On Thurs., June 25, the big front doors of the Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park will open to welcome guests for the first time since mid-March when the Covid-19 pandemic slammed them shut.
The Asbury, two blocks off the boardwalk on Fifth Avenue, will be able to take reservations for 25 percent capacity through July 2 and then at 50 percent for the rest of the peak season.
“The Asbury will revert to full occupancy as soon as permitted by local and state guidelines and as soon as they feel it is safe to do so for the well being of guests and team members,” according to an email from Salt Hotels which manages the 110-room hotel. Other details outlined in the email:
New protocols for dining including recently added table service to popular areas of the hotel including The Counter and Soundbooth and the ability to order room service from both menus
Providing employees with PPE that promote positivity, like masks with a printed message on the exterior reading, “a smile is under here”
Limiting access to the hotel’s public spaces exclusively to hotel guests
The Baronet, an expansive rooftop space for guests to lounge on, will be adorned with social distancing decal squares on the ground, inspired by the circles in New York City’s Domino Park
A three-step decontamination process for every room using medical-grade disinfectants
Reduction of touchpoints in guest rooms and common spaces to eliminate potential transmission areas
Readily available hand sanitizing stations in public areas.
June 25 is also the opening date for the Hotel Tides in Asbury Park which announced on its website that it will be limited to 25 percent occupancy until July 2 and then 50 percent until July 31 when it can fully reopen.
The Empress Hotel along Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park will open with limited occupancy for June and July, the pool area will be limited to registered hotel guests. The co-owned Paradise nightclub will not open until Stage 4 of the reopening program.
In Ocean Grove, hotels and Bed & Breakfast establishments are hoping for a decent season but really don’t know what to expect.
“We had a very, very good 2019,” said Suzanne Ryan, owner of the Lillagaard Hotel.
They are open now at 25 percent occupancy which goes to 75 percent in July.
“We are getting more last minute bookings now,” she said.
The hotels in Ocean Grove are regulated by Neptune. Ryan said the Lillagaard is opening its ice cream shop Fri., June 19 but the hotel will switch its breakfast buffet to an a la cart menu. She said the Covid-19 has had a huge impact.
One of Ocean Grove’s smallest B&B’s, the five-room 7 Ocean Avenue Bed & Breakfast will take extra precautions by cleaning and sanitizing its rooms and leaving the room vacant for two days between guests. Owner Robert Kaprelian says they are being “super careful,” calling the virus and lockdown “a most unusual thing,” because the expert’s opinions keep changing.
Bill Reilly, owner of the 40-room Albatross Hotel, said they were open but had multiple cancellations in May due to Covid-19. They are now at 25 percent occupancy and will move up to 75 percent in July. He said the Albatross will institute a more extensive cleaning process and will no longer offer a breakfast buffet for its guests.