Forbes Georgia spoke to the General Manager of Crowne Plaza Borjomi, Andrey Vlasov.
Borjomi is a famous resort town that gained its reputation from the mineral springs that flow through it. Curative powers of these springs have made Borjomi the top destination for spa lovers. Crowne Plaza’s Spa & Wellness Centre offers comfort, luxury, and cozy atmosphere. Here, professionals lead revitalization programs that have lasting effects on the body. Forbes Georgia spoke to the General Manager of Crowne Plaza Borjomi, Andrey Vlasov, to find out more about the company’s success on the Georgian market and its future plans.
“We speak your language!”is a slogan we came across very often on your hotel’s website. What is the main message you convey with this slogan?
Actually, this is not our primary slogan – it’s just a common expression for online booking channels.
Our local slogan is “Where Hospitality Meets the Nature,” which underlines our unique location in Borjomi, with its unbelievably beautiful nature, and our focus on the satisfaction of our guests, so that they gain positive memories of their stays.
Our brand’s global slogan is “Great Hotels Guests Love.” It is a guide to our approach to business: take guests by surprise and go beyond their expectations so they stay loyal and recommend us to others.
Why Georgia and why Borjomi, specifically?
Borjomi is unique historic resort in South-Central Georgia famous for its mineral water springs, warm climate and forests. All of this made Borjomi a favorite summer destination for the 18th-century Russian and Georgian aristocracy and gave it the nickname “the Pearl of the Caucasus.”
Hotel development, as well as the construction of private summer residences and parks, began in Borjomi in the 1900s. Later, the post-Soviet political and economic crisis stopped development in the area, but Borjomi remained a popular destination for local tourism. In the 2000s, the growth of private investment in tourism and municipal infrastructure helped Borjomi recover from a decade of decay.
In 2013, after several years of construction, Crowne Plaza Borjomi by InterContinental Hotels Group opened its doors, becoming the first international hotel in the region. Crowne Plaza Borjomi has 101 rooms of eight different categories, three restaurants, a 2,500 sq. m. Spa, several conference facilities, Yoga Room, Kids Club, and many more amenities.
Borjomi is a famous spa and resort town — what does it mean to be part of the hospitality business in such an environment?
Managing a hospitality business in a resort town is a big advantage. Such an environment allows us to offer a variety of activities and ensure our guests take long-term positive memories with them. A large portion of our guests are families coming for long stays, to whom we offer full-service packages. We are always happy to see our guests coming back — this is our prize for hard work. That is what our global slogan, “Great Hotels Guests Love,” is all about.
Crowne Plaza is also famous for its Spa Center. Can you tell us more about these facilities?
Our Spa and Wellness Center is about 2,500 square meters and offers more than 100 different treatments, divided into several zones. All facilities in the Thermal Zone are included in the room rate — an indoor pool, four different types of saunas, a cold room and a relaxation zone, where guests may enjoy a calm rest on water mattresses. Special procedures and massages are available for an additional price, with a vast variety of aroma and body restoration therapies to choose from. We also offer Spa Apartments, where guests can enjoy these body treatments in complete privacy.
In addition to body procedures, guests are able to choose from a number of skincare and other aesthetic regimens that involve the use of high-tech equipment and quality beauty products.
We also must not forget our signature Borjomi mineral water facilities and treatments that our Spa is famous for. Such treatments include hydro baths and colon hydrotherapy.
Another distinguishing detail of the Crowne Plaza Borjomi is the Yoga Room, where guests are offered free morning yoga sessions led by an Indian instructor. Private yoga sessions are also available at any time.
The list of services offered in our Spa is quite long, and I could talk non-stop about them. Certainly, Spa is a major highlight of the Crowne Plaza Borjomi.
Borjomi is famous for its mineral waters. Do you view it as an added attraction for your guests?
Absolutely! We have natural Borjomi mineral water springs in our yard, which are accessible to each guest for free. They can also have consultations with our doctors, who can recommend water intake regimens to maximize the effectiveness of Borjomi water’s healing abilities.
The Borjomi hot sulfur baths in the middle of the woods are another benefit our guests love. These baths have various positive effects and help treat medical disorders. To get to them from the hotel, one crosses through the Borjomi Park on hiking trails, which is another must-see. Access to the park and sulfur baths is free for our guests.
Let’s sum up the tourism potential of Borjomi: how does your business relate to this location; how do Borjomi and Crowne Plaza benefit from each other; and how do guests of Crowne Plaza benefit from both?
In Georgia, the tourism index increases exponentially every year. Naturally, this affects every region of the country, Borjomi in particular, as it remains one of the most popular destinations in Georgia. As a result, we welcome more guests to the Crowne Plaza, and in return, IHG helps us build awareness of the region. We continue to enrich the variety of our services based on our location and focus on delivering superior experiences to our guests.
Is it important to you how guests assess the hotel’s services?
How do you use survey results, and how does their analysis help you in your future work? Surveys and feedback are extremely valuable for our business. We analyze and update our services according to guest suggestions and recommendations on a daily basis. Most of our guests provide their feedback via online booking channels. For IHG Rewards Club members, we offer a separate platform where guests may leave their feedback and rank our property. I am proud to say that among the 88 IHG properties across Great Britain and Europe, Crowne Plaza Borjomi is always ranked number one, based on overall guest satisfaction.
Plans and predictions for the future?
We will continue to invest in the region, and soon will be launching new hotel development projects in Borjomi, as well as in other regions of Georgia.