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Newly opened hotel Elba Sunset Mallorca confronts the COVID-19 pandemic.

With 14 hotels in Spain, primarily in Canary Islands, but also in Andalucía and Madrid, the corporate headquarters of Elba hotels is located in Madrid. The general management takes all financial and operational policy decisions at the corporate headquarters, and hotel managers at corporate properties are only responsible for implementing those policies.

The Elba Sunset Mallorca hotel is a relatively new construction with 252 rooms, built in 2019 on a cliff overlooking the sea between Palmanova and Magaluf. These recently built facilities provide a competitive advantage because most of the other hotels in this area are quite old. The Elba Sunset Mallorca hotel management has also implemented a differentiation policy in an effort to distinguish their hotel from the image of the nearby Magaluf area, known for its low-cost holiday accommodations and wild party events. The hotel specifically targets guests wanting to avoid the rowdy crowds often found in Melaguf.

In Mallorca most hotels are open only for 6 months, typically starting from May and closing in October. The Elba Sunset Mallorca was initially planning to stay open year round; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to close in March 2020 and then again in November 2020, accepting guests only for a short period during the summer months of 2020.

In 2021 the Elba Sunset Mallorca has been open since 19 March and had a 90% occupancy rate during the 10-day Easter holiday period. Immediately after the Easter holidays, the occupancy rate has dropped to about 20 %. The guests are mostly Germans (90%), French (5%), and the rest are from Luxemburg, Sweden and Switzerland. The hotel is looking forward to the beginning of the 2021 summer season starting on 9 May, and it is expected that most of the pandemic restrictions will be lifted and that people from Spain will be able start travelling again. Up until now, Spanish residents were not allowed to move freely within their country under the COVID-19 emergency restrictions.

To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic environment, numerous safety measures are enforced in Mallorca even if somewhat less strictly than is the case on the Spanish mainland. Everyone is required to wear a face mask in public and hand sanitizer dispensers are found on each corner of the hotel. The Elba Sunset Mallorca hotel reception desk has a transparent shield, and at the buffet restaurant the staff and guests are all required to wear single use gloves. All of the menus and information brochures have been replaced with QR codes, and at the bar guests are not allowed to stand and are required to proceed to their tables for drinks. The access to the Spa is also restricted, requiring a reservation with visits limited to 1 hour and only for guests from the same hotel room. The water in the pool is changed daily and disinfected.

Housekeeping personnel at the Elba Sunset Mallorca are provided face masks with a higher level of protection and safety glasses, and the cleaning sprays have all been replaced with a special disinfectant. Every hotel employee has a temperature check by their department supervisors prior to the beginning of each shift. These safety compliance measures are monitored by the local government, but in addition the hotel has contracted with a specialized private company that is responsible for regularly scheduled checkups on the safety measures and the overall cleanness of the hotel. This company checks the temperatures of the personnel, the expiration dates of the food, and other measures, but also takes samples of hotel food to a laboratory. The practice of external controls is a common approach in Mallorca; however, during the pandemic these controls have become more frequent and are accompanied with continuous consultations on the implementation of the required health and safety measures and the use of approved cleaning and personal protective equipment.

The guests are not subject to temperature checks because 100% of them are arriving from abroad with negative PCR test results. When a hotel guest announces that he or she does not feel well or shows symptoms, the hotel is obliged to call the health authorities who send trained medical personnel to examine the guest who is kept isolated his or her room. If COVID-19 is detected, then the medical service transports the guest to a dedicated confinement location in Palma. The hotel room for any guest found to be infected remains unoccupied for 2 days, and is totally disinfected and aerated.



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