I have to admit, this place has always been special to me. The team, the service, especially the attitude and the incredible ability to put you at ease. London Biggin Hill Airport – a designated UK port of entry. So meeting them at EBACE 2023 was quite an excitement and… There are appointments when, from the very first second, you feel at ease, at home, as if you've known the people in front of you for a very long time. That's exactly how it feels after a few seconds in the company of Steven Thorne-Farrar - The magical ambassador of The Landing Hotel Biggin-Hill. Here is the summary of our discussion:
Q. Thank you for having us back, tell me what’s new at the airport?
S.T.F. Well I am really pleased to announce that in March we’ve opened The Landing Hotel. It is just very few minutes aways drive from London Biggin hill Airport. 56 bedrooms, boutique hotel, completely dedicated to the aviation industry. You need to come it is lovely! The views… We made all the process such simple, we know it is dedicated to aviation audience, so we’ve designed the hotel from check-in process, what’s in the rooms, how we would like everything else to be.
Q. Do you have first feedback already?
S.T.F. Yes, we do have feedback already. And it is very positive. You know we have brand new team on place, great food so…
Q. Sustainable aviation means not only sustainable aircraft, but it also sustainability at the airport, infrastructure. How do you the development, what are challenges?
S.T.F. From the hotel perspective we thought about that when we build the hotel. We’ve got solar panels on the roof that helps to produce our electricity. Hotel kitchens are fully electric. Same things if we talk about rooms, air conditioning, lighting system, we choose a system assuring that when you leave the bedroom everything will automatically switch off in about 13 minutes. So, we are talking about economy of energy, but of course you can leave your phone to charge.
Q. Was it important for you to choose sustainable materials, was there a special demand for that?
S.T.F. People are asking for this. We are an airport hotel, so we continue these sustainable airport practices. We try to work with local suppliers, we really thought about that.
Q. After one and a half days at EBACE 2023, what people are telling you, what is the industry reaction?
S.T.F. There are two really nice things I got from this. I came here last year just when we started to rebuild the hotel. We were telling everybody about the hotel, how it is going to be, what we will do. Those people had actually come to stay, which is really lovely. And then we have all new businesses coming through, here in Geneva new contracts are putted on place already. It is so very positive; it is really great.
Q. Are you planning something new until next EBACE? As we’re meeting at almost a Christmas market for business aviation, everyone comes up with novelties and then a teasing regarding what will be done.
S.T.F. For the hotel what we will do is get everything on track. My main mission this year is to get people into the hotel, so they would have a really great experience. Then we will start to build new products. If we can get more bedrooms, I think it would be great. The demand is there so I think we need a bigger hotel already.
Q. So next year you will start construction of an expansion already?
S.T.F. I think so! People are already asking for that. You know, we have a lot of events, for the views… WE got a lot of local businesses around the airport. They are already booking at the hotel, we have contracts in place.
Q. It means you did the right thing at the right time and right place?
S.T.F. I think so. The location, you could not get any better for an airport hotel. And restaurants on the first floor – all looks down on the runway. You can sit there, have a dinner, and watch aircraft. And honestly, the view is a beautiful! You definitely have to come and look! I am so proud of what we’ve done! I really am.
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