21 May 2020

Newmark institutes its Safe & Clean Commitment in response to COVID-19

Newmark Hotels, Reserves, Lodges & Residences announced its Safe & Clean Commitment, focused on enhanced cleaning practices, guest interactions and workplace protocols to address the hygiene challenges presented by COVID-19.

Cape Town – Newmark, a hotel management group with properties spanning a diverse portfolio of hotels, reserves, lodges, and residences, has launched its Safe & Clean Commitment across its operations to deliver elevated cleanliness standards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The development of these protocols comprises practices and strategies that will enable the operations to be reactivated with the utmost health and safety measures firmly in place.

“Sanitisation standards and cleanliness are taken very seriously and we are defining a new hospitality standard of hygiene practices to elevate cleanliness across our property portfolio. These elevated protocols provide peace of mind for Newmark guests to enjoy a safer, cleaner stay from check-in to check-out, while staff are fully protected in their work environment by these enhanced and rigorous cleaning standards. The Safe & Clean Commitment is a quality mark of assurance to guests and staff that we are committed to their health and safety in upholding uncompromising sanitation and hygiene practices,” says Newmark CEO, Neil Markovitz.

For decades, Newmark has been guided by its commitment to exacting standards, hospitality quality, and its core values of excellence and innovation delivering world-class customer experiences. Our Safe & Clean Commitment serves as a multi-tiered commitment to our uncompromising sense of care of purpose for our guests and staff in providing accommodation and experiences that are safe, clean, and sanitary while continuing to deliver unrivaled Newmark hospitality.

To elevate our cleanliness standards specifically in response to the unique set of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a multitude of hospitality behaviors and practices were identified for change. In doing so, we assembled a cross-functional medical advisory response team comprising hygiene experts, sanitization specialists, and spatial designers who have assisted us in devising strategic outputs for disinfection and sanitization protocols.

These outputs encompassed health and hygiene; food and beverage safety; guest and staff safety; and space design – all of which have been adapted to the new social reality of a pandemic environment. This has enabled us to swiftly update our operational guides for our hotels, reserves, lodges, resorts, and residences and address specific requirements for each property type.

Continues Markovitz: “The safety of our guests and staff is paramount to us. As a result, we have adapted our ways of working to better protect those around us with a holistic approach to tackle the COVID-19 realities at every level. Our Safe & Clean Commitment is designed to minimize risk and promote safe, healthy environments for every person – guest or staff – who engages with us.”

We have crystallized our approach to key areas that we believe will enable us to minimize risk to all and have implemented procedures to follow the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO), local health authorities as well as our Safe & Clean Commitment. These protection protocols are designed to reduce exposure to, and the transmission of, a range of illnesses including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our commitment to cleanliness is unwavering. All our teams across our lodges, hotel reserves, resorts, and residences are well trained to handle health and hygiene situations and are also personally adhering to the latest hygiene protocols and we have absolute trust in their abilities to do so. Our people are working tirelessly at implementing these health and safety measures to combat the COVID-19 virus.

Our tactical response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a comprehensive review of our cleanliness and sanitization procedures. To this end, we have elevated our health and safety standards beyond the already stringent hygiene protocols to ensure absolute peace of mind and safety for all people.

These protocols will be implemented throughout our operations including our game drive vehicles, hotel rooms, reserve tents, resorts and lodge rooms, suites and facilities. We have mobilised strategic cleanliness teams at each of our properties with our daily disinfecting protocols having been intensified at every property; from our hotels and lodges to reserves, residences and resorts with increased hygiene inspections conducted.

We are rolling out enhanced technologies alongside our Safe & Clean Commitment with a multi-pronged sanitisation strategy for increased safety for guests and staff. These include:

Hygiene training for the protection of staff and guests

All Newmark staff has been trained on the various hygiene and sanitation protocols and ongoing training will be provided as the situation evolves. Our staff awareness is an aspect that is essential for the effective implementation of our protocols as it ensures that they are protected as well as our guests.

There will be full disclosure and transparency at all times between Newmark and its guests and staff by way of informing all parties as to the safety and hygiene protocols in place as well as any incident reporting.

Temperature screening and staff monitoring

We are working ‘round the clock to keep our people safe – and that means you as well as our staff. We’ve implemented an end-to-end health and safety plan that will see every staff member temperature tested and meticulously screened before they are deemed to be clear and ready to safely engage with our guests. Each guest will also be temperature screened in a non-invasive and safe manner to ensure the health and safety of all our people. These screening and monitoring protocols will be supported by the necessary contingency plans and isolation/quarantine facilities.

Distant but warm, hospitable guest contact. To alleviate the risk of transmission, continuous and stringent social distancing etiquette will be implemented between guest and staff to reduce person-to-person contact. Space design consultants have been instrumental in reconfiguring the placement of furniture and décor specific to each property type to allow for social distancing practices. Our staff have all been trained on best-practice hygiene and sanitisation and won’t be offering the outstretched handshake that you are accustomed to. Instead, a friendly smile will be waiting to greet you warmly upon your arrival and during your stay.

Smart guest interaction with contactless hospitality – where possible, virtual check-ins and check-outs will be encouraged. Insofar as possible, we will also implement no-contact stays. We understand in this adapted hospitality, sometimes, the best way to stay safe is to stay distant. 

Social interaction kept to a minimum

We have reduced the capacity of our lodges, reserves, residences and resorts within government guidelines across our guest and staff complement. Accommodations at our respective lodges, reserves and resorts are generously set apart and offer privacy and safety, rendering contact with staff and other guests to an absolute minimum and at some properties, limited social contact will see guests experience an almost contactless stay in accordance with stringent health and safety regulations.

Accredited, hospital-grade disinfectant with a high classification of bacteria-killing ingredients to sanitise surfaces across all properties. These disinfectants have been produced per health regulations and are also eco-friendly.

Easily accessible sanitisation stations. The provision of hand sanitiser and antibacterial handwash placed at the entrances, near the front desk, common areas, game vehicles and throughout the properties within our portfolio. These will also be used to sanitise room keys and devices shared by staff to ensure a safe environment at all times. All areas will have alcohol-based, hospital-grade hand sanitiser readily available for your use. You can find it in all common areas, reception, on game drives and in your room, upon special request.

Enriched, deep cleaning and sanitisation standards across all operations and properties. These include game drive vehicles, bomas, rooms, suites, tents, lookout and viewing decks, guest rooms, common areas, meeting areas, front desks, kitchens, as well as back-of-house areas.

Surface area disinfection. The already rigorous cleaning of high-touch surface areas will be further enhanced by the increased frequency of cleaning protocols on all surface areas.

A plethora of housekeeping safety and hygiene standards have been enhanced including linen that will be washed at between 40- and 60-degrees to effectively destroy bacteria. Others include:

A food and beverage safety and hygiene strategy will include amongst others:

  • Reconfigured seating. We will create seating spacing times i.e. 10 tables at a time, all guests to get 1-hour seating for breakfast, and 1hr 30 minutes seating for lunch and dinner.  For lodges and reserves, outside seating on decks, where applicable, will comprise 2-metre seating configurations.
  • No-touch menus – chalkboards or other display mechanisms will be used to communicate menus thereby ensuring no contact with paper-based menus.
  • No buffets, instead breakfast boxes, where possible. An adapted catering solution has been designed and will be customised in accordance with each property. Specific consideration has been taken at lodges, reserves and resorts to offer zero exposure dining options.
  • Modified ‘in-room’ dining protocols and services are available at our properties including lodges, reserves and resorts and will be adapted according to the property type to ensure an uncompromised dining service with minimal contact and adherence to the safety and hygiene regulations.
  • Where possible, meals and snacks will be individually packaged and will continue to be prepared in highly controlled environments under even stricter hygiene standards.

Safari becomes even more personal

Our game reserve experiences have been modified in accordance with regulated social distancing practices and perfectly blend these unique experiences with maximum health and safety protection. We will allocate no more than 6 guests per open safari vehicle. This will ensure sufficient social distancing and safety for your unique and captivating experience in the wild. Guests can be assured that our game drives will be kept as safe and private as possible and at no stage will we accommodate more than the assigned number of guests on our safari vehicles. All snacks will be separated and offered as such and hand sanitiser will be available for the duration of your game drive.

Professional care and experience

We have defined a clear plan with our medical advisory team at each of our properties – hotels, lodges, residences, reserves and resorts for exacting actions in the event of suspected cases. Your safety is our top priority and we have designed protocols that protect you throughout your journey with us. Our health and safety and hygiene strategies are designed to build healthier environments and change behaviours with a view to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other viruses that pose a risk both now and in the future.

At Newmark we take your safety seriously. We’ve always been at the forefront of innovation responding at critical times with the sole purpose of protecting our people – guests and staff. We are unrelenting to find the best next-generation hygiene technologies for your protection and are excited at the innovation in the marketplace. A technology that is on our radar in the foreseeable future is a state-of-the-art ultra violet (UV) disinfectant robot that rapidly disinfects areas using powerful wavelengths of UV light that emits energy to destroy the DNA and RNA of microorganisms. We are hopeful that we can bring these technologies to our operations in due course.

We are there for you, and we will overcome

At Newmark, we care about the health and safety of every guest and staff member who enters our doors. Your wellbeing has, and will always be our utmost priority and are fully committed to your protection without compromising the quality of experience when you stay with us.

Our Newmark values are at the heart of our business. These values guide us in our pursuit of delivering authentic and personalized guest-centric experiences. Now, as we face unprecedented challenges this will catalyze our innovative response to design the world-class hygiene and sanitization solutions that ensure the safety of our people.

We remain vigilant, agile to adapt to challenges and changes and are closely monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation to ensure minimal risk for our guests and staff. We wish to reassure you that we are following the guidelines of our medical advisory team in conjunction with the global and local health authorities to be able to respond to any circumstance that presents itself.

As the COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to unfold its how we choose to face the present challenges that will define our future. These actions, we believe, will reconfigure the legacy for our people and our planet. We’ve always been propelled by our passion for the protection of our planet and its people. As a family with family our empathy and a shared sense of hope will continue to drive our efforts to ensure a safe environment for all who engage with us.

When the time is right, we’ll be waiting to welcome you back to our diverse collection of distinctive properties with the warm hospitality you’ve come to know us for.

We are still here to help

In need of assistance regarding your reservation? Please send us an email to reservations@newmarkhotels.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely


Neil Markovitz


Newmark Hotels, Reserves, Lodges & Residences