The COVID-19 pandemic is a time of uncertainties and worry for countless millions; hotels are no exception. However, not many have tried to see how this directly affected the staff members, and in some cases, guests. I decided to stay at La Cabana for a weekend to observe the crisis through a different pair of eyes. Here is my review of staying at a hotel from the 26th to the 29th of June, 2020.
Upon arriving, my family and I were greeted by a bell-boy who wore a mask and carried a big bottle of hand sanitizer. He gave us some and kindly asked us to wait in the lobby. The lobby itself was quiet, and the stores that were usually open were completely deserted and closed. There wasn’t that usual buzz of people walking around and laughing, eager to check in at the hotel.
A one-person policy at the front desk was created, and there were some stickers on the floor to ensure little to no cross-contamination. For everyone to get their hotel pass, my family and I had to walk to the front one by one. The ladies at the front desk wore masks and kindly helped us with anything we needed. While walking to the room, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the pool area was, and that the only other people who were walking around were other members of staff.
The room where I stayed in was organized neatly: the kitchen had everything in order, with the cutleries and bowls in their respective cabinets and drawers. The bedroom included soft white pillows and matching sheets, a TV, and an alarm clock on a night stand. And of course, the living room with the coffee table, TV, sofa bed, and dinner table. Due to my previous stays at La Cabana, I was no stranger to this arrangement of items in the room. However, I noticed something missing: the roster for the fun activities La Cabana usually offers. Later, I found out that all the activities were cancelled for the safety of the guests.
Housekeeping was not allowed to clean the room if a guest was inside. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t do something to help the guests stay refreshed; instead, they would do alternative things to stay safe. The first morning, my family and I woke up to find a bag of fresh towels in front of the door. This was a great help since we had just used most of the ones in the room the previous night.
Ah, the pool. It was really interesting to see how the pools weren’t chockfull of people. Even though there were some other families staying at the hotel in the same weekend, not everyone was willing to go out to swim or even use the water slide. It was so empty that one day, my aunt and I had all of the pools to ourselves!
After asking around a bit, I learned that this year, extra chlorine was added to some of the pools. At the pool area there wer signs thanking and asking the guests to maintain social distance. The Jacuzzis had a limit of people: either two people or a family were allowed at the same time. The pool limits were less strict due to the pool size.
The Pata Pata Bar is also open, with bartenders serving (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beverages with a smile! I asked one of them, Ricardo, if he recommends young Aruban people to enjoy a nice vacation there at La Cabana, to which he enthusiastically responded “Yes! This place is very pleasant and family-friendly!”
Overall, I found La Cabana to be very welcoming and fun. They took the situation seriously, and still maintained an ambient feeling of a home away from home. Thank you La Cabana for your amazing hospitality! I couldn’t ask for a better stay!