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