Hotel bosses are busy planning how they will reopen their doors once restrictions on overnight stays are lifted in May.

Staff at The Park Royal Hotel are expecting double the number of weddings this year after couples were forced to cancel or postpone their nuptials last year.

General manager Mark Illingworth says the phones haven’t stopped ringing since the Prime Minister’s announcement last week, with customers keen to make plans and put dates in their diaries for afternoon teas, weekend breaks and spa treatments.

Across the Q Hotels Group, which includes The Park Royal, the military operation for reopening includes 11,756 pillows needing to be fluffed, 298 metres of swimming pools to clean and 250 meeting rooms to prep with 212 weddings due to take place once hotels are open.

Mark said: “The demand is going to be huge.

“We are expecting the biggest number of guests, probably ever, as people breathe a sigh of relief after lockdown and plan to go out, enjoy a pampering session or leisure break as well as overnight stays and weekends away like never before.

“So we need to be ready!”

Since the announcement about the easing of restrictions, Q Hotels has received an influx of calls from customers eager to make a reservation – much higher than anticipated and above the normal call volumes for this time of year.

Mark added: “We have seen a huge surge in bookings already and a bigger take up than ever for that first week of “unlock”.

“Not only is this due to the freedom break but we’ve launched some special deals to welcome customers back.”

Employees at the Q Hotels Group have been planning for reopening for more than six months so they aren’t phased by the scale of task.

Some hotels in the group have been open for essential stays for key workers throughout the pandemic, but the task facing staff is still challenging.

Mark said: “There are huge challenges in re-opening a hotel.

“Most people don’t realise the enormity of the task but thousands of staff across the group have been rehearsing for this moment for some time and we have already swung in to action.”

Guests can be assured of their safety during a visit to one of the company’s hotels following accreditation by Shield Safety Group, as part of the group’s Clean and Safe programme.