen Victoria pen that will also be found in the packet. One of our staff will be present in the room to collect the registration forms and assist with any questions, directions, or necessary assistance of any kind. Not only will our new Express Check-in provide for appropriate social distancing, but it will also speed you along your way to enjoying your time in Cape May.
All of the amenities that are so cherished at The Queen Victoria are still available for your enjoyment. We’ve also added some additional amenities that we know will be very popular. The first one you’ll see upon your arrival will probably be one of the many “touchless” hand sanitizer dispensers that are placed strategically throughout every building. We certainly encourage you to make use of them during your time with us. We’ve also installed sanitizing wipe dispensers strategically throughout the inn, which will allow you to enjoy all the amenities you love so much, including our ever-popular Cape May bicycles and beach chairs. We’ve always cleaned these each morning and will continue to do so with a sanitizing cleaner, but the wipes will give you peace of mind while you enjoy your ride around town or your time on the beach. You’ll also find sanitizing wipe dispensers in each pantry and in/near every powder room. Again, we’ll be sanitizing all commonly touched surfaces in these areas several times throughout the day, but these will allow you to enjoy our amenities confidently. Finally, we have installed high-efficiency HEPA filter air purifiers in every guest room. These units will not only help keep the air in your room smelling fresh and clean, but they’ll also help keep it healthy.
The Queen Victoria has always been known to uphold the highest standards of cleanliness. It has always been our highest priority, and probably what we are best known for. This year we are taking housekeeping to a new level by implementing additional housekeeping protocols that provide for extreme sanitization of virtually every surface in the inn. We started in our best of class in-house laundry service, where we will now be bleaching all guest room linens prior to arrival (we have removed items like our afghans and throw pillows that cannot be bleached and washed for each arrival). Next up was the room cleaning process itself, both for arrival and daily service, where we added the sanitization of every commonly touched surface in the room, including all door handles, remotes, light switches (on the wall and on the lamps), thermostats, drawer pulls, room safe keypads, refrigerator handles, alarm clocks, faucets, toilet flush handles, grab bars, handheld shower handles and hair dryers. Finally, and probably most significantly, we’re implementing a whole-room air sanitizing process with ozone prior to every arrival. This powerful process literally disinfects not only the air in the room but every surface within it, both soft and hard.
After considerable reflection, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate our evening “turn down” service. This high-end service, which most of our guests routinely declined anyway, simply creates too many close quarter staff-guest interactions to be maintained today. Rest assured that we’ll be placing extra towels and bar soaps in each room and refreshing them as needed during our daily morning room service.
Finally, again in response to covid-19, we have decided to add a $5 housekeeping gratuity to your bill for each day for each room in your reservation, in order to reduce the handling of cash (ask any bank teller how dirty it is!). Upon departure, if you feel that this gratuity should be either increased or decreased, please come to our front desk and we’ll be happy to make any adjustment you desire.
“Safe Serve” Dining
Breakfast is an important and integral element of every stay at The Queen Victoria. While many inns are eliminating breakfast, or moving to a continental, packaged breakfast, we have designed a “Safe Serve” breakfast service to replace our traditional self-service buffet. This new format for breakfast will provide our guests with the same great breakfasts they’ve come to love and expect in a manner that respects their safety. We have also reconfigured seating spaces for our Cape May inn reopening to allow for social distancing, both in our House of Royals Dining Room, as well as our Prince Albert Hall indoor and outdoor dining areas. Every aspect of our dining operation has been modified to accommodate the needs of the day, but no sacrifice has been made in the food that we serve.
We have made similar adjustments to the way we serve afternoon tea to help assure your safety. In an effort to avoid concentrating our guests during teatime, we’ve replaced “Afternoon Tea”, with “All Afternoon Tea”. At noon each day we set up tea, which runs until 4:00 p.m.. Instead of a buffet of savories and sweets, we put together a “Tea for Two” grab bag filled with the baked treats from our kitchen, all individually wrapped, a couple of our turn down chocolate coins, and 2 cups with lids for tea on the go. We couldn’t figure out a way to keep our savory spreads fresh and cold, so we came up with the alternate solution of 2 bags of Bacon & Cheddar Potato Skins from TGI Fridays (they’re actually a lot like a Pringles potato chip, but a better flavor … it is taking all my willpower not to eat them all day long!). Our guests are welcome to enjoy our All Afternoon Tea in our Prince Albert Hall gardens and porch, as they always have, but a lot of guests are enjoying taking their treats to the beach.
Anna Marie and I are very thankful for all of the phone calls and emails that we’ve received from so many of you who view The Queen Victoria as your home in Cape May. Your generosity of spirit, kindness, and enthusiasm to return are greatly appreciated. We’re truly looking forward to our Cape May inn reopening and greeting you upon your return.
We’re confident that the many changes that we are making at The Queen Victoria for the 2020 season will create a healthy, safe environment for your visit with us. All of the special things that have always made The Queen Victoria Cape May’s premier bed and breakfast destination are undiminished and awaiting your arrival.