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.

Gatvoices #2

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.

Cool, alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin

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.

 
Friedrichshain

@shellfish

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

@artejulia

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.

For more on Friedichshain and Kreuzberg, visit https://whereis.gatrooms.com/travel-smart-in-berlin-friedichshain-kreuzberg/

Graefekiez

@culturetrip

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.

Treptow

@stewi

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. 

Don’t forget about other cool neighbourhoods such as Kreuzberg, Rixdorf, Schillerkiez and Neukolln. You can read all about them here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/kreuzberg-and-rixdorf-and-schillerkiez-in-neukolln/

GatVoices #1

At 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

It’s in 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 other side.

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.

The workshops 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.

Apparently, an 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:  I RAN!

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.

Fortunately, my 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.

Even better, 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.

So, don’t 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.

Healthy Brunches in Berlin

@koppsberlin

Berlin is a trendsetting city. When the brunch boom hit a few years ago, eateries here quickly found a way to offer a new type of customer‒ “those who brunch” ‒extensive options for high quality, healthy and locally-sourced food.

Kopps

@koppsberlin

According to The New York Times and CNN, this is one of the best vegan restaurants in the world. According to us, it’s a place where whatever you order, it’s bound to be delicious!

Brunch served: Saturday 09:30-16:00 and Sunday 09:00-16:00.

Hallesches Haus

@hallescheshaus

Located on Tempelhofer Ufer in the Kreuzberg district, Hallesches Haus is an eye-opening event space with a modern, industrial vibe that serves locally-sourced organic cuisine.

Brunch served: Saturday 10:00-18:00. Enjoy a cup of local roasted coffee, too.

Isla Coffee Berlin

@Islacoffeeberlin

This city oasis with a zen vibe set in the midst of a sometimes hectic Hermannstraße in Neukölln features a minimalist decor, locally-produced furniture and an abundance of plants. The brunches they serve at this “island” of calm are based on a no-waste philosophy: leftover milk foam is used as ricotta to make their bread pudding.

Brunch served: Weekends, 10:00-16:00.

Fine Bagels

@finebagels

This bakery produces traditional New York bagels in the heart of the Friedrichshain district. Perfect for enjoying lunch after browsing the extensive collection of English books at the Shakespeare and Sons bookstore, where it is located.

Open: Monday to Sunday 08:00-20:00.

Brammibal’s Donuts

@Brammibalsdonuts

Accompany these marvellous, homemade vegan doughnuts with a great cup of coffee after devouring a freshly toasted bagel. When it comes to brunch, anything goes. Open: Monday to Saturday 10:00-20:00. Sunday