A regional alliance contributes to a new understanding of hygiene

How a hotel in Thuringia made use of the opportunities available in this time of crisis to redefine standards of hygiene across


A lot of importance is placed on the spirit of community in the region of the Thuringian Forest. Local industries stick together and collectively develop innovative ideas: Improving the hygiene of door handles in the boutique hotel “Schieferhof” in Neuhaus am Rennweg by means of an antimicrobial coating by the company GBneuhaus GmbH is one such example of solidarity and mutual co-operation. This makes the hotel a pioneer in terms of hygiene across the continent.

Usually, the “Schieferhof” – a 4-star hotel at the heights of the Thuringian Forest – is well sought-after by tourists and individuals on business trips from all over the world. Guests appreciate the unique combination of tradition, nature, design and hospitality. A sophisticated kitchen only adds to the hotel’s charm and even draws in locals from the Rennsteig region as well. It therefore comes as no surprise that the hotel enjoys a large number of visitors all year round.

The Corona crisis hit hotel operators Rita Worm-Horn and her husband Lutz M. Horn hard: Tourism came to a standstill from one day to the next; serving guests was prohibited mid-March onwards in Thuringia by a new government regulation. Tough luck for the couple; but still no reason to bury one’s head in the sand. They decided to use the opportunites they found in the current crisis and sought out an exchange of thoughts with other companies in the region.

In the local network „obenauf-thueringen“, firms and their representatives know and respect each other and try to support one another. The companies exchange experiences and ideas; together, they foster cultural events, sports, voluntary work and education in the Rennsteig area. Constructive ideas to deal with the current situation came up quickly from this mutual co-operation. An empty hotel doesn’t bring in profits, but on the other hand represents a chance to initiate changes that are tough to implement when hotel activities are running in full swing.  

One such suggestion to support the “Schieferhof” in Neuhaus in finding its way out of the Corona situation stronger than before came from Michael Petry, Managing Director of GBneuhaus. The company provides a wide range of functional coatings for various kinds of surfaces. Without further ado, the door handles in the hotel were upgraded with an antimicrobial coating in order to offer future guests increased hygiene and safety and to set an example as a pioneer across Europe. The door handles in the “Boutique Hotel Residenz” in Masserberg, also owned by the couple Worm/Horn, are all set to be coated as well.

The specially developed coating “SANPURE” was applied to the door handles in the factory halls of the GBneuhaus, not far from the “Schieferhof” itself, by means of a spray coating process. “Once the coating hardens, the silver ions contained in the nanosilver have a lifelong antimicrobial effect; they neutralize bacteria, germs and fungi and effectively prevent their spread”, says Michael Petry. Additionally, past scientific studies have also proved the effectiveness of nanosilver against viruses.

Petry and his team are aware that dangerous pathogens don’t just pose a massive problem in hotels, but threaten hygiene in other areas too: “With our coating, we can provide a distinctly higher level of hygiene in many areas of public life as well.”

Rita Worm-Horn is pleased at the idea of making use of the opportunities currently available in the hospitality industry in spite of many other difficulties present. Her motto is to take action instead of just waiting for the crisis to pass. She is convinced that safety and hygiene will be high on guests’ priority lists in the future. With its newly coated door handles, the hotel in Neuhaus am Rennweg is not only a pioneer for numerous other establishments in the hospitality industry, but also an ideal for the betterment of hygiene at petrol pumps, in public transport or in medical institutions – to the satisfaction of visitors and guests.

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