My husband Robert and I have now been managing Urshult Hotell for 7 months, 3 weeks and 5 days. We have seen the hotel in spring, summer and autumn. We have experienced the busy, often fully-booked high season and the quieter low season.
Here is a rundown of the last few months:
Firstly, what we have done:
- The most significant thing in our family life has been expecting our first baby! He/she is due on 19 February next year and will be born in Växjö Hospital. I’d like to say a big thank you to my husband’s family for the extra help they offered in the hotel during my first trimester, which was rather ‘morning sickness heavy’.
- In October I finished my Swedish For Immigrants course and am due to start the next level up – Grundskolan – next week. I am looking forward to further improving my conversational Swedish so that I can chat more freely with our guests.
- We are continuing our monthly English Cafes and had a record 99 guests at our last cafe.
- We continue to offer locally-produced breakfast food where possible, including bread from Urshult Bakery, honey and tea from Krulliga Hästens and apple juice from Ugglekull.
- In terms of renovations, we have almost completed our new bathroom, started work on our kitchen, laid a new wooden floor in our bedroom and built new beds for my step-children.
- We have improved the presentation of our guest rooms with hand-painted water glasses, new coffee trays, vintage-style dustbins and a ‘welcome bag’ of cakes from our kitchen.
- I took and passed an Anti-cimex food hygiene course and learnt a lot of helpful information about how to keep our food and kitchen hygienic.
- We have installed 3 radiators in the hotel bar so that it will be warm and cosy for the winter months (previously there was no heating.)
- Our basement shop is now open and we have had many satisfied customers buying honey, herbs, beeswax candles and handicrafts. The shop opens when the hotel has special events.
Secondly, what we are doing today:
- Keeping the hotel clean and tidy
- Experimenting with new baking recipes for the next cafe
- Experimenting with dinner recipes in the hope that we can provide guests with a simple supper by the time next summer comes. Ideas include the English classic, Cornish pasties.
- Building our new kitchen to help keep family-life and hotel-life more separate.
- Considering joining Swedish Welcome, a grading system similar to the English system of ‘starring’ hotels.
Thirdly, what we are going to do in the future:
- We will create some ‘package tours’ to attract more guests to the hotel. Ideas include, cycling holidays (several national cycle routes converge at Urshult), canoeing trips, horse riding tours and foodie visits.
- To obtain a license to offer alcohol to our dinner guests
- To continue to cater to dinner parties and improve the menus we have on offer.
- To encourage more guests to book ‘private cafes’. This is where we offer English Afternoon Tea to groups who want to have exclusive use of the dining rooms.
- To open the hotel as part of the Urshult Christmas Market on Friday 27 November.
- To install new showers in the guest annexe and continue updating the bedrooms.
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