Esteban Sánchez Puyade started working as manager of the la Zona hotel in 2011. The hotel has 14 rooms and is located in the centre of Madrid in the Malasaña area near important tourist locations as Gran Via the Puerta del Sol. Three years ago, Esteban reached an agreement with the owners to transfer the hotel license to him.
It is a nice hotel in a touristic area. The hotel was one of the first gay hotels in Madrid. Although later on the clientele changed a bit, it still is an important landmark for gay people. When we started with Booking.com and Expedia and other platforms is when it started changing. Guests mainly come for the weekend or other short stays, but with the pandemic we saw people staying longer, we even had people staying for six months.
How did the pandemic affect your business?
After the months of lock-down I could finally reopen at the end of August 2020. I worked all by myself up to April 2021. Since January of this year I had good occupancy, although sometimes at the expense of lower rates. Now, like anybody else in Madrid, we are waiting for September.
What is your day like at the hotel?
One of the biggest changes has been the opening times of the reception. Before we did check-ins and check-outs from eight o’clock in the morning until eight at night. Now we only do eight to two. In that same period of time we do all of the work: administration, housekeeping, laundry. I try to keep an eye on everything and ensure the least environmental impact. We clean with environmentally friendly products and we recycle almost everything.
How did you get to know Redforts?
Probably because of something I read online or folder that was sent to me. Before Redforts I worked with paper, everything manual, something inherited from the previous owners. I insisted on changing to Redforts and the leap forward was tremendous. Going from pencil and paper to Redforts was like swapping a skateboard for a supersonic airplane.
How does Redforts help you in your daily work?
I've been using the program now for about seven years. It has been easy from the very first start. Everything is very intuitive and easy to use and it is one of the few things in the hotel that always works, that never breaks. It seems to me that it is made to work well not only for big hotels but even for small ones like mine. It’s a perfect fit. It is not that you have a lot of functionality that you do not need, is beyond your reach, too sophisticated or too complicated to understand. In addition, Redforts tech support is just wonderful. They are very efficient people, professionals and you feel supported.
Is it affordable?
Does it meet your needs?
Whenever I need to change something, be it a new OTA connection, a rate change or price setting, it’s always easy and gets it to work perfectly with the different OTAs
Have you noticed improvements?
There are no big changes. It is more a constant flow of new and improved functions. It has happened a number of times that I noticed something being slightly complicated and then all of a sudden you receive a message saying that it was noticed and now it is easy to use.
Are you missing something?
At some point I did make a comment, but it was something they were working on and, in a short time, it was already modified. In fact, I am aware that I do not use all of Redforts’s functionality one hundred percent, that I could even use it more. You can get to a level of detail that I might not need.
What would you highlight about Redforts?
I would highlight the seriousness with which they work and the fact that it is always a pleasure to call them because you get the feeling of being listened to and of being treated with great patience. Many times I recognize that, when you have to do absolutely everything in a hotel, from being an electrician to an accounting person. But you know you cannot do everything, you need someone to help you. That’s why I can only have praise for the Redforts team.