Located in the historic city of Lagos, Cascade Wellness Resort enjoys a breath-taking cliff-top setting with unrivalled ocean views. Here Silvana Pombo, general manager of the property, outlines her approach to tackling the challenges of the past year.
Breaking Travel News: What is the current status of operations at Cascade Wellness Resort? And what changes did you implement in order to continue operating during the pandemic?
Silvana Pombo: Cascade Wellness Resort is currently working with self-catering apartments, with no other services opened.
We are preparing to reopen gradually in April, according to the current situation.
During the pandemic, we have adjusted our services, in line with the health and safety authorities, which represented extra cleaning procedures, reducing the restaurant’s capacity, etc.
Mainly, we worked to assure that our guests felt safe, as well as maintaining the quality of services expected.
The challenge is to identify the balance between the comfort and variety of services expected in a five-star hotel, and the safety required by this new reality.
BTN: With the resumption of international travel thankfully back on the horizon, how do you see the next year mapping out for you?
SP: We have high expectations for the summer, we expect a relevant percentage of last-minute demand, which means a great flexibility of the team and high level of teamwork, to maintain our standards.
The first semester will still be highly affected by the pandemic, but we believe the summer will bring us some hope.
Guests are longing for holidays and we trust that Portugal, and especially the Algarve, will be one of the top destinations.
BTN: Describe the lockdown experience in the Algarve, and how did this compare to normal times.
SP: Algarve is a region where we can find walking or running options near nature, even during lockdown, which helps to face this reality with some emotional balance.
That is why there are families from other countries choosing to do the lockdown in the Algarve.
BTN: Why is collaboration across the global travel industry essential to navigating the post-pandemic landscape?
SP: The post-pandemic will be a time to learn together, to share experiences, even to fail together.
We are all learning every day what to do better, where to go, find out which changes will stay forever, and which are not.
It is crucial that this growth is done with a common goal to prepare us for future situations, to be stronger together.
BTN: Have you had any positive changes in your own outlook in reaction to the crisis?
SP: In every crisis, we are forced to be better, to become more creative, to re-invent ourselves. I believe today I am able to respond faster and better to future situations, as I know now, that my team is 200 per cent focused on our goals.
We found new options of services, new ways of saving and new ways to provide a memorable stay to our guests.
As a leader, I became more focused.
In every challenge, I became more aware of the team’s reaction to the situations and acknowledged the real potential of Cascade Wellness Resort.
We exceed ourselves in 2020 and we expect to do so this year.