A&O Hostels employs social distancing concierges to give insider tips on where travelers can see the sights – while avoiding the crowds. Olivia Palamountain reports
A&O Hostels transformed the sad concept of social distancing into a kind of adventure thanks to its new concierge service “specialists in social distancing”.
This insider information is courtesy of the reception teams at A&O hostels, who are aware of secluded spots, secret bike paths and points of interest under the radar.
“We wanted to launch an initiative that would improve the guest experience and empower our staff members by inviting them to share valuable information from each city that travelers would not have access to if they were staying at another property,” said a spokesperson for the group.“Naturally, the concept of exploring a city can seem overwhelming in recent months, so we have appointed specialists to reassure clients that it is safe to travel by exploring off-the-beaten-path experiences in each city to avoid the crowds. . “Europe’s largest private hostel brand, A&O is a popular choice for budget-conscious city travelers, with properties in Berlin, Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Graz, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Prague, Vienna, Aachen, Weimar, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Stuttgart and Munich.The group offers a combination of hotels and hostels under one roof – think of a wide variety of room options to meet different needs, from families and groups to business travelers and backpackers. (Prices from € 12 per person per night, without breakfast.)
All properties offer 24-hour service, free Wi-Fi, kitchens, and guest laundry rooms, and are all centrally located (most within a five-minute walk of a train station).Jacqueline Rieger from A&O Hostels in Cologne shared some of the tips social distancing specialists could share with travelers in The telegraph.
“We are located in the“ party ”section of Cologne, so [there are more crowds], but the staff tell customers where they can go to avoid them, ”she said. “The age range of our clients varies, so the needs differ.
For example, if an older couple wants to see live music, you could say that there is this jazz club instead of advising them to go to a techno concert. But of course, if they want to go see some techno, that option is open.
For now, Rieger advises the city’s Gloria Theater for concerts, as seating has been reduced by more than a third, with a maximum of 250 guests, and the air in the air conditioning system is replaced. about every ten minutes.
As for unmissable historical monuments, she recommends visiting Cologne Cathedral from Monday to Thursday before 11:30 am.
But with ever-changing metrics, how do specialists know which attractions are crowded and not, when?
“We have a large team of around 40 people, the majority of whom are students, so they have a little more time to explore new places. If they see something that we think we need to add to our list of spots without the crowds, they will take note.
“We meet once a month and talk about what’s new. We also go back to what the guests said about what was good, what was not so good, ”she says.Another benefit of staying with A&O is its new cancellation policy for existing and future group bookings.