“People can discover an idyllic place where calm reigns, where nature invites to relaxation, and the beauty of our gardens offers the opportunity to organize any type of banqueting,” said Kushtrim Aliu, manager of the Hotel & Conference Center. “With 90 hotel rooms and 10 seminar spaces, our establishment offers the possibility of organizing all types of events.”
The Chateau de Bossey is at the heart of the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement. Today, stakeholders come together in important ways at the Hotel & Conference Center.
“Many of our clients who come to us from the secular world and international organisations witnessed that this aspect is one of the added values that one cannot find elsewhere,” said Aliu. “Our place is fully booked most of the time.”
On any given day, the Hotel & Conference Center hosts people from different parts of the world, some of whom are visiting the leading ecumenical library in the world, some of whom are attending conferences, some of whom are simply appreciating the beautiful natural setting.
“I have interacted very closely with the students who came to us from all over the world,” said Aliu. “I have discovered the richness of traditions and cultures that students come with and learned to appreciate and work with sensitivity with all people of faith or of no faith who regularly come to us and share the same life values as promoted in Bossey.”
As traditions and cultures are enriched wherever people and students gather, people appreciate the services provided by staff who often work behind the scenes to ensure visitors have what they need.
“The secret of this achievement in staff management, I think is my own 12 years of long experience as working staff in Bossey, coordinating the banqueting, food, and beverage sectors and then as overall operations manager, learning from and working closely with the director and with three managers since 2011 when I came to Bossey,” Aliu said. “The result of this strategy in staffing and cost control has showed its fruits, enabling us to close 2022 to what was referred to as a ‘historic achievement’ never seen before.”
The achievement comes even after the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. "We came to a heavy projected deficit of almost 800,000 CHF which forced us to look for a way of survival in that moment and to think forward to the future,” he recalled. “First, we had to open new staff positions and the number increased from five to 11—what we have today,” he said. “In doing that delicate reorientation, my first concern was to limit the deficit and to motivate the rather small number of staff in order to provide versatile work to continue to offer quality services to our customers.”
Those quality services have continued to make Chateau de Bossey a setting in which people can work, pray, and walk together. Visitors may even experience snow for the first time in their lives when they are visiting the French Alps or hiking in the Swiss mountains.
Today, those visitors are writing the next chapters of the history of Chateau de Bossey—and impacting the future of the ecumenical movement as well.