You and I shed a tear and feel for Italy and Spain as they have been locked up longer than me and you due to the coronavirus lockdown. They are not allowed outside at all. In the last 25 days, you and I often cry for the lives lost, but also for the economy. How many of you are unemployed right now?
Our government’s actions have changed our lives forever. We have crossed the Rubicon river and there is no turning back. Our lives will never be the same again.
I also dream of the so many amazing hotels I reviewed over the years, for you. It keeps me sane and is my refuge during this surreal part of my life. Economically as a globe, we are the Titanic, sinking fast. You and I know this is an event going down in history.
When will you and I be allowed outside? When can you and I get back to work? When will I review another hotel for 2020? When will YOU, be able to book and stay in a hotel?
Hotel Closures/Job Losses
Since 2015 I have been reviewing luxury hotels across the globe, around 260 to be exact. It is a job I learned and created myself. I carved a very niche way of reviewing hotels. This was so much fun, I love thinking outside the box. So you could be enticed to book a stay. I met amazing hosts along the way. On some occasions made good long-lasting friendships. You and I agree friendship during this pandemic is the only thing holding us all together. I loved turning up and experiencing different ambiance, locations, and unknown adventures along the way.
One of my favourite part was people messaging me, stating they booked a stay thanks to my review.
The whole point of my job is that people book a stay. So it keeps people in their workplace. I knew coronavirus, was going to affect my work. I understood that and overnight I was jobless. I also review cars at the same time and lost that opportunity as well. Travel is one of the hardest sector suffering.
If you have lost your job I know that fear, numb feeling and shock you are going through.
It is heartbreaking to get e-mails constantly from luxury hotels around the globe, explaining they are no longer open. I feel their economical pain and uncertainty. I also empathise for those who want to book a luxury hotel later and can’t.
For the last few days I can’t fathom the economic suicide we are experiencing regarding the hotel sector and travel as a whole. I also ponder with a heavy heart which hotels will survive this? How many people will be jobless? Who will be around as a luxury hotel that I know?
As new bookings fell off a cliff and cancellations came flooding in, Max Walker-Williams, the founder and director of family-run boutique hotel group Walker & Williams, was forced to act quickly to preserve jobs and save the business.
Walker-Williams says: “The atmosphere is almost post-apocalyptic, it’s very quiet. It’s a shame because the hotels are normally buzzing with with life and movement, noise and people, and there’s none of that. It’s just absolute silence.” – Telegraph
My Favourite Hotel Over The Years
I get asked this all the time which was and are my memorable moments regarding hotel review. For me, it has and always will be about the people. Can you imagine as a hotelier the pressure and shock they are going through right now?
Hutson says his biggest concern as a hotelier is not knowing when normality resume. He says: “The way it looks to me, we’re definitely not going to be back to normal in three months. “There has been some talk that as a strategy Government might turn the tap on and off a little bit and increase the amount of social interaction.
“To be honest, that doesn’t really help us, when you’ve got 800 staff you can’t half employ them. We’re not the sort of business that you can turn on and off.”
For me, hotels has and always will be about the people that serve me. Their hospitatlity is priceless.
How on earth can anyone meet these criteria in the hotel sector? I have been banging my head against a brick wall regarding future bookings and stays. The current social distancing rule is 2 meters and some say 4 meters. When I am staying at a hotel I also experience the restaurant which is normally 80% booked and on some occasions holding at least 40 people in one room. If the rule is anything to go by on average there will be only 10 people in a room. From past experiences, boutique hotels are much smaller. The restaurant may close altogether. Part of the luxury stay in a hotel is eating and drinking at the bar.
The bar is such a fabulous place to meet new people. Engage with new business opportunities and also try some new trending drinks. Where am I going to get my cocktail now? What is going to be my hotel social outlet?
I have plenty of time to come up with a strategy working with hotels on this. Where there is a will, there will be a way.
Call To Action – The Big Ask
When hotels will be open for business is anyone guesses. When people like me are bold enough to book a trip is also the billion-pound economic challenge. For those who can afford it what can we all do to help? There is always our favorite hotel that we all like to return too. So I suggest you won’t and can’t travel out of your country let alone too far from home. Keep your stay as local as possible. The reason for this is more so than ever, after coming out of lockdown, you will be hearing stories that one could not even dream of. I know when I come out of this difficult stage of being cooped up inside, I will never be the same person again, none of us will.
Remember my dear friends, we are writing and living history like never before,
Don’t book too far in advance, because the medical experts are warning that lockdown will be seasonal, unknown and part of our lives until we find a cure or antiviral.
In the past, I had a passion to do my job well. I adored meeting the owners, managers, and staff all around the globe. Hotels are always about the community.
Now my mission is to keep this industry afloat. So when I and you have the chance to book a stay. Your booking is not only about you. Your choice of a hotel stay is about feeding other families, supporting local industries.
I have learned so far that this pandemic has made me realise how small the world has become. More so than ever a luxury hotel stay is like being home away from home. We are all fighting the good unknown fight.
During this unprecedented time, in your “armchair travel”. Please plan for a future that seems very far away! By going back to visiting our favorite places and staying in the hotels we love once again.