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Park People rk Resort

What else do you do to encourage outsiders to sample the hotels? With the restaurants I am sure we can encourage some people who would never normally go to an amusement park to eat, maybe decision makers from big companies, to see the quality of what we do and then maybe do a big convention here. This winter we plan to build a historical Spiegel [mirror] tent on the piazza of Colosseo and offer a live show every night. The idea is that we will bring people here to eat in our one of restaurants, watch the show, and then hopefully they will stay overnight.

So what sort of restaurant facilities await guests at Bell Rock? We have a buffet restaurant with open grills and a show cooking area, there's the more elegant Captain’s Finest restaurant offering typical New England cuisine like lobsters and crab cakes, then there's the Havana Lounge and the café bar with their outside terrace areas. We also have a fine dining restaurant inside the lighthouse, which I am really proud of, with only 34 covers and a viewable kitchen. This à-la-carte experience leaves absolutely nothing to be desired.

How has the opening of Bell Rock affected the popularity of the other hotels? We were a little afraid that when we opened Bell Rock we would loose some people in the other hotels, but throughout July and August all five hotels were full. Colosseo is still a beautiful hotel, and people like the El Andaluz and Castillo because they are closest to the park. The Spanish hotels actually have their own soul and history, and I think they give you that holiday feeling a little bit more, especially for Germans who love travelling to Spain.

How good are you occupancy rates? Well, I guess 100% (in peak season) is pretty good! Over the year we estimate an average of 90%

occupancy, which is still very good within the industry. In winter we close the Spanish hotels and just keep Colosseo open, although this year we will open Bell Rock too.

What would be you advice to other amusement park operators considering adding a hotel?

I would say start quite small, like we did, but with the possibility to make the hotel bigger. What is important is attention to detail; the guest has to feel they have quality. And then just start, have a go. If the park is attractive enough, if you give the guests enough entertainment and a reason to come back, people will want to stay overnight. And even if there are already other hotels or guesthouses nearby, I still think a themed hotel can work because people want to stay in a fantasy world. You don’t get that inside a normal hotel.

What’s next for Europa-Park Resort? We have already started upgrading the Spanish hotels. Because they opened in the 1990s, the standard is not as high as you have with Colosseo or Bell Rock, so we want to update all the rooms. Then maybe we can make the Camp Resort bigger and do a Western street or city. Europa-Park

after dark Want to stay the night at Europa-Park? You have plenty of options. Opened in 1995, the 4-Star Hotel El Andaluz was the first hotel in a German theme park – and the start of what would become a major part of the Europa-Park business model. Here families can chose from 192 rooms and 10 suites, while tiled terracotta floors and original Spanish tile mosaics create an authentic Mediterranean holiday vibe. The fortress-like Castillo Alcazar, opened in 1999, celebrates the pomp of Spanish knights. Here guests can sleep in ornate beds in splendid surroundings.

At the heart of Europa-Park Resort, the ‘4- star superior’ Hotel Colosseo captures a taste of Italy. Opened in 2004, the building takes on the appearance Rome’s famous colosseum – only better preserved. A bustling piazza in the centre of the property features a selection of cafés and restaurants, upon which guests in many of the 350 rooms can peer down on. Extensive Roman bath-themed ‘wellness’ facilities are also provided. On the the top of the hotel, incidentally, are two penthouse suites occupied by Thomas Mack and his brother Michael, Europa-Park’s strategic development and operations director. Another 4-star superior property, Hotel Santa Isabel opened in 2007. Built in the

The Lighthouse Suite at Bell Roock OCTOBER 2012 31

style of a Portuguese monastery, it

features 290 beds, an azure outdoor pool, two large conference rooms and a quaint cellar room that can be hired by event organisers.

A red-and-white

lighthouse (modelled on Arbroath ligthouse in Scotland) is a signature feature of the new 4-star superior Hotel Bell Rock, which provides a New England ambience. As guests enjoy a drink by the ‘harbour’ a wave machine gently stirs the water alongside. The hotel’s light and bright rooms, complete with cosy wooden boats for the kids, are complemented by 35 individually themed suites and six tower suites located inside the lighthouse offering a 360- degree panorama. Fancy a swim? A ship- shaped pool awaits. The Circus Rolando Guesthouse, directly adjacent to the park’s main entrance, offers a comfortable budget alternative to the hotels of Europa-Park Erlebnis Resort. Guests can also experience a wild and romantic adventure at the Camp Resort, where they can bring their own caravan, tent or sleep inside a hired teepee, chuck wagon or log cabin.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock

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