Hotel smoking issue undecided

Although a strict non-smoking policy is being introduced in Marriott hotels within the US and Canada, no decision has been taken on what the future policy will be at the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort.

It was also not known what the decision will be for Grand Cayman’s Courtyard Marriott by press time.

At the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort there is already a general no-smoking policy at its indoor public places, including indoor restaurants and bar; but outside smoking is permitted. There are a limited number of guest rooms where smoking is permitted.

In a recent circulation to Marriott customers the hotel brand noted that in order to accommodate the preferences of the vast majority of its guests, all Marriott hotels in the U.S. and Canada will become 100 per cent smoke free in October 2006.

‘Guests staying with Marriott in the United States and Canada after October 15, 2006 will not be able to smoke inside the hotel building.’

However, the notice said that Marriott’s international locations will be implementing their own policies regarding smoke-free environments based upon local custom and guest preferences.

The new policy includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public spaces and employee work areas.

‘Designated smoking areas will be made available outside of the hotel for our guests who smoke,’ it said.

Earlier this year Grand Cayman’s Westin Casuarina Resort went non-smoking in all buildings, including all guest rooms and public areas indoors.

This was part of a hotel chain brand-wide smoke-free policy in Westin Hotels and Resorts in the US, Canada and the Caribbean.

‘It’s been going excellent,’ General Manager of Grand Cayman’s Westin Dan Szydlowski said of the smoke-free policy.

The hotel went no-smoking from 1 February following a deep cleaning of all of its rooms, including replacement of drapes, linens and beddings and replacement of air filters and a/c units.

Smoking is permitted outside on balconies, restaurant patios and other areas outside.

Guests are well forewarned of the policy on the hotel’s website, when they make reservations and at check-in.

However, if anyone does light up in their bedroom they are subject to a $250 deep cleaning fee.

In public areas of the hotel staff members have been well trained to remind guests to refrain from smoking, said Mr. Szydlowski.

The Westin chain, he said, has received a lot of support from organisations such as the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Speaking of the local Marriott hotels, Mr. Szydlowski said, ‘We support them if they decide to go non-smoking’.

He congratulated the Marriott chain on its decision for its hotels in the US and Canada.

Other resorts in Grand Cayman which have previously said no to smoking include the Reef Resort and Comfort Suites.

The interior of the Cayman Islands’ newest hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is non-smoking also.

Currently more than 90 per cent of Marriott guest rooms in the US and Canada are already non-smoking, and smoking is prohibited in many public spaces due to local laws.