Sofie loves meeting people at the hotel
Bolten, Spiken, Rallaren, Dressinen, Kupén and Loket. These are some names of the conference rooms at Hotell Rådmannen, and of course it is no accident. The hotel is located in the middle of the Alvesta railway link, yes next door to the classic railway station. The strategic location for the railway travelers has made the hotel a popular conference hotel, especially for environmentally conscious companies and authorities.
– You try to avoid long bus and air travel and use trains as much as possible. For example, companies with offices spread throughout southern Sweden choose to have their conferences here in Alvesta. They meet halfway in a place with good train connections, says Sofie Varga.
But at the same time, the trains that are known to turn out to be unreliable from time to time, is that something you notice?
– Sure, unfortunately it happens that trains roar and that conference guests arrive late. But it usually settles. Most are also aware of the problem and therefore choose to book earlier trains in case something would happen.
Right now it is high season for conferences, which is also noticed at Hotell Rådmannen. High tempo and many people are something that appeals to Sofie.
– I like when it's pace and heart rate.
Although Sofie is only 33, she is kind of a veteran in the industry. She started working at a hotel as a 19-year-old and got stuck immediately.
– I first worked at Scandic in Växjö for several years. It was a lovely bunch, and we had a lot of fun together. After that, I worked in Stockholm before I started here at Rådmannen 2015.
What is the most fun thing about working in a hotel?
– The meeting with people. You meet so many people and learn new things all the time.
Being service-minded is the key to success in the hotel industry and it is a special trait that one cannot learn.
– Either you like to provide service or you don't. If you do not think it is fun with service then I think it is impossible to learn.
As site manager, Sofie has the main responsibility for daily hotel operations, from breakfast to evening activities.
– It is quietest in the middle of the day, when the conference guests take care of themselves. Then there is a lot of administrative work that has to be done, for example to receive and plan bookings.
How long is the conference booked in advance?
– The larger two-day conferences are usually booked far in advance, but for the smaller conferences, the trend is that they are booked with significantly shorter notice. We also notice that many compress the conferences into an intensive full day instead of putting it on two days. Probably because they feel they can't be away from work longer than that. The high pace of society also affects how you confer.
The number of conference guests has increased at Hotell Rådmannen as well as the number of tourists in the summer.
– We notice, among other things, that the newly opened Åsnens National Park has increased the tourist flow to us.
The occupancy rate at the hotel is around 53 percent, which is a good figure but it still has a potential to be increased. The hotel's owner, Dietmar Aiff, aims to grow further and as part of this, a major renovation is planned. Sofie says that the lobby, reception and restaurant are first out.
– We will start the renovation sometime next year. The idea is to create a more personal and cozy feeling and to strengthen the "feeling of Småland". Our profile as a Småland hotel should become more obvious
What are the most long-distance guests who have visited Hotell Rådmannen? It turns out that the hotel had travelers from across the globe, but they were not conference guests.
- Every year, the Hard Rock Festival Muskelrock is being held on Tyrolen, that is an amusement park located a few minutes from Alvesta. During the festival, we have visitors from New Zealand and China, for example. It's pretty fun.