Although most of us have done our best to push the pandemic as far as possible from our minds, 2022 has been replete with surprises of all kinds — from the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to renewed waves of virulent COVID strains that have led to rising case numbers throughout Switzerland and elsewhere.

In both summer and winter of 2022, daily laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID increased by up to 35’000 per day. These are shocking numbers for Switzerland, considering there were no more than 10’000 cases per day throughout 2020.

 

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Switzerland
Source: Our World In Data

Summing up the results of the year, we can say with confidence, that all challenges were successfully handled. Let’s review how Le Bijou passed through the crisis, unlocked many new investment opportunities, and introduced deal-by-deal opportunities in the second part of 2022.

How has the luxury hospitality industry managed to thrive amid all of this turmoil?

Despite the gloomy news worldwide, we’re pleased to be the bearers of some much-needed good news. Our optimism is primarily owed to Le Bijou’s ability to rise and meet the advanced needs of its patrons in a time of revolving crises.

“The investors and stakeholders believe Le Bijou's innovation is applicable worldwide
and that the company will continue its steady advance towards becoming
a new bluechip corporation.” – Entrepreneur

Le Bijou’s embrace of the “home away from home” model has kickstarted a new global standard of service in the luxury hospitality industry. In saying this, none of the imitators have come close to matching the exceptional standard set by Le Bijou. Our mission is to provide a better option for guests, rather than forcing them to choose between two flawed options — sterile, conventional hotels vs. inconsistent, individually hosted venues.

In contrast, Le Bijou, under the direction of the Hübner family, has actively eliminated any traditional features that are deemed outdated or even dangerous. For example, there are no “standard” amenities found in Le Bijou properties. That means no reception (and no receptionist either), no restaurant (as the whole city is a restaurant), no lobby, no other guests, and no unexpected cleaner visits (unless you invite them at a certain time). We expect that this novel approach to hospitality will be the de-facto standard in the post-crisis world. Co-founder and CEO Alexander Hübner saw the change coming many years ago.

Turning challenges into opportunities

Le Bijou units feature full-service kitchens and in-room amenities, including saunas, fireplaces, and gyms, to support guests in staying on top of their health and fitness no matter how long their stay is. The suite of amenities means guests need not set foot out of their apartment if they wish to. Le Bijou apartments also boast an app and a concierge service where guests can order groceries, meals, and massages and even hire a personal chef.

Was it a long-term vision involving intensive planning or a mere coincidence to arrive at this pioneering hospitality model? “A bit of both,” says Alexander Hübner.

“I enjoy studying history and modeling the future in my head. I actually did think about an apocalyptic scenario where you won't be allowed to see any other living creature for a couple of months. The world has already seen a few of those pandemics and a lot of more localized quarantines. I thought that we'd have an advantage in this type of situation, although I didn't see it coming in 2020. If I did, I wouldn't probably change much in the hotel. We were prepared.” – Alexander Hübner

Quarantine offer from Le Bijou

Le Bijou came up with a quarantine offer designed to maximize both safety and comfort for its guests, considering the 27% decrease in day trips in Switzerland in 2020 due to the COVID crisis.

First and foremost, Le Bijou apartments stand out because they can be operated without any staff. Especially under such circumstances, this feature (or lack thereof) became far more important than ever. In addition to this, Le Bijou offered a suite of customizable services, including (but not limited to):

  • Medical servicing while in quarantine: Customers could convert their Le Bijou apartment into a private health center. With the assistance of external specialists, Le Bijou provided healthcare services such as nursing, food delivery, and many more, all complying with rigorous health, safety, and hygiene standards administered under medical control.
  • Private monitoring: With our healthcare partner, Double Check, we provided 24/7 personal health monitoring. Our apartments are all centrally located and in immediate proximity to emergency hospitals.
  • Curated meals prepared with the utmost care: Our personal chef meets the highest healthcare standards in making sure that all meals are prepared to support your health.
  • Home office 2.0: The ability to book a Le Bijou apartment as a personal home office and enjoy high-speed internet and staff-free check-in. We also offered one of the best entertainment programs in the hospitality industry.
  • In-room COVID-19 testing: No need to expose yourself to infected patients and risk contracting a hospital-acquired infection. Together with our healthcare partner, Double Check, we provided medical check-ups and a COVID-19 test (if you showed heavy symptoms) inside your Le Bijou apartment.
  • Avoid hospital-acquired infections: Our healthcare partner, Double Check, based in Zurich, offered private care in Switzerland's most exclusive clinic. Get fast-track access to the most reputable clinicians and cutting-edge treatments.

“The Zug-based company ‘Le Bijou’ offers quarantine in a luxurious way. Now the company is going one step further: Medical staff can now stay in the luxury apartments free of charge – to relax.” — Luzernerzeitung.ch

Moreover, at Le Bijou, we offered a free stay to healthcare workers and those working overtime to fight COVID-19 as a display of gratitude for their service. Likewise, we believe that innovation and courage can help all of us through a crisis. Small to medium enterprises must be creative in finding new ways to generate revenue and save jobs instead of further redundancies and job cuts. However, social responsibility should not be left out of the equation.

Adhering to these principles has helped Le Bijou to overcome the pandemic, stay afloat, and continue to generate income for our investors during the toughest of times, while simultaneously providing top-quality services to our patrons. On top of this, Le Bijou has caught the attention of the worldwide media, including Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, Insider, Blick, and CNBC, which also appreciated our efforts by featuring us in their news content.

Conclusion

At Le Bijou, we are confident that our exclusive operational model — ever-evolving with the times — and unique mission of transforming hospitality will continue to generate ongoing success. Our cutting-edge, tech-enabled accommodation approach heralds a new type of hospitality able to withstand even the most extreme circumstances — perhaps even a zombie apocalypse.

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