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Eurofurence 28 — "Cyberpunk"
Sep 18 – 21, 2024
CCH — Congress Center Hamburg


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Author Topic: Things we like about the new hotel  (Read 4804 times)


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Things we like about the new hotel
« on: 10.09.2010, 03:36:23 »

There's a lot of feedback about EF this year, positive and negative, some constructive, some not.  I'll be coming to that myself in time, hopefully as constructively as possible.  In the meantime, I wanted to just list all of the things I enjoyed more than in the past, about the new hotel.

+ Huge rooms!  The Ringberg rooms were really cosy, but could get crazily cramped, and even just the standard Maritim rooms have a lot of space where I could imagine 3 per room being pretty okay in the future.

+ EFTV in the rooms, for the most part, worked a lot better than in the past

+ I really loved the atrium room layout, and while my own room wasn't one directly overlooking the atrium, it added a very social feel, with it possible at all times to glance up from the lobby or down from a floor, and see a lot of what was going on on every level.  Ringberg room levels were very isolated from each other and from the rest of the hotel.

+ Despite their problems, the great glass elevators offered a very unique perspective of the lobby scene awaiting you, and unending great views of who was descending in them when viewed from below.  When you actually wanted something more practical, you took the elevators at the back or the stairs.

+ The overall con space felt much more connected than in the past.  While I missed the Ringberg room downstairs which connected all the main function rooms, it still seems we achieved a greater level of overall connectivity between all the disparate spaces round the hotel.

+ There's pros and cons to it, but it definitely felt special to be in a higher class, generally classy establishment.  Once they've figured out who we are and what we are about, I think we're going to end up with a rather better experience next year.  Not the typical corporate guests!

+ The big armchairs in the lobby were comfy!  More plz!

+ The pianobar was really special, and it enabled one of the highlights for me this year, the possibility of a party every night.  With the small dance space and piano or piped in music, every night was dance night, and this filled a lot of empty gaps.

+ Mrs piano bar lady was pretty awesome too, though not everything was easy to dance to...  Perhaps she can take some requests next year :)

+ The main stage was simply breathtaking.  All the room we ever needed, and more.  I'm not sure if we filled it for the pawpet show.  Also thanks to the stage being up high, everyone is able to see, fixing a huge problem the Ringberg had, and meaning there was hardly any need to queue to get the front spots, at all.  Also great for dance space.

+ All of the new function space was very impresive.  I think we'll need to reorganise how the space is divided up and where different panels belong, but we've got a much better set of rooms to start with.  Really all I could wish for was them being all together round the room like at Ringberg, which of course is impossible to change.

+ This is maybe the biggest improvement I'd like to shout about, the damn room keys!!!  Those who never knew the Ringberg will never know the pain, and finally this is behind us.  The icing on the cake was having our actual con badges as room cards too.

+ The EF staff as a whole, on all levels, seemed a fair bit more professional and orderly this year.  I never really got the feeling they were running round chasing their tails, and aside from scheduling problems and delays (which I come to expect from EF), they seemed to do remarkably well with this whole new venue.

+ The hotel staff, while a mixed bunch, I encountered a good amount of service I felt really above and beyond what was expected.  Not even major things, but little things they'd do, going out of their way to please you.  The gent in the lobby bar fetching me burgers at 3am and keeping coming back to check it was good and tasted fine and if I needed anything else.  I don't expect that at 3am.  Requesting things for me from the kitchen that weren't on the menu.  Always very attentive.  Similarly for a bar staff member who stood out, the cute guy always mixing the cocktails.  Extremely friendly and attentive, went searching the hotel for items people needed, and even gave me a free drink (coke) when I came begging for water after the bar had closed for the night.

+ The general reaction of the staff did seem to vary from bewilderment to bemusement to irritation to acceptance to joy.  I am sure next year they will really understand us much better and a lot more of them will be along for the party.

+ The location of the hotel was very good for access to local shops and restaurants, and I can't fault the convenience in any way except for how efficiently it drained the hotel of hungry furs seeking reasonably priced food outside it.

+ The location of the hotel was excellent for all public transport routes, with the train station being ludicrously close

+ The location of the hotel made a whole range of new things possible, being right there in the urban centre, everyone able to see us, and us able to go and scare the townsfolk in new and awesome ways.  I swear every day I awoke to car horns tooting as they drove past all the suiters waving out the front to cars in the road, but I didn't mind :)

+ Finally, it really can't be overstated what a smooth transition this has been to the new hotel, with so much of the basic infrastructure changing.  Everyone involved did an incredible job and I really didn't see many teething problems, certainly few urgent ones.  Thanks to all the EF staff and to the staff and facilities of the Maritim hotel!
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