We sat down in Split with Ciro Sabljic – manager and the owner of the lovely Ćiri Biri Bela hostel to get insight into their unique work and best practices using a channel manager and property management system.
How it all started?
My personal story started in Germany. I grew up in a hotel where I worked in the kitchen. I learned to do everything – from the reception desk, serving guests to managing the kitchen operations. I had space (former restaurant) in Split that I wanted to turn into apartments or hostel. We have chosen the more complicated path, but also the one we love. My job all of a sudden became much more diverse. We can say 2019. was the first “real” year for us and the most challenging one because we were working in full capacity.
Since the very beginning, we were looking for a simple but useful software that will meet all of our boutique hostel needs. We decided to go with Rentlio because it is ideal for our 16 room size, simple to use, and it allows us to do 90% of the operations through the mobile app.
What we especially love is a simple eVisitor guest signup with a mobile scanner. Other features we love are Calendar through which we follow all the reservations, rates, and availability and also drag and drop feature.
What is your biggest success?
If we look at the practical side, success is to have a return on our investments and happy guests (it always goes both ways).
Cleanliness and the atmosphere is something we look at very carefully – music selection for a good vibe and sometimes special offers. We would sometimes drive our guests to the airport or negotiate a better price with the taxi drivers so our guests would enjoy lover rates.
How is Ćiri Biri Bela different?
We always put extra effort into our work, but before anything else come kindness and sincerity.
We are perfectionists, and we still want to give more. For us, it is not enough to say hi to our guests when we greet them. We want to see the smile on their faces when we say hi and give them our special hello.
Our goal is to demonstrate the local atmosphere and make them feel at home – which we succeed at most often. Within the hostel, we opened a concept store, a restaurant, and a culinary school Cucina Mare. In the romantic yard, we have a beautiful terrace with citrus trees and a kitchen. We tend to use as much as possible products from our farm, such as potato, honey, fruits, cheese, or ham. Fresh, organic, and regional, but we also offer a wide choice of vegan and vegetarian meals.
We also serve only fresh fish, seafood, and other specialties but with a Croatian twist. The food is always prepared in front of our guests – seasonal meals refined with herbs – freshly picked from the garden.
How do you deal with the coronavirus situation? How do you fight back?
We are aware that we are not the only ones dealing with the crisis.
The only thing we can do is be patient and wait to see how the situation will resolve.
We are ready to act on new regulations and Government permissions to start working. A part of our adapting strategy is lowering the rates and the number of guests in our hostel rooms. Of course, we want to maintain it as clean as possible and adequately disinfect, so our guests feel safe. How we adapt will mostly be influenced by Government regulations, and we plan to act accordingly.
Story created: March, 2020