The Student Hotel has been open all over Europe since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a refuge for students and other stranded guests unable to return home.
"We're going to be open until we don't have any customers [...] We've reached out to NGOs, to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross in some cities. We've reached out to the army, local hospitals, of course, doctors and nurses, providing accommodation for them […] We've been able to provide accommodation to people who have been kicked out of other hotels and we're trying to help this situation in any way we can," says Charlie MacGregor, Founder and CEO of The Student Hotel.
He emphasised that safety is the number one priority for TSH personnel and guests. "One of our main roles for all of our guests is in really providing a listening ear. They are in lockdown in quite small spaces, but social distancing is still important even in the hotels. So, all the activities we normally do in our common spaces, we're now doing on our online platform," he said.
Each TSH hotel has 'connectors' who organise community events. "We have language lessons, cooking workshops, mindfulness sessions and stress relieving clinics. We've got keep-fit sessions and parties with DJs holding mini virtual nightclubs. We've had hundreds and hundreds of people signing up to over-capacity on the online sessions" he concluded.
The Student Hotel has a total of 14 operating locations across six European countries including The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy and France, with more than 5,000 rooms. Although occupation numbers are fluctuating considerably day-to-day due to varying local pandemic conditions, Charlie MacGregor said there were between 400 to 25 residents staying at TSH locations in European countries in the week before Easter.