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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 16, 2009
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Hotel With a Golf Course
December 16, 2009   
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Marcin Górzyński, chairman of the board of Aquila Park, which owns the Holiday Inn Józefów, talks to Jolanta Wolska.

The Holiday Inn chain of hotels is planning to rebrand 3,500 hotels worldwide. What is the aim of this exercise?
Today, there are three Holiday Inn hotels in Poland: in Warsaw, in Józefów and in Cracow. Ours will be the first hotel to rebrand.

While the name will remain the same, we will be changing the logo design, and we will provide a redefined client service. There will be additional services in the housekeeping area and front desk, and we will add some small marketing effects, such as a Holiday Inn aroma around the reception desk, and music which will be different in different areas and at varying times of the day.

Why was the Holiday Inn Józefów chosen to be the first in this rebranding campaign?
Maybe because we are one of the newest hotels, and so we need to introduce the smallest number of changes, unlike the old and established hotels that need to revamp many areas and in some case refurbish the premises.

Holiday Inn Józefów opened in 2007. Has it met expectations?
In terms of occupancy I would say almost, even though the year was difficult for everyone. We are on track with our long-term plan. We feel that only after four years of operations we can fairly say whether it was a good investment or not. We are in the middle of the four-year term, and after two years it is looking optimistic. We have 148 rooms and my job is to attract a full house. It is not easy to attract more than 148 people every day of the year, but it is possible. Our occupancy rate continues to grow and it is a good investment.

What differentiates Holiday Inn Józefów guests from city hotel customers?
We are concentrating on conferences and event guests. Our clients are mostly from big companies, and we are concentrating on group events, and events such as big product launches and company promotions. Seventy percent of our clients come from this area. Around 20-30 percent are individual business or leisure clients. That is why our marketing activity concentrates in the main on B2B relations, both international and Polish companies.

What percentage of your guests are foreigners?
We are concentrating on large Polish companies and multinationals with headquarters in Warsaw. We don't have many contacts with foreign companies abroad. So 90-95 percent of our clientele is from Poland.

The hotel is promoted online as a resort. Why?
In fact, we are something between a hotel and a resort. It is difficult to position this hotel. We are different than others and this difference is an interesting tool which allows us to offer our clients different services and products. On the one hand, we have a small golf course and a spa, on the other hand we have excellent state-of-the-art conference rooms.

Your hotel offers a golf course on site. How much of a draw is this?
As far as I know we are the only hotel in Poland to offer a golf course on site. I think interest in it is growing. This unique selling point attracts many new clients, especially from big companies. Golf is not very popular in Poland yet, but it is growing very fast and it is seen as a luxurious and prestigious form of spending free business time. So this is a good combination with conferences.

What are the attractions of having a hotel 25 km from Warsaw city center?
We have nice surroundings. I see opportunities for us in this location, as we are not very far from the city center, and we can easily attract people even for a one-day conference. Of course, we realize that ours is not a leisure destination, hence it is harder to attract individual tourist clients. However, for groups we are an excellent hotel, as we are close to the city but not too close, and so they can concentrate on the conferences, networking and getting to know each other better, which is the reason they come to us in the first place.
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