13 Apr 2021 • Stay local
We hear from General Manager Dirk Crockart on what we can expect this upcoming summer.
The Montague on the Gardens is reopening its Beach Bar this week on the 16th April and we caught up with General Manager Dirk Crockart on what the team have planned for this upcoming summer.
How long have you been at The Montague on the Gardens and what do you love most about the hotel?
I have been at The Montague on the Gardens for 19 wonderful years and I have absolutely loved my time here which is evident from the longevity of my service. The hotel has the most amazing location which makes it incredibly desirable. Not only is it in Central London and a stone’s throw away from key spots such as The British Museum, Covent Garden, the West End, Oxford and Bond Street, it is also a hidden gem. Tucked away in a leafy residential area, the hotel is like a country house in the heart of London. I thoroughly enjoy walking around the historical buildings and listening to the beautiful sounds of the birds chirping and trees rustling. At times, it is easy to get lost in the surroundings and forget you are actually in a city. The ‘fun factor’ is another reason why I am so passionate about the hotel. It is very rare to find a four-star hotel that has the ability to inject so much fun and entertainment. We have a wide range of pop-ups, experiences and very ‘instagrammable’ theming such as sand in the summer and a snow machine in the winter. Our ability to provide unique and on-trend concepts certainly keeps us on our toes.
You must have been very excited about the re-opening of the hotel on the 12th of April, what have you and the team been doing to keep busy while the hotel was temporarily closed?
Absolutely, over the moon! Like everyone else in the industry, we've been longing to welcome guests through our doors and to simply get back to doing what we do best; providing the warmest and most memorable hospitality. It is in our genes and we are itching for the exciting times ahead. Having such a long period of time not welcoming guests has been terrible, we have missed it so much. However just because the hotel is closed by all means doesn’t mean the hotel operation has stopped. We have had an essential skeleton team managing the building to ensuring everything is smooth and kept fresh for when we re-open. This includes maintenance work such as creating a new beautiful glass terrace that has a stunning backdrop of the Bedford Gardens. Due to the hotel being closed, projects like this have made it easier as we did not disrupt the day-day operations.
So everyone is talking about the Beach Bar, have you had many bookings?
Yes, a phenomenal amount. The demand not only for outdoor space but also for something unique and ‘a bit different’ has been overwhelming! The fact people just want to get out, make social plans and generally enjoy having their freedom back has been amazing for us. We are very fortunate to have several outdoor spaces to book for the beach bar, afternoon tea and other premium food and beverage options.
What has had to change this year in terms of Covid-19 protocols at the Beach Bar?
As a team, we want to ensure that our guests can enjoy the beach bar in a safe and comfortable environment. We have an extensive policy that ensures our staff are fully trained to adhere to the guidelines; including ensuring safe social distancing, hand sanitiser stations, face masks and track and trace. We have also introduced Leitha CleanCoat™, an enhanced cleaning system throughout the entire building which adds an extra layer of protection for the guests and staff.