For the past few years Liverpool’s hotel sector has continued to thrive.
The number of rooms has increased but so too has demand, with new hotels and accommodation providers opening up across the city region.
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown brought with it a host of challenges for the hotel industry but with lockdown measures being eased and people starting to travel again, the beds are starting to fill up once more.
Ronald George, General Manager at Heeton Concept Hotel
Heeton Concept Hotels opened their doors on 1st August after a soft rebrand meaning they were emerging from lockdown as a completely new offer. Here General Manager, Ronald George, tells us what it was like to rebrand during a pandemic.
What can you tell us about the new Heeton brand?
Heeton Hospitality UK is an exciting multinational company that currently operates various hotel brands in the UK and overseas. We endeavour to grow this new brand across the UK and Europe. Our brand aims to reflect and capture the local essence; each property emulates the neighbourhood story.
The team at Heeton Liverpool are on hand to bring to life the city’s effervescent character in every guest interaction and create meaningful memories. We’ll be incorporating some of that local Liverpool essence thanks to a mural feature in our lobby sketched by local artist Paul Curtis.
What can people expect when they visit Heeton?
We opened our doors on 1st August after a soft refurbishment. Along with our new self-check-in experience, we’ve also introduced various hygiene standards to keep your visit safe and welcoming as well as making sure we meet all of the COVID-19 guidelines.
We’ve worked to give our guests a greater confidence when staying with us as well ensuring we keep our teams protected and safe too.
What piece of advice would you give to your fellow hotels or other venues across the city who are preparing to reopen?
It needs to start with the team, make sure you keep the communication flowing. Uncertain times will unsettle team members and it’s critical to have them on board.
Also make sure you attend industry webinars and liaise with your fellow peers to understand the ever changing guidelines and its impact. Take the guidance seriously and see it through, which will help to build trust and confidence amongst your team and guests.
Kerry Smith, Business Development Manager, Quest Liverpool City Centre
Quest Liverpool City Centre offers guests self-contained, serviced apartments. When the pandemic hit, the Liverpool City Centre apartments were able to offer much-needed safe and contained accommodation for key workers across the city. We asked Business Development Manager, Kerry Smith, to tell us a little more about how lockdown has impacted them.
How has lockdown impacted Quest Liverpool?
The first quarter of 2020 was forecasting a bumper quarter until COVID-19 hit. The majority of guests due to government guidelines had to depart, however to support key workers every Quest property worldwide remained open. Fortunately the pandemic has brought us new clients in the key worker sector, which has followed on with infrastructure projects as restrictions have eased.
What can guests expect from Quest in the ‘new normal’?
As our apartments are self-contained, social distancing can easily be achieved, so our guests have had minimal disruption. We have new cleaning procedures in place based on government guidelines, and our team have face masks, but still the same smiles hidden behind.
What are your plans for the rest of the year as we navigate new challenges?
In the current circumstances, we are taking each day as it comes, our guest experience is at the heart of everything we do. Our priority is to keep our No.1 top spot on TripAdvisor rankings out of 106 hotels, a position we have managed to uphold for 8 months.
What piece of advice would you give to other hotels and venues across the city who are opening their doors once more?
The safety of your team and the guest experience must be at the focus of everything you do. Work together with associated partners to benefit the city, to “fall in love with Liverpool all over again”.
Thanks to Heeton Concept Hotel Liverpool and Quest Liverpool City Centre for answering our questions! Check back next week for part two.