First Published: March 7, 2020.
Current update: January 27, 2021
We have been open since May 5 throughout the pandemic. We have had no incidents of either guests coming to work sick or guests either showing up with COVID symptoms or going back home infected. Of course, some of that is just luck. COVID may strike anywhere. Therefore good luck is not our game plan. We are driven to do all possible to protect the wellbeing of our guests and our employees. We are taking all imaginable steps possible to minimize your exposure to COVID when you stay with us.
COVID has affected people in may different ways. Some may find themselves out of a job, some are working more than they have ever worked. But one thing seems constant, in one way or another, it has added an element of stress to everybody’s life. Because of the pandemic, It is obvious that now may not be a good time to travel to distant, often crowded hotspots of coronavirus around the world. The congestion of airports, airplanes, and big hotels, as well as alarming infection rates discourages or prevents many of us from traveling to faraway destinations and exposing ourselves to the unknown, but likely increased risk of exposure to the virus.
In such a scenario where stressed couples are desperate for a vacation getaway, Cameo Heights Mansion, an intimate destination resort, located in an isolated rural setting in the middle of an orchard, offers an alternate choice where there are never more than 14 people staying at the destination. So if you find yourself feeling a severe case of cabin fever, perhaps the option of vacationing to a small boutique setting will be an attractive and low risk choice.
The interior space and yards are large enough that you can easily maintain as much social distance as you would like. Outside activities include watching a sunset or sunrise from your suite maybe combined with a nature hike through the scenic orchards/vineyards with panoramic views of the beautiful Walla Walla river valley. We also have a bocce ball location and horseshoes pit in the spacious courtyard for couples’ individual entertainment, all while maintaining a respectful distance from all other guests.
At our seven-room boutique hotel (as opposed to a large hotel of hundreds of rooms), we guide you through a no-contact check-in into your freshly-sanitized suite and all the way through your stay using a brand new texting service. Checkout can also be as unobtrusive as leaving the key on the desk of your suite and departing through the front door. For extra seclusion and isolation, choose either of the suites on the bottom floor — the Spanish or Greek — and you have the advantage of added social distancing by using a private entrance from the outside patio into your secluded suite.)
Many Vacations are Staycations
Many of our past and prospective guests actually live less than 50 miles from our location, often in areas of low or no infection. If that describes yourself, we understand that today you are not likely interested in vacationing in crowded metropolitan areas where the risks of infection increase dramatically. Now, more than ever before, our remote location, away from congested population centers, continues to be your favorite choice as an intimate, exciting, and SAFE romantic retreat.
What Services besides lodging are available during these challenging times?
- Evening dining in social distanced settings (inside and outside dining, all socially distanced.)*
- Spa services where masked attendants with sterile hands perform the massages.
- Wine tours to multiple local wineries in Walla Walla and Red Mountain AVAs.
- Summer swimming in concrete pool with the water fall. (Approved by county health Department.)
- All season use of the concrete built-in hot tub.
- Hiking trails on-site.
- Outdoor recreational activities.
*Dinner from our intimate and immaculate 5-star restaurant can be served in the luxury and privacy of your suite by one of our staff of trained waiters who leave each course on a tray right outside your door for the highest level of social distancing.
Here at Cameo Heights Mansion, we are dedicated to protecting your health and safety.
We have always been very careful to follow meticulous cleaning and sanitizing procedures to safeguard our guests’ comfort, safety, and well-being while they vacation with us. But now, with the public frenzy about the personal risk of coronavirus infection, we have immediately redoubled our efforts to ensure that you can come here with the absolute assurance that maintaining and protecting your health is taken very seriously by everyone at Cameo Heights.
You might be interested in knowing that, as a boutique hotel / B&B, we routinely spend over 2 hours per room night (as opposed to most hotels which spend minutes) in setting all the pampering and romantic details of your suite as well as the meticulous procedures that cleanse and sanitize your suite and the entire property on a daily basis.
Here is a summary of our current cleaning and sanitizing policies. This is not an exhaustive listing but it does detail much about the process of procedures we follow to ensure every suite is thoroughly sterilized after each guest turnover as well as activities that enhance the safety of guests throughout their stay.
- Replace all bed linens and pillowcases after EVERY guest. (Guests staying more than 3 days will also have their linen and pillowcases changed during their stay.)
- Clean and sanitize all cups, glasses, and mugs, (whether used or not) in a high-temp Hobart commercial dishwasher after EVERY guest.
- Replace every washcloth, every hand and bath towel (whether used or not) after EVERY guest.
- Replace bathrobes after EVERY use.
- Disinfect every touch-surface in the suite, including handles, keys, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, tables and desks, pens, buttons & remote controls after EVERY guest.
- Disinfect bathtubs, shower stalls, sinks, toilets, and water faucets after EVERY guest.
- We have switched from providing ice water in a thermos to sealed water bottles in each suite for your hydration and pleasure.
- Very effective house-made liquid body gel, bubble bath, and hair conditioner made with organic compounds are packaged in pump containers. These containers’ surfaces are sanitized after EVERY guest experience. Bath bombs and goat’s milk soap are packed in individual boxes for sanitary dispensing. The liquid products are pasteurized by bringing solutions to 180° before cooling them down for packaging.
- Multiple snacks, including coffee and tea, have always been provided. Now all snacks are items that come in sealed packages. (We will continue to offer s’mores kits which have marshmallows that are not prepackaged which you may use at your own discretion.)
- Provide hand-sanitizer in private and public areas, including the snack bar and each public and suite bathroom vanity.
- Repetitively (many times daily) disinfect every touch-surface in common areas including doorknobs; handles; microwaves; hand rails, coffee makers; and sinks, toilets, faucets and handles in common bathrooms—-with sanitizer available nearby also so individual guests can sanitize any of these touch-points during their stay.
- Breakfast is prepared by trained personnel who follow strict hygienic procedures to maintain complete sanitization.
- Don’t want to eat in our dining room with other guests? You are always welcome to order an intimate in-suite breakfast at an extra expense of $20 per room, or a private dinner in your suite for $30 per room night.
SUMMARY: So what makes our destination a Safe-Getaway?
- Location: We are 25 miles away from everybody else—away from the hustle and bustle of cities, towns, congestion, people, and the businesses you own or work for.
- Sanitization: You have the assurance that while staying at Cameo Heights Mansion, you will experience a high level of sanitization to totally minimize the possibility of any spread of COVID-19 from staff to guest, guest to staff, and guest to guest. The hyperlink just provided is a reiteration of some of the steps we are taking to keep you safe from the virus.
- Food service: For now during the COVID crises and the Washington Stay At Home Order, we not currently providing restaurant service to persons not staying at Cameo Heights. However, by arrangement with the Walla Walla health department, lodging guests will be given breakfast and dinner service in their suites or in a dining room with only you and your companion present. Dinners are served by masked attendants who leave the food on an adjacent table or outside the door of their suite to maintain a high level of social separation.
- Sunny outdoor location: Our locations provides guests with abundant direct access to the open air. Nothing is safer from viral transmission than exposure to the sun and clean outdoor air. You have plenty of that at Cameo Heights Mansion. Even the patio has been enlarged to provide abundant separation of guests. Hikes through the orchard and adjacent vineyard can be integral features of every couple’s stay.
- Chlorinated water in the spa and pool: Pool and spa water is calibrated with just the right amount of chlorination to remove any possibility of infection by the water.
- Snacks are individually packaged and in-suite: Though there is questionable evidence that the virus spreads though food, snacks service at Cameo Heights are individually packaged either commercially or by sanitized staff. Refrigerator and freezer items are also available in the hospitality suite.
- Remote check-in. Check in procedure is near remote with virtually no touch points. Upon arrival, you will be asked to sign nothing. Sanitized keys will already be in your unlocked suite. You will find a check-in sheet inside your suite printed fresh for each guest providing you an orientation about your suite and all relevant aspects of your stay.
- Texting for communication with guests: We plan to communicate with guests during their stay by text messages to their phones. Basically, you call us—we don’t call you, except for a few automatic messages at different stages of your check-in process. But you are already free to text us for any services you would like.
- Nearby location: Because of our close location to many of our regular customers, (more than ½ of our customer base is within 50 miles of our location) those so fortunate can easily drive here completely avoiding the congestion of airplanes and airports.
- Social distancing is made easy: You will find oodles of space for social separation. The hotel is over 11,000 square feet inside, a spacious concrete patio frames the pool area, and the whole Walla Walla river valley and an organic orchard/vineyard provides the ambiance surrounding our Mansion. How much safer does it get? Locations for dining rooms will be your suites, the outside air, and three separate interior dining areas. No one will be dining near anyone else, except your immediate group you came here with.
- Healthy staff only: Staff of Cameo Heights Mansion will have their temperatures taken at the beginning of each shift and sent home if their temperature is above normal. This information will be logged and kept on file. Employees are also required to stay home if they think they might have been exposed to someone with coronavirus, show any symptoms, have a cough, or feel sick in any way until they get a negative COVID examination or go seven days with no return of symptoms.
- Healthy guests only: Although we do not think it is appropriate to check temperature of arriving guests, we are asking that guests will take their own temperature before they plan to arrive. We do want them to know that all standard cancellations procedures are on hold such that guests will be given a gift certificate to return again within one year with no cost or penalty for last minute cancellations if they do not feel well or personally record a higher than normal temperature.
- All staff and management wear masks while at Cameo Heights Mansion anytime they are preparing food or in presence of other guests or employees.
- Guests are reminded by signs to wear masks: We post signs in four locations reminding guests to wear masks in public areas.
Emergency Cancellation Policy for Coronavirus
We are considering COVID related cancellations as an emergency situation where we will bypass our normal cancellation policy and assume full responsibility by providing a very liberal cancellation COVID cancellation policy. The following features and stipulations will apply in COVID related cancellations for an indefinite period of time:
- We will issue gift certificates of credit for the full total of payments, including the non-refundable deposit applied to any booking. (Please don’t ask or expect a refund of your non-refundable deposit or your full room payments. Very high numbers of cancellations make refunds impossible. The gift certificate insures that you will incur no financial loss if your stay is cancelled–only a delay until a more desirable date is selected.)
- This gift certificate will be useable without blackout dates or restrictions as credit for any future stay at our resort hotel. It comes with a one year expiration date from the date of your cancelled booking.
- When you rebook your stay with the COVID-19 related gift certificate, we will waive the standard requirement that every replacement stay must include a nonrefundable deposit payment of $100.
Now with Confidence, Book Away
Because of these very friendly cancellation terms, we hope to give you the confidence to book a stay at Cameo Heights Mansion. We ask every guest who has been exposed to someone with COVID, feels sick with any COVID symptoms, or has a fever to call and cancel. Employees know that they must not come to the Mansion if they area at ill or have been exposed to someone is ill until they can complete a negative COVID test. So if your personal situation is compromised or the public pressure is so high that you are not comfortable with a visit to our hotel, you will suffer no penalties or cancellation fees. You are the captain of your own boat and if you do not feel safe in a sea of worry and fear over contracting the virus, we have your back and will relieve you of that concern.
We will continue to follow the development of the coronavirus pandemic and provide an update whenever it seems appropriate.
What about trip insurance?
Though we normally recommend trip insurance to any guests who are concerned about the potential for last-minute changes to their travel plans, we seem persuaded that it is unlikely that many, if any at all, of the policies available will cover cancellations due to fear of contracting a virus. So we do not recommend that you purchase trip insurance for the sole purpose of protecting yourself against the potential decision to cancel if the pandemic threat becomes higher than you are comfortable dealing with. It is still a great way to protect yourself against other unforeseen events that could affect your trip – just make sure to read and fully understand the scope of any policy before making a purchase.
Alan & Deanne Fielding
Proprietors of Cameo Heights Mansion