The COVID-19 virus pandemic caught us by surprise here at Gatrooms, during a period of high occupancy, investments and improvement projects. Things were going smoothly, but then all of sudden our world changed. Like everyone else, we have reacted as quickly and efficiently as possible to the current situation.
People say that change is good, but it can also be painful.
In our case, the Gatrooms philosophy has taught us a valuable lesson: you can always be more flexible than you think. Until now, we believed that being flexible was making sure our guests had everything they needed during their stay. Recently, all that has changed: guests can now cancel their reservation if they are unable to travel and rebook their stay for whenever they think they will finally be able to make it to the city.
If there was any room for improvement in terms of cleanliness and hygiene, we have made changes; we have doubled down on cleaning measures in the rooms; and dispensers filled with hand sanitizing fluid have been installed throughout the hotel. We also make sure that the safety distance of 1½ meters between staff or guests is maintained in the communal areas such as Reception or the breakfast room. Perhaps, after all this, people will continue to use sanitizer and take more care to wash their hands thoroughly.
We have also changed the way we work: the team at Head Office currently work from home and the hotel staff take every precaution to avoid spreading or being infected by the virus, following the safety guidelines published by the World Health Organization to the letter.
If any changes are made or new orders given by the authorities, we will be sure to accept them fully and put them into place at Gatrooms immediately. But we will worry about that if and when the time comes‒for now, let’s all keep positive and look forward to when the lockdown is lifted, and we can greet and hug each other freely again.
At Gat Rossio we promise you an unforgettable, worry-free break. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go to plan, but our Maintenance Manager Carlos Viegas knows how to provide guests with a perfect hotel stay: he quickly and efficiently solves any technical problems that may arise to make sure that nothing gets in the way of fun and relaxation. Carlos is known for his professionalism and doing his job with a smile!
In this poem, Carlos tells us that the secret is that he loves what he does at Gat Rossio, even if he is sometimes dragged out of bed on his day off!
Usually, if you like what you’re doing, you’re doing just that: doing what you like. It’s not really work, it’s passion.
If you work with passion, it becomes love. You no longer get tired or stressed; you always find a way out.
When you don’t get tired doing what you do, you have more time, space and energy for yourself and others.
When you’re not caught in the illusion of time, you have more of it to dedicate to yourself and those around you.
If you don’t have time for yourself ‒ to create, to care, to love ‒ what do you have left to offer?
If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others and appreciate them or learn with them?
If you can’t find what it takes inside you, do you intend to find it on the outside or in others and let life choose for you?
If you rely on others’ opinions and incentives, good or bad days, where is your freedom?
I believe that if we make mistakes or fail sometimes, we should unconditionally accept, forgive and love the most important person in our lives: ourselves!
The important thing is to do the best you can. Even in difficult situations, we should cooperate and stop pointing fingers.
There is plenty of
contrast in our selection of alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin that are well
worth discovering: some have a revolutionary punk past, while others are
defined by their Art Nouveau architecture from the early 20th century. What
makes them all interesting is the way they have capitalized on their history
and adapted to become modern communities with plenty to offer.
Traditionally the epicentre of alternative culture in the German capital, this area is famous for the riots that took place here after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The buildings that were once occupied by activist squatters have now been converted into elegant boutiques and coffee shops. However, the neighbourhood’s revolutionary vibe can still be found in places such as the RAW complex, a collection of artistic spaces and events venues with an industrial flair.
Kreuzberg was the heart of West Berlin punk with squats such as Kopi and SO36, which are still standing today. While the neighbourhood still has a slightly non-conformist feel, it is very much part of the hipster scene. The indoor Markthalle Neun offers food from around the world on Street Food Thursdays.
At first sight, this looks like a bohemian neighbourhood that has rigorously preserved its historic buildings. When you dig deeper, you learn that behind the Art Nouveau façade lies Berlin’s tech centre, packed with startups and bars that accept bitcoin as payment. The Admiral Bridge is the perfect spot for a picnic.
This neighbourhood is
a green paradise thanks to its numerous parks, including Planterwald and Treptower Park.
If you take a stroll down streets like Lohmühlenstraße, you are likely to come
across new-age nomadic workers bent over their laptops in hipster coffee shops.
At night, the indoor Treptow Arena hosts concerts and parties, making it the
hottest venue in East Berlin.
In every Lisbon
neighbourhood, there is always at least one coffee shop that offers a large
selection of plant-based milks or desserts to suit any type of diet. There are
also poetry recitals or other art events, hair salons with an industrial vibe,
markets that sell goods made by small craft businesses, organic food markets, graffiti-covered
walls or live street music. Whichever neighbourhood you decide to visit, you
will always discover something new.
Village Underground Lisboa, a co-working space and arts venue built with
shipping containers and old buses. The Village is a true work of art itself,
and is also sustainable.
industrial area is now home to beer factories, coffee shops, restaurants and
the huge events venue, Fábrica Braço de Prata. It is also perfect for
exploring on an urban art tour.
quarter boasts narrow streets and spectacular views over the Tagus River that
can be enjoyed from one of the many lookout points. It is also the ideal place
to really delve into the local culture by browsing the Feria de Ladra
second-hand market, for example.
birthplace of fado music is packed with little streets that lead to
traditional fado music houses or restaurants and bars that serve
international cuisine. This neighbourhood also holds other treasures for you to
uncover, such as the smallest bookstore in the world.
neighbourhoods are defined by their rich cultural offer. Discover
English-language bookstores and parks and gardens for reading them in, markets
that sell delicious fresh fruit and a thriving alternative nightlife scene.
From Saldanha, make your way down to Praça Martim Moniz to make the most of
this neighbourhood, too.
the Gatrooms hotels in Lisbon and Berlin, we think of our teams as superhumans
working hard to offer our guests the perfect hotel experience. This task can
sometimes be challenging, but they always nail it in the end. In order to reveal
what goes into creating “the perfect stay at Gatrooms hotels”, we have created
a forum for our staff to describe their everyday life at work.
The day my world turned dark by João Martins
adversity that we show the world what kind of person we truly are. This phrase
has been repeated and shared so many times that it has become a cliché. But
clichés are only clichés because they’re true (up to a point).
This rang very
true to me last year, on a day that can only be described as #$””! hell but
that taught me that I was capable of going through all of it and making it to the
For those who don’t
know me, I work in Sales & Marketing at Gat Rossio. Among the many things I
do, I supervise events from start to end to make sure all our clients’ needs are
met. That was what I was doing with a series of workshops on SEO, Google
Adwords and Analytics being led by two of the most talented professionals I
have ever met. If I hadn’t been working, I would have gladly paid to take part and
grow as a professional.
had been going on for a couple of weekends, but that day, as I arrived at the
hotel at 7:30 in the morning, I saw from the outside that all the lights were
off. The first #$%=? of the day escaped my lips and that wonderfully terrible
word would continue to accompany me throughout the day.
electrical issue had occurred late the night before, and the hotel had lost
everything, and I mean EVERYTHING: no electricity, no water, no phones, no Wi-Fi.
The little power we were somehow able to produce with backup generators was
directed towards the breakfast room. Guests walked the hallways in eerie calm
using phones to light their way. What struck me was the silence: no background
music, no machines whirring, no talking. Nothing.
And in the midst
of it all, my greatest concern was the fact that in two hours’ time I would
have to have a tech-based workshop up and running, with no power available. My
colleagues had been working overtime since 03:00 to try and get things working.
So, I did what
any rational person would do in this situation:
Well…not quite. First,
I went to speak with the organizers to advise them of the situation and assure them
that I was going to make it work. Then I ran.
I ran into the
streets, visiting the surrounding hotels in the area to see if they had any space
available, how much it would cost, and so on. I was chasing solutions.
I found one at
International Design Hotel; their team were my salvation, particularly David
and the maintenance team, who helped me set everything up. I was a sweaty,
cursing, adrenaline-fueled mess but I was moving forward.
Once my solution
was ready, I ran back, hoping against all hope that my clients and their students
would be open to the idea and that the issue had been resolved so that
everything could return to the original plan.
clients are some of the best people I have ever met. Seriously, if I had been in
their shoes, I would not have been as calm! They were happy with the solution,
and enjoying the change of pace, I walked with them to the hotel and talked
with some of them, turning the walk into a tour. When they were settled, I kept
watch to make sure everything was working as planned. Two hours later a miracle
took place: the hotel was fixed and all was well with the world.
although the clients liked the new space, they considered my hotel their headquarters
and said they would prefer to return there after lunch.
And return we
did. As they settled in and I entered into a more relaxed state of mind, I
could only be in awe of the day, of myself, and of these fantastic people that
had helped me set up alternatives and that didn’t explode in righteous anger at
their day being ruined by something outside of anyone’s control.
The only control
I had over that day was over myself and how I handled and reacted to events,
and I’m proud to say I did quite alright.
despair when life comes at you with a total blackout. Things might not go as
well as they did for me, but keep moving forward and do your best so you can
end your day tired, but with your head held high. Don’t stop trying.