The phone is ringing again as guests begin a tentative and slow trickle back to The Muse. We were as shocked and unprepared as the rest of the world when in March the pandemic hit Wisconsin and essentially shuttered our inn. But we paid attention, and listened to hours of webinars, read loads of information, consulted other innkeepers and our state innkeeping association, had good conversations with our local health department inspector and came up with a plan for safely hosting guests during this strange and serious time.
For starters, we talk to the guests before they arrive to make sure they understand to stay home if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with COVID. We have relaxed our cancellation policy for those guests who may have booked but now due to COVID can not visit.
We have reduced our occupancy so that there are fewer guests in the house. We are strategically placing guests on separate floors and asking them to use separate entrances during their stay. We are discouraging congregating in the common spaces of the house and asking that guests observe social distancing when encountering other guests at the inn. We encourage lots of hand washing and wearing of masks when around other guests.
Breakfast is still a beautiful thing at The Muse, but we are now serving it to you in your personal quarters. Snacks are still available but you will find them in your room instead of in the lounge. Same thing for the welcome wine and cheese hour.
As for checking in/checking out, we are communicating with guests via phone and text and giving them the code to the house and directions to their room. All payments are done online. We are available to answer questions and help, but are not quite as visible as before to keep you safe.
We have a list of all the places in the area that are open for dining and activities as well as those still just offering curbside or ding-dong-dash delivery. We are proud and supportive of the businesses in our area that are taking guest safety seriously during this time and will direct you to those who have well thought out and careful new plans for operation during these times.
And of course we are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and after that we are sanitizing, sanitizing, sanitizing. It was a little bit of an education, but we have studied the directives from CDC/WHO/Milwaukee Health Dept about the methods and materials to do this well and are committed to making sure that your rooms and the common areas are as safe from COVID germs as possible. Andrew and I are doing the cleaning ourselves to make sure that it is done properly and thoroughly. You can count on us to do a good job. And as a side note, we have changed the bedding in the house to the kind that is antimicrobial or can withstand the hot washes necessary in these times. And we have taken out of the rooms anything that we can not sanitize easily. We hope you like the new look in each room.
To add to that, we are leaving rooms vacant for a period of at least 24 hours between guests, and we are no longer offering daily housekeeping to the individual guest rooms so that only you will be in your space during your stay.
There are still many things to do in and around Milwaukee and The Muse and we are prepared to help you plan a little getaway that is different than before but safe and still very much fun.
So if you have been dreaming of travel and are tired of staying at home, but timid to just jump into any old thing, please consider a stay with us. Honestly, we can’t think of a safer place to stay than at a small inn where the owners are committed to keeping you healthy and happy.
We strongly encourage you to BOOK DIRECT by calling us at 414-745-7735. That way we can make sure you get to a room that has been vacant and we can talk to you personally regarding what to expect during your stay.
We look forward to seeing you soon!