Great results instead of great words: HotelPartner and the Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa
At an altitude of over 1800 metres, with a panoramic view of the Grisons Alps and the best service, the Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa has a lot to offer its guests. As early as 10 years ago, Bardhyl Coli, General Manager of the hotel, was convinced by HotelPartner’s professionalism and results driven approach and came to appreciate it. In this interview, he talks about what has changed in revenue management since then and the benefits he sees in this profitable cooperation.
Mr Coli, please tell us first: How did the collaboration with HotelPartner come about?
I remember the beginning very well: I heard about HotelPartner during a visit to a trade fair and then met Oliver Meyer, the founder of HotelPartner, in Davos. I invited him to the Waldhotel in Davos, which I was managing at the time. Oliver Meyer came across incredibly passionate about what he does: he displayed a lot of emotion, empathy and dynamism to the hotel and, filled with verve, he presented me with a detailed analysis of everything that was possible in terms of revenue management. As a very technical person, I was immediately eager to try out the suggestions. The words were not important, the results spoke for themselves. We trusted HotelPartner and just went for it. If it hadn’t worked, we wouldn’t have tried again, but it worked very well. As a result, we have been working together successfully on various projects for over ten years now.
Ten years of cooperation with HotelPartner is a long time. What has changed for you since the beginning of the cooperation?
Our revenue management has become more dynamic and professional. HotelPartner has worked professionally from the beginning and has managed to keep up with the constant developments in the market. One of the reasons for this is that the HotelPartner team has been undergoing continuous training. Above all, they have been able to listen to the needs of the hotel, discuss the challenges, present different options and then implement them in a way that suits us. In other words, they followed their words with actions. This also means that the experts at HotelPartner really understand the hotel. This is very much appreciated by our employees.
I would like to share an anecdote about one of my employees, that reflects this sentiment: A front office manager extended her probationary period for another three months after we decided to work with HotelPartner. She was not sure if she was up for the project with HotelPartner, mainly because of the extra work we had feared at the beginning. However, after the onboarding process, all her worries disappeared: In the end, she was very enthusiastic and even kept working for me for a total of six years.
hat were your expectations when you started working with HotelPartner?
We wanted to find the right answers to today’s technical challenges. We noticed that everything was getting more complex and especially for us hoteliers it is not always easy. As an individual hotel, it is important to buy in expert knowledge. This means not only getting answers to relevant questions, but also being presented with solutions. This is what I was hoping for when I started working with HotelPartner, and this has indeed been the case in all areas.
It is great that we have been able to meet all expectations so far. What internal processes have evolved at the hotel since we started working together and how has this affected the day-to-day work of the staff?
HotelPartner’s professionalism has made our daily work in the hotels much easier. This has contributed to the fact that the teams at the various hotels were quickly won over to working with HotelPartner and that this is now working very well. The internal processes have changed in that the weekly meetings are consistently defined with target achievement and clear benchmarks. We are very good at setting targets and objectives. The better structuring and improved time management in the hotel team has been very noticeable:. After more than ten years of working together, I can only confirm that there is always good harmony between the people responsible, both professionally and on an interpersonal level.
So, has this co-operation also had an impact on your work as a hotelier?
As hoteliers, we are basically on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so the most important thing for us is to have partners in our own ranks who, in turn, can support us 24 hours a day, all year round. HotelPartner does this very well. Another example of what I like about working with HotelPartner: In the past, it was difficult for us to find out about other hotels in the market. HotelPartner, through its cooperation with a number of hoteliers, has the relevant experience that helps us all. With HotelPartner, we now also have a partner who has a lot of experience in this area and can come up with effective technical solutions very quickly. We have thus brought important know-how into the company.
Also worth mentioning are our half-yearly strategy meetings with HotelPartner, where we jointly define a strategy for the coming six months and adopt elements from the past that worked well and optimise things that did not go so well. HotelPartner actively helps us with advice on what we could do differently. We also benefit from HotelPartner’s wealth of experience in working with other hoteliers.
We have already heard a lot about your experience of working together. In a nutshell: If you had to describe HotelPartner in a couple of words, what would they be?
The most extensive revenue management expertise in the hospitality industry.
- Cutting-Edge Technology:
Digital affinity and cutting-edge technology that can be understood by everyone from the receptionist to the hotel owner. The user experience is very good and that is very important.
The 100% reliability, coupled with the passion for further optimisations in a hotel’s price range, is what the HotelPartner team is all about.
And: We would confidently recommend HotelPartner to other hoteliers.
Thank you for the proverbial flowers. Finally, your personal view of the future: Are you optimistic or pessimistic? How do you see the hotel and catering sector developing?
Personally, I make a strong distinction between the city hotel industry and the leisure hotel industry. However, I believe that both sectors have a good to very bright future in Switzerland and the entire DACH region. The individuality of us private hoteliers will definitely be an advantage – it is also a question of authenticity. The younger generations in particular identify with current trends, nutritional awareness and a certain lifestyle. We as private hoteliers can satisfy this hunger for personal individuality, but of course we need good products to support us. In my opinion, the new generation is much more critical and knows exactly what it wants.
But we also have challenges, especially in terms of human resources. On the other hand, this development can also be seen as something positive: Especially those hotels that do a good to very good job have the chance to attract good staff, and the good people have the chance to find their way to a great employer.
A very optimistic conclusion. Thank you for the interview, Mr Coli!
About Bardhyl Coli:
The qualified hotelier, born in 1984, was host and director of the four-star superior “Waldhotel Davos” from June 2012 to May 2018. In May 2015, he also took over the management of the “Hotel Vitznauerhof”. Before moving to the two historic hotels, he was deputy director of the NH Hotel Berlin Mitte. Today, Coli is the host of the 5-star Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa and owner of the Gubelhof Suites and Kaffee Frech in Zug.
Brüttisellen/ZH, 24th of September 2022/Wolf-Thomas Karl