The good times will come again

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.

Berlin & Lisbon Christmas Markets: Feel the Christmas Spirit!

Berlin and Lisbon, despite being very different cities, share a common denominator: both enjoy the Christmas spirit. If you’re thinking of spending the Christmas holidays in one of these destinations, we recommend you check out their Christmas markets.

Continue reading “Berlin & Lisbon Christmas Markets: Feel the Christmas Spirit!”

Festas de Santo António

June in Lisbon is a synonym of celebrations and happiness, with balconies full of flowers. Coloured flags cross the streets from side to side. The smell of grilled sardines impregnates everything, and the music coming from any window acts as a reminder that Lisbon gets dressed up in June to celebrate its main festivity: Santo António.

Starting with a large popular parade with marching bands and joyful songs, the streets in the city centre fill with people. The “arraiais” –open-air dances in patios that are decorated with Chinese lanterns and bunting, where baked sardines are served to the sound of the music- share the city with more than a dozen stages that fill it with music, theatre, workshops and exhibitions over three weeks. Finally, on the 30th, a spectacular fireworks display is held over the Tajo river to mark the end of the festivities. The city, and especially the Alfama neighbourhood, is a real Portuguese-style party.

 

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Interesting facts

Every year, several brides and grooms are given the privilege of getting married at a mass wedding held at Lisbon Cathedral under the protection of Santo António, who is also the patron of love and marriage. This tradition began in the 50s as an opportunity to get married for anyone who could not afford a wedding.

Furthermore, it is traditional in Portugal for single youngsters to hang an upside-down image of Santo António in their windows to help them find their soul mate and become one of the brides or grooms to get married in the unique setting of Lisbon Cathedral.

   

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If you’re planning to spend your holidays in Lisbon, June is your month and, of course, Gat Rossio is your hotel 🙂

 

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En Lisboa junio es sinónimo de fiesta y alegría, los balcones se llenan de flores. Los banderines de colores atraviesan las calles de lado a lado. El olor a sardinas a la brasa lo impregna todo, y la música que sale desde cualquier ventana nos recuerda que durante el mes de junio, Lisboa se pone bonita para celebrar su fiesta grande: San Antonio.

 

Comenzando con un gran desfile popular animado por bandas marchantes y cantos de júbilo, las calles del centro de la ciudad se llenan de gente. Los «arraiais» –verbenas en patios que se decoran con farolillos y guirnaldas para servir sardinas asadas al son de la música– comparten la ciudad con más de una decena de escenarios que la llenan de música, teatro, talleres y exposiciones a lo largo de tres semanas donde finalmente, el día 30, se celebra  un espectáculo pirotécnico sobre el Tajo que ponen fin a la celebración, la ciudad, y sobre todo el barrio de Alfama, es una auténtica verbena a la portuguesa.

 

Curiosidades

Todos los años, unas cuantas parejas de novios tienen el privilegio de casarse en una boda masiva celebrada en la Catedral de Lisboa, al amparo de San Antonio, que también ejerce como garante del amor y del matrimonio. Esta tradición comenzó en los años 50, como una oportunidad de contraer matrimonio para aquellas parejas que no podían costearse una boda.

Por otro lado, es tradición en Portugal que los jóvenes solteros cuelguen en sus ventanas una imagen de San Antonio bocabajo, para ver si así les busca una media naranja con la que convertirse en uno de esos novios o novias que pueden casarse en un escenario único como la Sé de Lisboa.

 

Si planeas venir de vacaciones a Lisboa, junio es tu mes y, obviamente, Gat Rossio tu hotel 🙂

The Carnival of Cultures begins on 2 June in Berlin

Visiting Berlin at this time of year is a great idea: starting in June, we can enjoy the Berlin Carnival of Cultures (Karneval der Kulturen).

This festival takes place every year during the Pentecost week and is a celebration of cultural diversity. This year, the celebrations will kick off on Friday 2 June with the Street Fest, the carnival’s main attraction. Continue reading “The Carnival of Cultures begins on 2 June in Berlin”

Where are… the best cafeterias in Berlin?

If you happen to be in Berlin for ITB, which is the Leading Travel Trade Show and you love coffee as much as we do, then you should take a look at this coffee guide we have prepared for you! Let the coffee breaks between work be as awesome as possible while visiting these 10 great places.  Continue reading “Where are… the best cafeterias in Berlin?”