Hotel and Resort Press Releases

WELL Health-Safety Rating Supports Hotel & Resort Leaders in Getting Back to Business

WELL Health-Safety Rating Supports Hotel & Resort Leaders in Getting Back to Business

Rating criteria for facility operations and management informed by WELL Advisory for Hotels and Resorts, representing leading hospitality organizations worldwide.

NEW YORK (September 29, 2020) — Hotels and resorts worldwide can now register for the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation focused on the ways buildings and spaces can help protect people’s health and well-being. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations prepare their spaces for re-entry in a post COVID-19 environment.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating includes insights collected through the WELL Advisory for Hotels and Resorts – comprised of representatives from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels (among others listed below) – along with co-chairs Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States, and Stacey Rizza, M.D., Professor of Medicine-Infectious Disease and President of the Staff at Mayo Clinic Rochester.

“Hotels and resorts are among the hardest hit by COVID-19,” says Rachel Gutter, IWBI President. “By earning the WELL Health-Safety Rating seal, properties signal to guests and employees that evidence-based protocols, grounded in science, have been adopted and verified with third-party document review.”

The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators through third-party document review. The criteria are organized within the below 5 categories: 

  • Cleaning and Sanitization Procedures
  • Emergency Preparedness Programs
  • Health Service Resources
  • Air and Water Quality Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

“The hospitality industry has taken great steps to establish guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the centralization of best practices across many disciplines,” says Michael Dominguez, CEO of Association of Luxury Hotels International. “This is an opportunity for property owners and operators to extend their work with third-party documentation review, which is a critical step in verifying the adoption of these practices.” 

Participation in the program requires submission of policies, protocols and plans for third-party document review and annual verification. Upon achieving the designation, IWBI will issue the property a WELL Health-Safety Rating seal. The WELL Health-Safety Rating draws on principles established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for healthy real estate, which has already surpassed 630 million square feet in registrations across 63 countries since inception. The WELL Building movement has been further amplified by over 12,000 WELL Accredited Professionals (APs) and registrants across the globe.

Initial members of the WELL Advisory for Hotels and Resorts include, among others:


  • Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States


  • Stacey Rizza, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease and President of the Mayo Clinic Staff, Rochester, MN



WELL Advisory Members

  • Aimbridge Hospitality, Elie Khoury, EVP, Operations
  • Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Rachel Humphrey, COO, Franchise Relations
  • Association of Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), Michael Dominguez, CEO
  • Avison Young Hospitality, Andrew Broad, Principal
  • Benchmark Global Hospitality, Eric Gavin, Chief Sales Officer
  • Caruso, Banyon Hutter, Senior Vice President, Security
  • Diamond Rock, Tom Healy, CEO
  • Frasers Hospitality, Mark Chan, COO
  • Hart Howerton, Tim McCarthy, AIA, Partner & Managing Principal
  • Hersha Hospitality Trust, Matthew Lobach, Director, Sustainability
  • Highgate, Sam Grabush, President, Hotel Operations
  • Hospitality Design Magazine and Emerald Design Group, Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Editor-in-Chief & SVP
  • inHovate Solutions – Jalil Mekouar, Founder & CEO
  • Inn at Moonlight Beach – Shangwen Chiu Kennedy, Owner
  • Jani-King International, Eric Newburn, Director of Hospitality
  • Kana Hotel Group, Alpesh Patel, Owner
  • Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Bill Linehan, CEO of Premier Worldwide Marketing (exclusive sales/mktg provider for Karisma)
  • Loews Hotels & Co, Jenny Lucas, SVP Operations
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa & Wellness
  • Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Michael Evans, President
  • Montage International, Tina G. Necrason, Executive Vice President, Residential
  • Oxford Capital Group, LLC, John W. Rutledge, Founder, President & CEO
  • Sage Hospitality Group, Daniel Del Olmo, President, Sage Hotel Management
  • Sentry Companies, The, Mark Magarity, Chairman and CEO
  • Starwood Capital Group, Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Global Head of Hotel Asset Management
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts – David Kellam, Vice President, Construction; and Jennifer Mehra, Senior Design Manager


About the International WELL Building Institute

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. WELL v2 is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness for everyone, everywhere. For more information about IWBI and WELL, visit us here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, The WELL Conference, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Workforce, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WE ARE WELL, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.