I’d like to think hospitality is in my genetic DNA. Every Autumn, almost as far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest – the time of year when historically communities would gather together to celebrate the harvest, and today, a great reason to get together with old friends and make new ones.
Over the last few weeks we have been invited to enjoy the parties by some of our industry colleagues, and it’s always a fun excuse to dress up, me in my vest and checked shirt, and my wife, Corinna, in her dirndl. Naturally we enjoy the dancing, the bretzels, and of course, the beer – Corinna with a “dainty” pint while I appreciate a more “hearty” stein.
It occurs to me that this spirit of honoring the past while celebrating the bounty of our labor is also an integral aspect of the holiday experience we aim to create for modern-day hotel guests. We strive to create a “sense of place” that reflects the culture, but also, a welcoming retreat where travelers can relax on their hard-won vacations, indulge in once-in-a-lifetime adventures, or simply escape from one’s daily pressures. Spaces where they feel comfortable and like they belong.
So, the trend today for open lobbies with long, communal tables where not just guests, but the whole neighborhood, comes to socialize, dine, work, read and just live life is really not anything new. In fact, it is ancient. The warm, friendly hospitality of the German beer garden can be transplanted to hotels anywhere in the globe, and reminds is that there is much to celebrate in life. Prost!