If any year deserves a review, it's probably this one. It was a bizarre year with many ups and downs. The topic of Corona virus has kept everyone pretty busy, including us. The past twelve months have been filled with many challenges, but also many small bright spots. Uncertainly turned into a changed mindset and an awareness of togetherness was created. Now it is time to pause and look back. We will review the year and take you with us on our journey.
Let's start with the last minutes of 2020: A quiet house with locked doors and complete silence in the corridors. This is not what we were used to in our house. There hasn't been a year so far where life hasn't pulsated in every corner of the house and everything has stood still. To have no guests in the house and a pandemic with lockdown at the door? A rather disconcerting feeling. Especially since we are hosts with heart and soul. Unfortunately, the lockdown didn't let us follow our passion, so especially the initial months were hard for us. However, we didn't let ourselves get rattled and looked forward to the future with hope. So this is how we start the year 2021 at the Empire Riverside Hotel.
March - The digital check-in
While our doors were closed due to the lockdown, we continued to work constantly to provide you with even more comfort when we reopened. Because we always pursue the goal of becoming better. To make that happen, we took advantage of the time in lockdown and tackled many small construction sites. From renovation work in the building to optimizing our processes. This also allowed us to launch the digital check-in. Because since the beginning of the year, it is possible to check in directly and easily online just before arrival. In a few steps, you save valuable time and can pick up your key card directly at the reception upon arrival. Not only is the check-in process faster and more convenient, but the environment also benefits from online check-in. Because apart from the time in the pandemic, we used up to 500 kg of paper annually, which can now be saved.
Der digitale Check-In
May - Our apprentice apartments on the St. Pauli
Towards the middle of 2021, the mood became somewhat more positive and slowly there was light at the end of the tunnel. The long-awaited end of the lockdown was approaching. One of our heart projects also ended and filled us with pride, because we and our sister hotel Hotel Hafen Hamburg can jointly present 36 new trainee apartments. Who doesn't know it, the housing shortage in Hamburg and being constantly on the lookout. To ensure that our apprentices have at least one worry less and do not have to run from one apartment viewing to the next, we have supported them and tried to build them a piece of familiar home on 19m². So our apprentices not only have the opportunity to live centrally and in the middle of St. Pauli, but can also make new contacts and friends in the common rooms. Especially for those who have just moved to Hamburg and are still strangers, this is a great possibility
May - The reopening
On May 25, the gates of our hotel were opened again and a fresh breeze blew into the Empire Riverside Hotel. The excitement in the air was palpable. We were now open again after a month-long break and were delighted to see the first business travelers visiting our hotel. But it was even more gratifying when, from June 3, tourist trips were allowed again and we saw you walking in. To ensure that your safety is always guaranteed in our hotel and that you feel safe, we had already developed a comprehensive hygiene concept in the months beforehand. This allowed us to guarantee an unforgettable and safe stay in our hotel when it reopened. Despite the continuing restrictions of the city and the situation that we could not fully occupy the house, we were very happy to fulfill our passion as hosts and to welcome you warmly every day. It was nice to be able to look you in the eye again and experience the joy of your long-awaited vacation.
June - ... Skyline Bar 20up & DAVID's
When the regulations were relaxed a bit, there was also positive news for our gastronomy again. Our Skyline Bar 20up and our DAVID'S were allowed to open. The opening hours and the number of seats were limited due to the distance regulation, but it was still nice to hear a background noise in the rooms again and to witness the many animated conversations. Delicious drinks at a height of 90 meters with a breathtaking view were possible again. Our bartenders could give free rein to their creativity and create unique cocktails. Together we enjoyed the beautiful summer days. Especially when the sky was bathed in golden light, you realized what you had missed so far.
Skyline Bar 20up
Skyline Bar 20up
Skyline Bar 20up
August - Employee canteen
Life was now back in full swing and a bit of normalcy was returning to the year that had started so turbulently. Now it was time to say thank you. Our colleagues never lost their courage in all the difficult times and gave their best at all times and didn't allow themselves to be defeated despite months of short-time work. Therefore, in August of this year, our management showed great appreciation by giving our canteen a general overhaul and making it shine in a completely new light. The canteen was no longer a canteen, but an employee restaurant. It was to be a place of peace, comfort and enjoyment. From now on, all kinds of delicacies from breakfast to hot meals are served here throughout the day. Our Waldstübchen and our Lichtung, as we like to call our staff restaurant, is our retreat and our oasis of peace. Here we recharge our batteries to provide you with the best possible service.
August - Our apprentices 2021
Autumn brought not only colorful leaves, but also 15 new faces. Together with our sister hotel Hotel Hafen Hamburg, we were able to welcome many new apprentices this year compared to last year, when we were not able to take on many. 13 apprentices and two dual students have been walking through the corridors of our hotel since August and actively support us. Discovering the world of the hotel industry from all angles is the goal of our apprenticeship. We are looking forward to moving into the future together with our newcomers and to facing the many new challenges and tasks. For this, we are already excited about what our three hotel specialists, one restaurant specialist and two cooks will bring with them. New experiences, joy and fun are of course our top priorities. Despite the uncertainty in the hotel industry, we believe in the future and are pleased that our trainees also believe in it and have decided to train in the hotel industry. We look forward to a good working relationship.
October - 3G & 2G regulation
Another setback hit, the Corona measures tightened again and new regulations were established. From now on, 3G and 2G regulations applied. What this meant? Vaccinated, recovered and tested or just vaccinated and recovered. Restaurateurs were free to apply the 2G model, but the regulation did not last long. In November, the Hamburg Senate decided to apply the 2G regulation to all tourist and gastronomic establishments. With the new regulation, we were faced with new changes and challenges. Admission controls at our Skyline Bar 20up and vaccination card checks at check-in. This put a damper on the vacation mood from time to time, but our colleagues made every effort at all times to make your stay as pleasant as possible despite the tightened situation.
3G & 2G Regelung
3G & 2G Regelung
3G & 2G Regelung
November - The wine trip
We ended the year with a wine trip to the mountains of Rüdesheim. Here we took our apprentices on a journey through the wineries of the West and immersed ourselves in the world of wine. After our apprentices had only been able to learn a lot in theory, because of Corona, especially during the lockdown phase, we are all the more pleased that they had the opportunity to go deeper into practice at the end of the year. To take a look behind the scenes of winemaking and to acquire a lot of knowledge, because as we all know, experience is the best teacher and what better way to convey this than to be there first hand. In addition to learning about many different types of wine, our apprentices also got a taste of our own wine production for our restaurant waterkant. We hope to be able to offer our apprentices a practical training in the coming year as well.
Off to the year 2022!
The year has taken us on a journey into uncertain waters and shown us new sides that were initially unknown to us. We have tried to make the best of the difficult times and enjoy the good days all the much more. So when we look back, we don't think of the rainy days, but of all the good days where we enjoyed the view over the Hamburg harbor together with you. The days when we looked out of the panoramic windows of the Skyline Bar 20up above the rooftops of Hamburg with a refreshing drink in hand, or watched the sun rise from our beds in the early morning hours. Especially in difficult times, we are proud of our team and the strong cohesion that was palpable throughout. It is exactly this positive mood that motivates us to start into the future. We are excited about what the coming year will bring and, despite mixed feelings, look forward to a perhaps someday Corona-free time, until then it is called starboard ahead.
We wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas and a cheerful start to the New Year. Stay positive and above all, stay healthy!