The Park Hotel Bremen - still worth a visit
A Grand Hotel is changing
Since the Park Hotel in Bremen was taken over by the Dorint group in 2013, one often reads criticism about the kitchen, service and maintenance. Right or wrong? There is always something to criticize and the profession of the critic itself - the term is bad enough - focuses mostly on the negative. The Park Hotel Bremen is a wonderfully located building and one of the grand hotels in Germany and would certainly deserve the status of a private hotel. The previous owners and managers have unfortunately neglected into the bankruptcy. A hotel chain like Dorint also has advantages and disadvantages. The atmosphere is still there. The rooms are spacious and the restaurant and especially the terrace overlooking the lake are always worth a visit. Also the breakfast can only be recommended. Yes the hotel needs investment, but that can not be done quickly for such a demanding building. More important for a grand hotel are the people who work there.
The Park Hotel had with "Sir" Henri Precht one of the best Maître hotels that has shaped the hotel for decades and has bound many guests to the hotel. His earned retirement and the change of ownership almost happened at the same time and did not make it easy for the guests to stay loyal. For the staff it was certainly even more difficult. When one hears the speeches from the CEOs of the Big Hotel Chains, there is always talk of personal service, the guest experience and the important role of the staff. Sadly you can not take it seriously because it is rarely implemented and often spiced withwonderful words like "Mass personalization" - so personal service for masses of guests (CEO Nasetta HILTON hotels) which already raises your eyebrows.
The employees should count!
With Karsten Kenneweg, Dorint has hired at least one competent internationally experienced hotelier who knows the Park Hotel and also comes from the surrounding area of Bremen which is also important because many CEOs rightly preach the importance of local flair. Surely he sees more than most critics, however he can act and react in the boundaries set by hotelchains. The disadvantage with hotel chains is often, and probably with Dorint too, that short-term financial success has top priority. Staff needs to be cheap and if the numbers slip off a bit in hotels the first reaction is always to cut staff. This makes as much sense as if an airline cuts pilots and mechanics when revenues go down. The top management in hotel chains comes nowadays mostly from a financial or adminstrative background and the guest can feel this right away in many hotels. But successful, real grand hotels have to be financed for long term.
The Park Hotel breakfast from food, service and atmosphere can only be recommended. With Simone Forner the hotel has fortunately a long serving employee who is a well-known face to the loyal guests who know and appreciated her for many years.
There is certainly still a lot to dust in the Park Hotel but they are working on it and this applies to the entire hotel industry where everyone complains about the service but the owners, chains and also private, do not invest in the staff. Where formerly service employees were trained and further educated, today temporary workers and cheap companies are commissioned to make a quick profit. That would be a worthwhile topic for everybody critizising the hotel industry!