Safe Hotel Staycations in a Pandemic Winter

For a safe, relaxing weekend getaway both indoors and away from home, two hotels have got you covered.

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches its one-year mark, many are feeling stir-crazy and would love to get away, even just for the night. The pandemic, combined with the long winter season limiting their options, has people fleeing to hotels and resorts for “staycations.” 

Safety is a priority during these mini breaks, with hotel owners and staff ensuring their guests worry-free relaxation. 

“[We’ve] definitely amped up [our] sanitation policies,” says Kesha Butzin, Sales, Marketing and Events Manager of Par 4 Resort in Waupaca. 

The resort also has additional precautions like mask requirements and housekeeping staff only entering rooms for cleaning by request. 

Ronna O’Toole, owner of The Fig and the Pheasant in Plymouth, also discussed doing extra sanitizing at her hotel. She added that anything in a “high-touch” area must be wiped down extra thoroughly, and like Par 4, nobody enters guest rooms unless requested. She caters to the individual needs of her guests.

“I suppose we do anything honestly we can think of to be safe,” O’Toole says. “Everybody, I feel like, they’re at a different place with what they’re comfortable with.”

Some hotels offered Valentine’s Day packages for couples, from dining vouchers to extravagant room accommodations. 

Par 4 Resort offers some of the most unique experiences for couples. Butzin is in charge of putting these packages together. She says it’s quite fun for her to do because every day is different. Butzin says these packages are something people tend to see offered more in larger cities.

“We also have what we call romance add-ons. If you have a room booked, you can contact us and we can do things like rose petals in the room, and this is all set up before you arrive,” Butzin says. “Aromatherapy candles, bath bombs, wine, champagne, chocolates. … We work within whatever budget you give us and then we custom order and put together these packages.”

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday,  The Fig and The Pheasant is celebrating the 13th with a wine dinner in the adjoining restaurant. It consists of a five-course dinner paired with wine set to live jazz by Paul Sucherman. There are two separate seatings that evening. 

The people seeking these outings, mainly couples, typically stay at the hotels for long weekends. Although, some check in early in the day and request late checkouts the next day for a nice, long overnight getaway. Of course, staycations benefit hotel proprietors as well. They are seeing an uptick in locals staying at their hotels just to simply leave their houses.

“I call it an ‘in-state staycation’ because most people are not going to want to go too far from home right now,” Butzin says. “The majority of it is going to be people within a 60-mile radius.”

O’Toole says people usually stay two nights for staycations, and they are almost always either couples or groups of friends. She recently had four friends in two rooms stay at her hotel, and they had a great time.  

“They said, ‘It’s so great,’ because they don’t have to worry,” O’Toole says. “They just can enjoy the bar, enjoy the food and then go upstairs. They’re not driving anywhere; everything is here.”

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