Be­hind the scenes at the Bolton

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

It’s fi­nally Welling­ton’s turn to host the Bri­tish and Ir­ish side and thou­sands of ded­i­cated fans.

Plan­ning for a sold-out night is noth­ing new for staff at the Bolton Ho­tel but an en­tirely booked out week is a dif­fer­ent ball game.

‘‘We sold the ma­jor­ity of our rooms about two years ago when it [the Lions Tour] was an­nounced so we’ve been plan­ning since then,’’ ho­tel man­ager Han­nah An­gus said.

‘‘It’s a lot of ef­fort and time that goes into this and we’re now into this crazy ‘let’s get ready’ time.’’

More than 1400 guests will pass through the ho­tel’s glass doors over the next seven days; the busiest pe­riod since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

How­ever, An­gus, who worked on re­cep­tion in 2011, an­tic­i­pated this week would be even more hec­tic.

‘‘We’re aware that they are com­ing for rugby specif­i­cally, so we have a few events planned in­house in­clud­ing a Kiwi take on a tra­di­tional roast din­ner – of­fer­ing a bit of a home-away-from-home.

‘‘It’s more about the at­mos­phere than the [rugby] re­sults.’’

Dec­o­ra­tions and in-house events aside, the mass in­jec­tion of vis­i­tors also meant more staff have been hired to en­sure ev­ery­thing runs smoothly over the

BUSY WEEK

More than two years of plan­ning with Lions tour book­ings re­ceived from mid-2015

312 arrivals for a to­tal of 1401 guests in house over seven nights

An es­ti­mated 80 per cent of guests sup­port­ing the Lions

Five flag poles fly­ing three All Blacks flags and two Lions flags (staff say the Lions ones are slightly big­ger so it’s fair) 139 rooms over 19 floors. Nine room types rang­ing in price from $199, all the­way up to rock­star-ready suites POA (price on ap­pli­ca­tion). busy week.

‘‘All of our key mem­bers will be here but we’ve also done some re­cruit­ing in the last few weeks for lobby hosts who will be around on game days and in the evenings to make sure ev­ery­one is hav­ing a laugh, set­ting the tone for the night and creat­ing some at­mos­phere in the ho­tel.’’

While the new hosts would be on hand to dish out ad­vice at cer­tain times, the ho­tel’s concierge ser­vice, known for cater­ing to guest’s ev­ery whim, would be avail­able 24/7 as usual.

‘‘You can never tell what the concierge will be asked to get but they’ll do it all, ar­range tours, of­fer ad­vice, they will be ready for any­thing and ev­ery­thing,’’ An­gus said.

The concierge’s job would be made a lit­tle eas­ier this week thanks to a large num­ber of the ho­tel team hail­ing from – or hav­ing lived in – the UK, said mar­ket­ing and busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager Ella Blake

‘‘A lot of us go to the Bri­tish shops around the city to get tea and bis­cuits so we’ll all know where to go if a guest wants some­thing spe­cific.

‘‘We know what they like.’’

KEVIN STENT/FAIR­FAX NZ

All of the Bolton Ho­tel’s 139 rooms over 19 floors are booked out for the en­tire week the Lions are in Welling­ton.

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