The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many families have not been able to spend as much time together as they would like, with relatives sometimes not seeing each other for months on end.
Luckily, this year many families managed to get together for Christmas, and one such family was that of The Phoenicia hotel CEO Robyn Pratt.
“We have a new grandchild who is now two years old and we have not had a full Christmas with him yet, so this year we are excited to enjoy a family Christmas together at home,” Robyn told MaltaCEOs.mt.
Like quite a few people in Malta, Robyn’s family goes for a traditional swim during Christmastime, “no matter how cold it is.”
“After that, I will be coming to the hotel on Christmas morning to wish our team who are working that day a very Merry Christmas, and to see if there are any areas I need to support before going home and preparing lunch for the family.
Robyn describes the best gift she’s ever received as those Christmas Days when she isn’t working.
“Two years ago we rented a beautiful chalet in the French Alps –it was just magical.”
As for great gifts she’s given herself, one particular self-made gift stands out:
“About nine years ago I gave my husband the first of my books,’ To Build A Lifetime’. I am most proud as it is something I never thought possible and he supported me in making it a reality.”
Like most people, the false dawn of life after COVID, before cases started to spike again at the end of the year, was a hard moment for Robyn this year.
“On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing our guests return and hearing their praise for the great experience they’d received.”
As a hotelier, Robyn is optimistic that people’s yearning for travel will see the industry recover.
“If 2021 is anything to go by, people are anxious to travel again and I am sure we will see booking trends increase again. The most challenging side to our business is staffing and I believe this will continue in 2022,” she says.
On the subject of 2022, Robyn says she doesn’t put too much stock in New Year’s resolutions.
“I have my big goals no matter whether it’s New Year or not. Having said that, I would like to have more time for myself and for fitness in 2022. It has been a very challenging year for the industry and I have let my ‘me-time’ fade into the background. I’m a great believer in the positive impact of looking look after ourselves as well as our business.”
With the year now coming to an end, it’s a good time to look back and see what we’ve learned over the past 12 months.
“During these challenging times, it is important to be flexible and consider all possibilities. During these times it is the real leaders who will shine through in their ability to adapt and achieve great results no matter what the circumstances,” Robyn says.
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