TWO ASIAN AMERICAN hoteliers in Tucson, Arizona, are taking a chance that their new boutique hotel will open this summer to crowds looking for a safe escape from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tuxon will be the first hotel under Marriott International’s Design Hotels brand in Arizona when it opens and will be designed with cleanliness and safety measures in place.
The 112-room Tuxon, owned by Vishal and Sunny Patel, will incorporate elements of the local Mexican and Native American cultures as well as displays from local artists with a desert theme. It also will provide remote check-in options that promote social distancing.
“We continue to take all of the proactive steps needed to ensure a safe and clean environment,” Vishal said. “Prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and future guests remains of the upmost importance.”
The Tuxon also will implement Marriott’s new cleaning protocols, set by its newly formed Global Cleanliness Council, from the beginning of its operations. Other COVID-19 inspired safety features include a a V-shaped, open-air design that allows guests to park near their rooms for entry without going through the lobby. It’s also arranging the furniture in the lobby to allow for more space.
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking through from a safety standpoint first and foremost for our employees, our team, which includes our various partners, and then certainly our guests,” Sunny told USA Today.
The boutique hotel’s focus on providing a local experience led to its inclusion in the Design Hotels collection, said Markus Schreyer, Design Hotels’ senior vice president for the Americas and business innovation. More than 400 hotels apply to join the portfolio every year but only 5 percent are approved.
“As our first member in Arizona, we can’t wait to share this hotel and the incredibly rich destination with our global community,” Schreyer said. “Originals Vishal Patel and Sunny Patel have tapped into exactly the values we hold: a socially-centered hub deeply rooted in its surroundings.”
The hotel’s other amenities include a cactus garden and desertscape along with a boomerang-shaped pool. Nearby attractions include Sentinel Peak, known as the “birthplace of Tucson,” along with hiking and bicycle trails. However, Vishal and Sunny are aware of the difficulty of opening in the current environment.
“We’re fully expecting it to be tough sailing early on as travel still is in the process of bottoming. But I think we have an amazing product and there’s nothing like it in Tucson and I think that between how our property is set up and how we are positioned, I think we expect to do very well over time,” Vishal Patel told USA Today.