DialogStory #10 - Anna Wiesler

Posted by:
Antonia Quell
October 10, 2023

Between Family Business, Digitalization, and Black Forest Cherry

The Wieslers have a tradition. Already in its third generation, the Seehotel Wiesler on Lake Titisee in the Black Forest continues to thrive. Young hotelier Anna Wiesler shares the secret of a harmonious family business, her passion for technology, and a vision for fairer rating systems.

"My father always said: 'Do what makes people happy that you are working,'" Anna Wiesler has taken this advice to heart. Today, she is the third-generation hotelier. Located right on Lake Titisee, near the French and Swiss borders, where there once was just a modest potato field, now stands a modern, sustainable wellness hotel. The family-run Seehotel Wiesler has since become a beloved part of the local landscape.

The Seehotel Wiesler on Lake Titisee

“My grandmother built the hotel back in 1971. Grandma and Grandpa met here,” Anna Wiesler talks about her homeland, the High Black Forest. “My father joined the business at 16 and took over the hotel when he was 24,” recalls the 26-year-old.

The Wieslers have always been the heart of the 4*S hotel: Anna’s brother works in the kitchen, her mother handles the cosmetics, and Anna’s father takes care of the administrative duties.

What might be a challenge for many families is routine for the Wieslers. “Our philosophy is that everyone has their own area. You can do what you want, ask others for feedback. At the same time, we are very careful not to interfere too much. I think that's why things work so harmoniously for us,” Anna explains.

Anna herself has been fully involved since the COVID-19 pandemic. She took over the reception desk alone while the staff was on short-time work. “Also, because I was really interested, I took over the reception during the lockdown. That means for half a year I was cancelling and rebooking all reservations. And when we reopened, I was the one who knew the system best,” the aspiring hotelier explains.

Anna Wiesler is an aspiring hotelier at the Seehotel Wiesler.

With a knack for technology and a passion for digitalization, Anna quickly implemented about 20 new programs at Seehotel Wiesler. Innovation and digitality are focal points of the family business. "Digitalization plays a very big role for us. It's just exciting! We are super personal, that's what sets us apart, and that's also why guests come to us. That's why it's important for us to strike a balance between digitalization and the analog, between automation and the personal," Anna distinguishes. "And I think digitalization really offers genuine opportunities. For example, alongside the chatbot, we also have an online check-in. Eighty percent of our guests use it. This reduces bureaucratic effort and gives us more time to help guests upon arrival." Visitors to Seehotel are served a welcome drink and then personally escorted to their rooms by the team—a prime example of how automation can complement great service!

Chatbot Relaxa is regularly trained by Anna and the results are impressive. “It’s really good now! The bot answers 99% of the questions. My reception team wouldn’t want to give it up,” the tech enthusiast is pleased. However, Relaxa struggles when guests write in Swiss German, but she’s probably not the only one. 😄

When asked what she would change in the hotel industry if she could do so immediately, Anna quickly has an answer: review systems. “The idea behind them is cool. It's practical to be able to gather reviews and feedback from other people. But lately, there's been a weird dynamic. Some people give totally subjective feedback and forget that tastes differ.” Tastes can almost be taken literally here. Anna talks about a review that criticized the cherries on the Black Forest cherry cake as too sour, or a guest who complained that goulash shouldn't be served with spaetzle and vegetables. (At this point, the DialogShift team might object!) These cases are exceptions according to Anna, but they still cause frustration. “I would like a review system that is mutual, like on AirBnB. You’d probably think more carefully before writing a review than you would with an anonymous Google review,” she suggests instead.

With such creativity, Anna is sure to achieve her visions for the future of Seehotel Wiesler. “My goal is that we keep evolving. We are well-positioned, and I hope it stays that way. We’ve found people for Seehotel who fit together well both in their work and as individuals. It’s cool when you have a team you can rely on.”

Thank you, Anna, for the wonderful conversation!

About Seehotel Wiesler:

The 4*S wellness hotel on Lake Titisee delights its regional and international guests with sustainable vacations, whether relaxed or active. A connection to nature and local culture is emphasized in the family-run hotel. The Wieslers are from the region and know what they’re talking about. Whether it’s in the panoramic lake restaurant, the wellness area, or the Black Forest right outside, the Seehotel invites you to indulge.