Q&A with Delia Anthamatten
This week we chat with our head Receptionist. The reception, the core and the centerpiece of every hotel. We ask Delia 5 questions that have been bothering us for a long time.
1. Do Zermatter work exclusively in the hotel industry?
Certainly, Zermatters find the tourism industry appealing. We are surrounded by a hotel and gastronomy culture, so many embark on this path. Of course, many Zermatters grow up in the hotel business and naturally they take over the operations sooner or later. After school, it was clear to me that I wanted to go into the hotel industry and I started my training as an HGA (hotel and catering assistant) in Goms. This training is equivalent to the hotel communication specialist EFZ German-speaking Switzerland. I later attended the hotel school Belvoirpark in Zurich to broaden my horizons.
2. What was your most memorable experience at the reception?
During the big banking crisis in 2008, we were accommodating a banker in a city hotel. One day the fire alarm went off in one of the rooms. All guests evacuated the hotel, all except this one banker. The banker didn’t respond to the knocking, and a firefighter had to break the door, only to find him setting alight to his (apparently delicate) business documents with a lighter. Needless to say, the guest was arrested immediately and handcuffed. That was the beginning of his imprisonment.
3. What's new at the Mama reception?
We will now differentiate between front and back office. At the front desk (front office) guest service is clearly in the main focus. The new reception area will be designed as a wellness oasis, where guests can check in whilst sipping tea or a glass of fresh Zermatt water, buy ski tickets or receive valuable tips from the Mama family. The back office manages the day-to-day processes, making operations much more efficient, this enables us to ensure our guests get the best possible service and attention at all times.
4. The head receptionist at home: What awaits your guests?
Of course, my guests always get an aperitif. A beautifully designed table is very important to me. The napkins are chosen to match the decoration and folded by me personally. Warm plates and a well-coordinated, delicious menu are required. And naturally, a fine bottle of wine.
5. Why is it cool to work in a family run hotel?
Obviously, the many years of experience over generations play a decisive role. You can learn a lot and have insight into different areas of the business. It is also easier to give your own input, because you always have someone with the authority to make decisions. I also appreciate the more intense guest loyalty. Many guests come year after year, some even several times, creating interesting acquaintances. It is so nice to be happy to see each other again.