COVID-19 Update

Dear Friends & Family,

At The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center, we feel a great sense of responsibility for the role we play in the lives of our guests and our community and assure you that we have become even more vigilant in practicing strong hygiene and sanitation protocols. We carefully follow all WHO, CDC and State of Iowa safety standards and recommendations and have added additional cleaning protocols above and beyond what is normally necessary to maintain safe sleeping, dining and working environments. Here are some of our COVID-19 plans to put your mind at ease.


Protecting Ourselves, Our Guests and Our Patrons:

  • The Merrill Hotel public spaces are cleaned throughout the day and all frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, counter tops, and doorknobs are routinely cleaned.
  • Targeted applications of non-toxic fogging disinfection is sprayed throughout the hotel, including the lobby, common areas, and guest room floors to provide immediate and long-term disinfection.
  • Social distancing practices apply if entering The Merrill Hotel. No one with COVID-19 symptoms is permitted to enter.   
  • Areas where guests or Artists queue are clearly marked for appropriate social distancing where possible.
  • Plexiglas barriers have been installed where needed.
  • All pens and key cards are sanitized after each use.
  • Signage is posted by the elevators to practice social distancing.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building and masks are available to guests upon request.
  • Molekule Air Mini+ air purification units are available for use in guest rooms. These devices capture particles and destroy bacteria, viruses, allergens, and mold in the air providing additional protection for our guests.
  • We are taking our Artists’ temperatures upon reporting for work using the CDC guideline of 100.4 degrees as defining a fever. Employees will be sent home if they have a fever and must stay fever-free for three days in order to return to work.
  • We practice good hand hygiene (minimum once/hour with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds).
  • Artists will not be shaking hands with guests or other Artists.


Housekeeping and Laundry Procedures:

  • We have reviewed our cleaning chemicals with our supplier, Ecolab, who has identified an all-purpose cleaner claiming effectiveness against “emerging viral pathogens.” 
  • The list of chemicals being used by Housekeeping can be viewed here and available to overnight guests.
  • Rooms left vacant for a minimum of three days are currently available upon request.
  • We have added additional wrapped, disposable cups to our guest rooms to use instead of glasses if desired.
  • Cribs are sanitized prior to being distributed and upon their return.
  • We have suspended Housekeeping service for stayover rooms. We can tidy rooms upon request.
  • Guests requiring replacement amenities or linens are asked to call the Front Desk and Housekeeping will deliver the items to the guest’s door. 
  • Additional trash can liners are being provided to guests to leave trash outside their door.
  • All bed linen, including mattress pads, comforters, pillows, and pillow protectors are being changed with each departure.
  • Artists use gloves to handle dirty linen and are being changed with each load and before handling clean linen.
  • Laundry bins are being sanitized after each load is emptied.


In Our Kitchen:

  • Access to all food handling and storage areas has been restricted to essential Artists only.
  • Current ServSafe Food Safety certifications are available for guests to view.
  • Our Culinary/Stewarding team practices social distancing, respecting assigned stations.
  • Disposable food handler gloves are used in food preparation.
  • Disinfecting procedures and logs have been implemented throughout the entire Food & Beverage operation.


In Our Restaurant:

  • Two Molekule Air Pro units can be found in Maxwell's On The River. Air Pro is a new kind of professional-grade air purifier, working fundamentally different from existing air purifiers by capturing and destroying a wider range of pollutants. Molekule does this by breaking down pollutants at the molecular level, destroying toxins like bacteria, viruses, allergens, and mold in the air.
  • Our floor plan has been reduced to 50% capacity. Seats are at least 6’ from any other seat at another table.
  • The number of smaller tables for two has been increased to facilitate social distancing.
  • No parties of more than eight people are permitted.
  • All menu items are dressed and garnished in the kitchen. No vessels intended to be shared will be offered.
  • All preset items have been removed. Silverware is rolled and delivered to the table once our guests are seated. Disposable, rolled, eco-friendly utensils are offered as an alternative if our guests prefer.
  • Disposable, eco-friendly plates and cups are also offered as an alternative.
  • If a straw is requested, only individually wrapped straws are used.
  • Food and beverage are delivered on a tray which has been sanitized.
  • All food menus are printed on single use paper with the wine list printed on the reverse and are disposed of after each guest departs.
  • All transactions are conducted with credit card or room charge only.


In-Room Dining:

  • Orders will be delivered in disposable containers. Disposable, rolled, eco-friendly cups, plates, utensils and napkins are used. Condiments will be served in pre-packaged containers only.
  • Delivery will be made outside the guest’s room by knocking, waiting for a response and leaving the package outside the room. Our Artists will not enter the room.
  • Return of used in-room dining items will be handled in the reverse order after our guest notifies us.


Special Precautions Taken with To-Go and Delivery Orders:

  • Orders will be delivered in disposable containers. Disposable, rolled, eco-friendly cups, plates, utensils and napkins are used.
  • Containers will be labeled and dated. Condiments will be served in pre-packaged containers only.
  • Curbside pick-up is available upon request.
  • We require transactions to be conducted with credit card or room charge only.


Like you, we are constantly evaluating our daily routines. We’re working on ways to adapt our service to maximize the safety of person-to-person contact without sacrificing attention. Of course, we meet or exceed all governmental requirements. The same is true with directives received from Hostmark, our management company, and our franchiser, Marriott International. 


The Artists of The Merrill Hotel and Maxwell’s On The River



Marriott Cancellation Policy + Commitment to Cleanliness

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