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Gotland - You'll yearn to return

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Gotland - You'll yearn to return

This summer, we're opening a new hotel, First Hotel Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. We talked with General Manager Åsa Andorff.

First Hotel Visby, Gotland

How is the construction coming along?

So far, all the buildings have walls and roofs. The windows and doors are in the process of being added, while the bathrooms will arrive prefab and ready to be installed.

Do you think the hotel will be ready by the summer?
It had better be. We opened for bookings at the end of last year for the summer season of 2019. The plan is to open the hotel right after Midsummer Day, which in Sweden is 22 June.

What do you think First Hotel Visby will add to the hotel industry on Gotland?
This will be a perfect hotel for families since most rooms have four beds and a view of the pool area. There will be saunas, beach chairs, an open-air bar, playground and places to barbeque. There are even more ideas floating around for different outdoor activities. One of the owners, Joakim Malmqvist, is a landscape architect and he has done a fantastic job.

Any of the facilities you are particularly pleased with?

The complete design of the hotel in which most rooms have kitchen facilities. I am also very pleased with everything outdoors.

Tourism in Gotland is traditionally a summer season with few visitors the rest of the year. What will you do to increase the number of guests during the long off-season?
One plan is to try to get the locals to book a room for a weekend with the family. And there already is an off-season tradition for conferences and tour coaches. What we can offer is close proximity to the harbour and reasonable group rates.

Read more about Visby
Book your stay at First Hotel Visby

Tell us a little bit about the design, the materials used and so on

We used galvanised metal a lot, combined with wood and glass. The interior design is themed around a ‘pool-hotel’ concept. We are fortunate to have Andreas Forsberg on our team. He is both a well-known architect and a co-owner of the hotel. It’s going to be a treat to stay here.

A hotel experience is often dependent on the staff and their human touch. How will you work to optimise that experience?
I just love great service and I think that’s more important than anything else. A guest must always leave the hotel happy. If you enjoy your job and like being around your guests this will enhance the whole experience. First Hotel Visby is going to be a place you will remember and want to return to.

Do you have five personal suggestions for what your future guests ought to see and so while on Gotland?

  • Närsholmen Fyr (lighthouse): It’s just a fantastic place that gives you a feeling of being on a savannah.
  • Langmarras Raukområde on the small island of Fårö: A magical place to just hang out or enjoy a picnic.
  • Central Visby: Just stroll around, shop and discover.
  • Storsudret: The southernmost part of Gotland where you can bike and discover small arts & crafts stores and unique beaches as well as enjoy great food in several local eateries.
  • First Hotel Visby: The perfect place to stay with a wonderful sea view and close to downtown and the harbour.