Updated May 15th, 2020.
With summer around the corner, we’re all asking ourselves what Canada, and the world, will look like. The old phrase “hope for the best, plan for the worst” comes to mind, and as such, we’re rolling out a few options.
As a resort, we are an essential business, and we have plenty of space for social distancing, even at full capacity. So barring any exceptional measures, we’re back up and running (mostly) on May 19th.
This is a bit sudden, and we’ve found ourselves halfway through several larger spring projects, but our team is on board and ready to rock. It’s time to enjoy the water, BBQ some steaks, and enjoy some time away from everything.
We’re all in this together, and we all need to do our part to flatten the curve. We will be following recommendations from the people who actually understand this (like government health agencies) and will be making decisions on short notice.
You can book your stay now without fear – if we have to be closed, obviously, no one will be charged for their stay. We’re also waiving our cancellation policy for anyone who is self-isolating.
If we’re open, below are some contingency plans we’re discussing. Ultimately, we can assure you that you’ll get the core resort experience.
At this point, the resort and recreation activities are open, but restaurants are not. Here are some of the things we’re doing, which will change as time goes on.
- Cottages all have BBQs, and we have a BBQ patio for guests in rooms to use.
- Cottages with kitchens will be given the option to order “make your own breakfast” with all the fixin’s including fresh-baked muffins delivered at a predetermined time.
- We are offering take out for all meals to resort guests. The exact procedures will change over time and will be covered in your welcome email.
- The Boathouse We will be unable to accommodate guests not staying at the resort, and guests staying at the resort may be required to make reservations. That being said, we’re happy to deliver meals on real plates and real cutlery anywhere on the property within reason for a resort-wide dining experience.
- Mount Julian, our fine dining restaurant… well, we haven’t figured out a workaround, unfortunately. We will keep farming and foraging, but how we can deliver that truly unique experience is currently up in the air.
Please see our menu here!
In the interest of social distancing, we will probably need to change group activities and reduce seating in areas like the pool and similar.
- Our recreational naturalists will still be able to show you the best hiking, or help you find turtles, salamanders, and porcupines.
- Group hikes, wine tastings and similar may be cancelled. We will find ways to still offer similar experiences.
- The most popular activities – self-guided kayaking and hikes, the farm, tubing and fishing will still be available of course.
As we move towards reopening, we have spent considerable time discussing our housekeeping guidelines, researching best practices (which don’t really seem to exist yet) and generally pondering the issue of keeping staff and guests safe during a pandemic. With many infections being fully asymptomatic, there is no way to easily identify higher risk staff or guests, and so our policies are built around the idea that anyone could be a carrier. We want sensible policies in line with science, which means that no simple test will tell us whether someone is infected.
Room/Cottage Cleaning Between Guests
When guests check out of their rooms, we have always employed a 4 step process, which is being refined for the ongoing pandemic.
- Stripping the room includes a properly outfitted housekeeper removing all dirty linens, garbage, and other soiled items from the room and spraying all hard surfaces with a sanitizing spray
- Dropping of new supplies means placing clean towels, sheets, and other supplies into the room along with another check for remaining soiled items.
- Cleaning involves wiping down surfaces with the correct cleaning product, vacuuming the floors, making the beds, and other steps in readying the room for the next guest.
- Inspection is done by one of our supervisors and includes a last check of the room on the day of arrival. This will include spraying down high-contact surfaces like door handles and light switches with an evaporating sanitizer, leaving some watermarks.
We do our best to be ready for your arrival by 3 pm, but this year, we will need to prioritize proper procedures, staff shortages due to quarantine, and other issues, and ask for your understanding.
During Your Stay
It seems that emerging advice is that daily housekeeping service is not advised. We are happy to provide fresh sheets and towels upon request and will provide you with bags to bag your linens. Please let us know if you have a bag of garbage, linens, or recycling to dispose of. We will leave fresh linens at your door. Extra coffee and other supplies are also freely available.
We are also happy to provide sanitizing spray for your own use while on site.
We also ask guests wear a masks anytime social distancing cannot be maintained and if asked to by a staff member. We ask for patience and understanding as we balance the safety of everyone with the great experience of a resort escape.
Much of your time at Viamede will be spent outdoors, and with the amount of space we have, social distancing and general sanitation will be much smaller concerns. There are plenty of other germs outside that you should be careful of what you touch anyway, so we advise you wash your hands frequently and not lick your fingers after catching frogs, for many reasons.
With all that’s going on, we will be reducing indoor activities and services. Check in and out will be done by email, leaving only restaurants indoors. Our usual breakfast buffet will be changed to family style or plated, with specifics to be determined, and restaurant capacities reduced to ensure social distancing. Surfaces will be sanitized several times per day with evaporating spray, so you may find door handles and coffee machines damp or water marks on surfaces.