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Hotel Royal, Gothenburg: How Valpas Eliminated the Need for Pest Control and Synthetic Pesticides

Alessandra Mattanza

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 08:48:21 GMT

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“We had a bedbug problem only once. From what I can remember, it was a while ago. We got suspicious as one of our guests said he’d had that issue in another hotel. So, we called an extermination team and they came with a dog who was indeed really well-trained and immediately spotted a small colony of bedbugs. It was at the very beginning, and they explained to us that we were really lucky there weren’t more nesting. When we heard about Valpas, it was like a dream, so we eliminated all the extermination costs and guarantee clean, pesticide-free air for our guests.”

Hotel Royal is an iconic place. It is the oldest hotel in Gothenburg and all of Sweden. It was established in 1852 as a hotel and since then, has been a historical, family-owned place brimming with charm and personality. “We make personal service and cleanliness a priority, and Valpas was the solution that offered our guests a safe and bedbug-free environment,” explains Henrik Lind, the hotel manager. Henrik has been working here for over 9 years and is always in touch with the owners, the Oddestad family. “I talk with Markus Oddestad, the CEO, nearly every day. His family bought the hotel in 1980, and it has been run now by two generations.” His sister and his mother are also very much involved. "And I like that we have the same vision: to offer an incredible and memorable experience and service,” Henrik says.

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A photo Henrik Lind, General Manager of Hotel Royal

Old school but not old-fashioned. Valpas’ technology is again the answer to being bedbug-safe

Royal Hotel has interiors dating back to the 19th century and boasts a beautiful, hand-painted glass ceiling, stylish patterned stone floors, and an Art Nouveau staircase with hand-forged banisters. Every detail is addressed with passion, love, and deep respect for the past and present. “We have different kinds of rooms in different shapes and sizes, 76 altogether. The furniture is pretty similar in old school style: they only increase in number if the space is bigger,” tells Henrik. At the hotel, they try to create an inviting ambiance so that guests can feel welcome, safe, and at home.

“We like to say that we are old school in our appearance, but not old fashioned. We believe in innovation so much that we renovate the rooms every time we think they look a bit outdated and old, and we try to give our guests the maximum hygiene standard possible. And this has always been the case even before the pandemic. Our reputation is also in being a very clean place to be,” Henrik states.

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Fancy stairs of Hotel Royal

That is the reason they decided to become a Valpas member in 2019. “I think we were one of the first Valpas members. We heard that that year, there had been a surge of bedbugs in many hotels in Sweden, Paris, and London. It had been a very hot summer in places that are usually not so hot during this time of the year. So, having also avoided the big risk of being infested in the past, when we spotted the problem at the very beginning, we wanted to avoid extra costs and stress for us and our guests,” he adds.

Did they see immediate results immediately from the Valpas partnership?

“When our guests notice we are Valpas hotel members, and their logo is on our first page, it is, for sure, a plus. But even more, I believe Valpas is an investment for the future. When travel goes back to normal, bedbugs will be a very big problem. That is my hotelier’s experience,” he stresses.

Open only to technology that makes sense, as Valpas does

Valpas perfectly fits the hotel’s vision. “We love good technology, and Valpas is the best you can get. They are green, they have a sense of design with bed legs to also fit perfectly on our old-style beds. They offer perfect service and total assistance in all circumstances. Valpas is a technology with a vision and with a mission for a better world,” Henrik believes.

Even if the Hotel Royal is a very much a historical place, technology and offering a modern service are extremely important to them and a “winning card” to make them even more exclusive.

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Hotel Royal´s reception

“We believe in what we consider good technology because Valpas does not remove the humanity from our relationship with the guests. It is the opposite, as it makes them feel safer like at home. We will never add technology that allows guests to check-in without personal service, for example. We do like to receive our guests in person, and it is also the secret of our success, as we talk with our guests. I believe strongly in communication in this business. It is part of the hotel experience. And also, how can a guest feel really safe in a foreign country or a new city with nobody welcoming him at the front desk?” Henrik says.

A phone call, quick response. Valpas is also self-installable

Hotel Royal closes every year for two weeks during the Christmas holiday, which is when they decided it would be an excellent time to install Valpas. “It took only one day to change all the regular beg legs to Valpas bed legs. We could not be more enthusiastic about it. And since then, the service has only been better and better, and I am very happy Valpas is becoming bigger. As I pointed out, I believe they will become even more global in the very near future” he adds.

Some hotels like to have Valpas at their hotel for a few days or a week to ensure all the bed legs are installed perfectly to protect against bedbugs. But Hotel Royal has a skilled team that installed the legs themselves.

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Valpas Label on Hotel Royal´s website

“Our team was excited to hear Valpas studied bedbug habits and created beg legs able to trap them, even down to easily tracking on an iPhone or PC. A sign of an infestation of bedbugs, and the team goes there directly, empty the special small cassette where these insects get trapped, and the room can be used immediately that day. That is not possible if you call pest control,” mentions Henrik.

Business travelers and more looking for extreme hygiene standards

“We have had more and more tourists in Gothenburg over the past few months. That is really good, of course. But most of our guests are business travelers. We offer also many single rooms so guests can stay here for a good price and enjoy excellent quality. Then, we have also some guests coming here for a romantic weekend,” emphasizes Henrik.

“But also, having more travelers from all over the world increases the bedbug risk. So, I am very happy to have prevented the problem at its roots,” he points out.

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Tips from a city lover

Henrik loves Gothenburg, where he was born and raised, and he has different suggestions for potential visitors. Hotel Royal is located in what can be called the center of action in town. “We are on Drottinggatan-Östra Larmgatan, right in the center. We serve breakfast, but our guests are most likely to explore the many different restaurants and the city vibe,” he says.

What does he suggest? “I like Carbon, Tavolo, where there are also stalls with horses, and Fiskekrogen. But I invite guests to explore and also check the section “WORDS” on our website where our guests provide their own tips. For sure, there are a lot of small, cozy restaurants around here,” he explains. He mentions that the Amusement Park, Liseberg, has been a big attraction in town since 1923 and offers restaurants, events, and concerts. “But personally, I am in love with the archipelago, which is a real wonder of nature,” he says. “You can just simply stroll along the streets and discover your own Gothenburg from Avenyn, Ullevi, Trädgårdsföreningen, Göteborgsoperan, Haga, and Svenska Mässan. I also like Fredstan and Norra Älvstranden, which was a major shipbuilding hub. However, the tech industry is transforming the area. “From shipbuilding to tech, it is for sure a place to see, very interesting, and a mirror of the future,” Henrik adds.

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