Sinnika Nelissen about the dynamics and the unexpected of hospitality.
Text — Renée Schmeetz / Photography — Guy Houben, Chantal Arnts
As a planner at Château St. Gerlach, for Sinnika Nelissen no day is the same. Here, she organizes events guests will remember forever: from weddings to conferences and for 10 to 1000 people. “My job is a very social one. Leading up to an event, the communication with the guests is very close. The dynamics and the unexpected of hospitality give me energy.”
“A business conference hosting 200 participants, an intimate family dinner or a romantic wedding with 300 guests: our department organizes all group events larger than 10 people. The events and guests we receive are very diverse. On one day I work with businessmen in suits, the other I receive a hug from a lady who celebrated her 80th birthday with us.”
“Because of their high standards for service, I deliberately chose hotels in the luxury segment for my internships. I had long wanted to work for Oostwegel Collection. It’s a family business that radiates class, something you won’t find anywhere else in this region. The guests that visit Château St. Gerlach, specifically choose our house and estate. Their expectations are high. We not only have to meet them, we have to exceed them; only then will you be remembered.”
“Meetings & Celebrations is pre-eminently the department that contributes to an unforgettable experience. Guests bring their group here with a particular purpose, which can be personal or business. We are part of the event they hope everyone will remember. We have hosted the wedding of a couple that had their very first date at Château St. Gerlach. But the funeral reception of a lady who spent many holidays here with her husband also took place here.”
“Many departments all work in different ways towards the same goal: to provide our guests with an unforgettable experience.”
“The estate of Château St. Gerlach is very big, with lots of different premises. This offers endless opportunities for organizing events and meetings. The modern St. Gerlach Pavilion or the homely Manor Farm with Burgemeester Quicx: each building has its own character and possibilities. The challenges that the complexity of this estate brings, really appeal to me. I like streamlining processes.”
“I like starting the day without exactly knowing what it will bring. I love the unexpected. But while at work, I leave nothing to chance. Making phone calls to verify whether transports arrive on time, inspecting table seating and name badges in our meeting spaces, welcoming groups and asking if there is anything they need: I always double-check everything. Events have to run flawlessly.”
“What I hope people will remember of their stay at Château St. Gerlach? The sincere attention staff members have for them. We know the purpose of each guest’s stay, and we respond to that. A cosy residence or a luxury suite: we find a room that answers to their plans and wishes. On birthdays and anniversaries, we make sure to prepare a gift or write a card.”
“When I see guests with a smile on their faces, I go home satisfied. The staff members always share the positive feedback they receive, which contributes to the team spirit of the house. Any compliment, no matter how small, is wonderful. Not only our guests but also the managers and colleagues express their appreciation when they are happy and content.”
“At Château St. Gerlach, many departments all work in different ways towards the same goal: to provide our guests with an unforgettable experience. That partnership is what makes hospitality so very special to me. Our team is a very motivated one, everyone looks out for one another."
Room for growth
“Despite the fact that I haven’t been working at Oostwegel Collection very long, I feel there is room to grow. Our department has recently been restructured, and I have been given the opportunity to take on a senior position. If you are looking for a job at a high level of service with great colleagues, this is the place.”