Northbrook, Ill. – May 27, 2022 – UMF Corporation today announced that Mabel Castro, guest room attendant (GRA) at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, has earned the company’s third annual Guest Room Attendant Excellence Award. UMF established the GRA Excellence Award in 2020 to acknowledge the crucial role GRAs play in ensuring hotel guest safety, satisfaction, and loyalty in the COVID-19 era.
“In the more than 15 years that Mabel has worked for Marriott, she has been recognized countless times by our guests for going above and beyond,” said Chicago Marriott Downtown Director of Services Victoria DeSantis. “She consistently exceeds our guests’ expectations, exuding positive energy, remembering our return guests, and creating personal connections with them. Our guests often specifically request Mabel as their GRA because of these connections and her impeccable attention to detail. Her dedication to Marriott is admirable and well known throughout the hotel. She always upholds Marriott’s exacting brand standards, no matter what task she is undertaking.”
In accordance with the CDC, Safe Stay guidelines from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) recommend that hotel surfaces frequently touched by multiple people should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use and local infection risk in locations including: front desk check-in counters, bell desks, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms, stairwells, vending machines, ice machines, room keys and locks, ATMs, escalator and stair handrails, gym equipment and shower areas, pool seating and surrounding areas, dining surfaces, and all seating areas.
In the guest room, the AHLA recommends that housekeeping staff focus on high-touch areas and hard non-porous items including: television remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and furniture handles, water faucet handles, nightstands, telephones, in-room control panels, light switches, temperature control panels, alarm clocks, and luggage racks. The ABCs of Housekeeping, which evolved from an infection prevention program created for acute care hospitals, details the precise steps for mitigating the risk of cross-contamination throughout the hotel to ensure the safest possible guest and employee environment.
“We are honored to recognize Ms. Castro’s dedication to meeting the ever-increasing standards of cleanliness and hygiene in the hospitality industry,” said UMF Corporation CEO George Clarke. “Over the course of her career, she has committed herself to learning new approaches, making improvements, and sharing those best practices with her team. Responsible for carrying out industry-recommended cleaning and disinfection protocols, GRAs such as Ms. Castro are on the front lines of preventing infection in hospitality. She encompasses GRA excellence.”
Three additional GRAs were selected as finalists for the 2021 award. They include:
- Maria Trejo, The Tremont House Hotel, Galveston, Tex.
- Delmy Bonilla, Sheraton Commander Hotel, Cambridge, Mass.
- Esther Lopez, Residence Inn, Manchester, NH
As the 2021 GRA Award recipient, Castro will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including airfare, to a location of her choice within the 48 contiguous states.