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.
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.
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.
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 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/
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.
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/
In every Lisbon neighbourhood, there is always at least one coffee shop that offers a large selection of plant-based milks or desserts to suit any type of diet. There are also poetry recitals or other art events, hair salons with an industrial vibe, markets that sell goods made by small craft businesses, organic food markets, graffiti-covered walls or live street music. Whichever neighbourhood you decide to visit, you will always discover something new.
Visit Village Underground Lisboa, a co-working space and arts venue built with shipping containers and old buses. The Village is a true work of art itself, and is also sustainable.
This former industrial area is now home to beer factories, coffee shops, restaurants and the huge events venue, Fábrica Braço de Prata. It is also perfect for exploring on an urban art tour.
Read our full guide here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/the-guide-to-discovering-marvila-lisbons-secret-district/
Graça and São Vicente
The old quarter boasts narrow streets and spectacular views over the Tagus River that can be enjoyed from one of the many lookout points. It is also the ideal place to really delve into the local culture by browsing the Feria de Ladra second-hand market, for example.
Discover more Lisbon markets here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/a-market-for-every-day-of-the-week-in-lisbon/
The birthplace of fado music is packed with little streets that lead to traditional fado music houses or restaurants and bars that serve international cuisine. This neighbourhood also holds other treasures for you to uncover, such as the smallest bookstore in the world.
Find out more here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/travel-smart-in-lisbon-mouraria/
Arroios and Saldanha
These two neighbourhoods are defined by their rich cultural offer. Discover English-language bookstores and parks and gardens for reading them in, markets that sell delicious fresh fruit and a thriving alternative nightlife scene. From Saldanha, make your way down to Praça Martim Moniz to make the most of this neighbourhood, too.