Sinah Heinemann is the fourth generation of hosts and runs the Heinemann Guest House in Langenargen on Lake Constance. Providing 13 vacation apartments in a fantastic location directly on the lake, the guest house is one of the most popular Bookiply properties in the Lake Constance area, which has enjoyed great popularity among vacationers during 2020, the year impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In our conversation with Sinah, we learn about the role her wonderful guests had in this and also, how Bookiply was able to play a part.
Situated in the beautiful town of Langenargen on Lake Constance, halfway between Lindau and Friedrichshafen, the Heinemann Guest House has become something of an institution. The house near the Montfort Castle has been in the family since 1830, and Sinah’s great-grandmother began renting rooms to the spa guests staying in the area. The terrific location right on the shore is not the only reason why many of today’s guests have been coming since before Sinah’s father took over the business 35 years ago. After several years in the events industry, which took her to Munich and as far as Asia, Sinah has returned to her roots and has since taken over the day-to-day business. Thanks to the cohesion in the family, the Heinemann Guest House was also able to overcome the challenges of the past year.
The apartments: Clean, fully equipped and always with a view
No matter which vacation apartment guests choose – there is always a balcony with a view on Lake Constance. The interior of the apartments is cozy, the beds are large and the equipment leaves nothing to be desired. Above all, cleanliness is a top priority here. Whenever things no longer meet the high standards of the hostess, new investments are made. To ensure elderly guests also feel comfortable, floor-level showers have been installed.
“The furnishings of our vacation apartments are kept somewhat simple, but they are valuable. It’s important to me that we use long-lived furniture of high quality.”
Guests come first
However, the well-tended furnishings and the direct access to the lake alone do not make the Heinemann Guest House what it is – the guests are what make it special.
“Some guests have even been coming to us year after year for decades. Among them a pair of siblings who have been coming to us for nearly 60 years. They already came to us with their parents and now with their children and grandchildren.”
The connection with the guest house, which many guests have had for decades in some cases, is probably still the exception rather than the rule these days. It is easy to see why Langenargen, with its beautiful promenades, variety of leisure activities and magnificent sunsets, is a favorite destination for many vacationers, but even so, some guests come year after year only to stay with the Heinemanns.
“Lake Constance is simply beautiful and offers so many possibilities. You can take a stand-up paddle all the way from us to the Swiss side. In the summer, barbecuing with guests at sunset or watching sports events on the big screen are wonderful experiences.”
In order to underline the down-to-earth and family character going forward, Sinah has sustainability in mind as well. The guest house is already being heated with geothermal energy, and also local agriculture should be further supported.
A year full of challenges and solutions
“We had prepared for the new season as usual and were naturally looking forward to it very much. So when the regulations came, we were a bit shocked at first.”
This year was probably like no other for Sinah and the guest house. After preparations for the new season had begun as usual, the coronavirus suddenly turned everything upside down. Nevertheless, Sinah and her family maintained their optimism and prepared everything for the reopening.
“Above all, the cohesion in the family was very important, too. We are a strong team, and we didn’t let it bring us down.”
The strong family cohesion as well as the great communication with the guests helped to get through the uncertain times and “the new normal”. Sinah was prepared and introduced a thought-out hygiene concept to minimize the impact that the pandemic and the many restrictions had on her guests – and her loyal guests gave back in their own way.
“Our guests were understanding towards the new rules right from the start and reacted in an absolutely positive way, which touched me very much. Everyone was very considerate and even stripped their beds themselves, for example.”
In July, Sinah then began working with Bookiply. Even before Corona, it was not easy for smaller homeowners and family-run businesses to increase their reach and attract new guests to Langenargen. With cancelations, it was also often difficult to refill the calendar and this year had lots of those.
“In this situation and due to many cancelations, without Bookiply it would certainly have been very difficult to fill the calendar again in the fall.”
The summer season at Lake Constance then saw a real boom, and within a short time after the cooperation with Bookiply began, the Heinemann Guest House also received many new bookings. Short-term cancelations could be compensated for, so that a season full of challenges, which had been difficult for everyone, still had a generally satisfactory outcome.
“With Bookiply, I think it’s great that they really pay attention to rather small hosts and vacation rental owners.”
All this makes Sinah, who is also on the board of regional private rental owners, look forward to the next year with confidence, and she hopes that the smaller hosts can be pooled more effectively in the future to make the region even stronger.
Sinah’s Bookiply Favorites
“Bookiply was like a fuze that brought us many new guests in a short time and saved last-minute cancelations.”
“What I like so much about Bookiply is also that they really listen to us hosts.”
“The app is really great and makes it very easy for me to manage the apartments and react quickly to cancelations as well.”
“Often people think that they already have good photos in the listing. But when I saw the photos provided by Bookiply, I realized how important professional photos are in order to make your listing more appealing.”