VarUnik has spoken with the new CEO and hotel owner Therese Liljequist who acquired the historic hotel in Waxholm in the middle of the pandemic. Together with her employees, Therese has developed a corona-adapted Christmas and New Year concept to make guests feel safe and secure. Furthermore, they have developed new services to look after the restaurant guests who cannot visit them during these times, or for the guests who want to quarantine themselves before Christmas.
Changed guidelines and new challenges are part of everyday life in the ongoing pandemic. Safety and the ability to keep distance from other guests are of paramount importance as well as cleaning and hand sanitizer. Vaxholm’s hotel clearly communicate on their website how they work preventively so that guests can feel safe and the Visitas program – Safe to visit is clearly presented. In a personal letter from Therese, she also gives her own description of how she and the staff work to make it as safe as possible and how they constantly adapt to changes and new announcements.
Therese and her team have expanded the service during Christmas and New Year to maintain as much normality as possible and make the most of this important income generative period. The Christmas buffet has been replaced by four different seating options and the buffet has been removed. A Christmas table is served at each party table receiving a very nice response from the guests.
─ The guests especially like (in addition to the food itself) to be able to sit in peace and eat the different dishes at their own pace, talk, avoid getting up, queuing and fetching food with others. They want us to continue the same concept next year, says Therese.
In addition, take away with Christmas food is offered for pick up to those who prefer eating at home. A concept that led to more orders both now and in the remaining part of December.
Therese says that they have also created a full-service quarantine package for people who want to quarantine themselves before Christmas, so that they can safely and securely go home to their loved ones. The package consists of a full-service hotel stay with 3 meals a day and access to wi-fi, so you can easily work as usual. The first three rooms checked in yesterday, she says with enthusiasm.
The Waxholm hotel has also come up with a new version of New Year’s Eve celebrations. The hotel has gone “all in” and created a unique New Year’s concept, with three different New Year’s sittings, in three different time zones. Australian New Year “Sydney Down Under” goes first, then comes Asian “One night in Bangkok” and finishes with Middle East Dubai – “The Biggest night” starting at 18.00 and ends with New Year’s bowl at. 21:00. You can benefit from the whole day and stay within the restrictions on not serving alcohol after 22.00 given this concept. Outside guests could then celebrate the New Year at home if desired.
We note that the entire team at Waxholm’s hotels see opportunities and have the ability to find new ways to conduct their hotel operations despite the pandemic with major challenges for the hotel industry. Therese explains how they succeed in these tough times;
─ It is not in my personality to give up. I am triggered by challenges and always try to see opportunities and focus on what I can influence. I have the best bunch of colleagues helping me and together we come up with these ideas and constantly try to develop our offer and be a little better every day. We have had a good summer and autumn despite the Corona virus but with the last restrictions the cancellations came unfortunately at a fast pace. All conferences and group bookings disappeared overnight. It is incredibly tough and challenging but as mentioned it is important to see the opportunities.
And as she writes on the website;
─ A hotel is nothing without its guests. It’s not just a house where you rent a room – there is so much more!