Culture / Travel

Germ-Zapping Robots Give This Houston Hotel a High-Tech Coronavirus Fighting Army

A Maid's Best Friend?

BY // 07.14.20
photography The Westin Houston Medical Center

Businesses across the country are striving to keep their customers safe from COVID-19 by increasing methods of sanitization — but one Houston hotel in particular is going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of its guests.

The Westin Hotel Medical Center, located between Main and Fannin, became the first hotel in the United States to use LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to disinfect its rooms and common areas.

Appreciative of health care workers’ selfless contributions, the hotel also offers special rates for medical professionals, caretakers and patients of the Texas Medical Center.

But its high-tech safety initiative in the face of the coronavirus is what’s grabbing national attention. The Westin’s robots have been written about in The New York Times and featured on the morning shows.

Introducing LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots

LightStrike robots do not replace any hotel employees. Before the robot disinfects a room, housekeeping sweeps the room of all visible dust, removes linens and empties trash cans.

Operated by the Westin staff, the cutting-edge robotic technology uses germicidal UV light to sanitize rooms by destroying any leftover microscopic bacteria and viruses missed by manual cleaning services.

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Supplied by San Antonio-based Xenex Disinfection Services, the robots were first implemented by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Two epidemiologists in Houston developed the robot to eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi. LightStrike robots also sterilize hundreds of health facilities in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We are taking significant proactive measures, along with following CDC guidelines, to minimize risk while also keeping day-to-day business momentum,” Archit Sanghvi, vice president of operations for Pearl Hospitality (the hotel’s owner and operator), noted in a release. “Wellness is at the core of our business, and with the LightStrike technology, we saw a distinct and innovative opportunity to create a well-prepared environment for travelers within our hotel.”

In addition to implementing LightStrike robots, the hotel continues to strengthen cleaning standards and enforce social-distancing standards based on CDC, Harris County Health and Safety Policy and Marriott International requirements.

The Westin Hotel Medical Center prioritizes top-tier cleaning services, but it encourages guests to think healthy in other ways, too. During their stay, hotel visitors can enjoy immune-boosting food and beverages. A special menu offers energizing drinks loaded with vitamins and pro- and prebiotics.

It’s not as attention grabbing as a robot cleaning army, but every bit helps.

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