TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Monday, February 18, 2019
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
To get to know a city you're visiting, it's important to walk through the streets, visit museums, try different local tastes, and chat with people who live in that city. After all this, you will return to the hotel where you are staying and evaluate the experience of that day and experience the hospitality of that city. Designed with a luxurious hotel concept, the SAINT TEN Hotel is located in the center of Belgrade. With the special services they offer, they aim to make leisure travellers feel like out of their daily life. And at the same time, they provide meeting rooms and solution-oriented services to keep business travellers to be connected to their business life. In order to learn more about SAINT TEN Hotel, I talked with Sara Simovic, Director of Sales and Marketing at SAINT TEN Hotel, Belgrade.
Sara, before talking about SAINT TEN Luxury Boutique Hotel, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Sara Simovic?
Sure thing, My name is Sara Simovic I was born in Santiago de Chile, Chile. I have spent have of my life in Chile and half in Serbia. My parents are Serbian and I live in Belgrade since 2001. After finishing my studies I worked in many hotels in Belgrade. I am mainly specialized in Luxury hotels, 5-star hotels and luxury brands where I love to specifically target those clients who recognize personalized service and tailor-made offers. Besides work, I love to spend time with my Jack Russell-Taki, my family, sports activities as well as travel all around the world.
SAINT TEN Hotel
The history of your building dates back to 1929. Could you briefly tell us about the design details and its architect Stojan Veljkovic?
That is correct. The building itself has an amazing history dating from 1929, its architect was Stojan Veljkovic which is very known by the design of many buildings in Belgrade as well as his family who was a very wealthy family known by inventing the Serbian Dinar. Stojan which was the owner of the house was a Mason and on the facade, you can see the Mason symbols which are under state protection, that's why when we were building the hotel we had to make that part of the house as similar as possible with every symbol on it. Mr. Stojan as a mason also gathered a lot of people in his house like ministers, MI6 agents and so no. A lot of historic moments happened in the house exactly where our 2 signature Suites are located for example the Cvetkovic-Macek agreement was signed. Also, the legend says that Mr. Dusko Popov (A.K.A James Bond by Ian Fleming) was an often guest in the house and he held many meetings in it. Our design concept is a fusion between modern and traditional, modern to keep up with trends and traditional to respect the building history.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Lobby
What do you enjoy most about your building?
That every room is different, that way returning guests can feel a different experience every time. Being a building under state protection does not allow you to make big changes that's why our architects made their best to accommodate our rooms. The second thing I would say the street where its located-calm but also popular and very historic street.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Ministry Suite
Could you tell us about SAINT TEN and the overall concept?
SAINT TEN Hotel luxury boutique hotels is a 5 star property located in central Belgrade. We offer an intimate luxury ambiance in an environment where every aspect of the hotel was designed with attention to details incorporating all the functionalities needed to assure the luxury level of service and comfort for all our guests. The hotel was built in a sustainable manner to satisfy the highest needs of business guests. With our uniquely personalized service and special attention to details, we offer our guests world-class amenities and a memorable stay.
What is the definition of luxury in SAINT TEN?
Besides providing guests with world-class amenities such as Noir toiletries, Italian Espresso coffee machine, Serta Mattresses, 100% cotton bathrobes and slippers for SAINT TEN, the luxury moment is about providing the best personalized service and anticipating guests needs. We invest most of our time and assets in providing the best service.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Junior Suite Balcony
What kind of different rooms and suites do you offer to your guests? Could you tell us about their features and design details?
Our hotel offers 3 types of rooms, Classics, Executives, and Suites. Each category is divided then into Queen, King or Twin bedding. Classics are our standard rooms from 20-22 square meters, Executives are bigger around 35 square meters and then we have our Suites: Junior Suite with Balcony, Ministry Signature suite and our Executive Suite which is a 120 square meter Suite which we like to call the presidential suite.
All amenities in rooms are the same. To our guests we offer:
- A non-alcoholic minibar free of charge
- Espresso coffee machine with capsules for coffee and tea free of charge
- Access to the fitness and sauna
- Free international landline calls
SAINT TEN Hotel - Presidential Living Room
By booking our Suites (Signature or Presidential) the hotel offers many tailor-made amenities designed individually for each guest.
What are the privileges that you offer to your guests in the SAINT TEN?
I can for sure say that besides being located in one of the most beautiful districts of Belgrade, centrally located and with a superb service our guests enjoy the most our free non-alcoholic minibar and espresso in the room.
SAINT TEN Hotel
What would you want to say about the gastronomic diversity of Belgrade? How could your guest live this experience in SAINT TEN?
Belgrade is a growing destination which is getting more popular especially in terms of food and service. Balkan and Serbian cuisines are known for their organic and amazing tastes. Belgrade has a lot to offer from the Serbian Kafana with local amazing food based on meat and cheeses to fine dining restaurants with superb cuisine. At SAINT TEN you can feel both, our wish was to show people local food represented in a modern way but also offer international cuisine such as the French cuisine with a fusion of local tastes. In our restaurant you can taste carefully picked ingredients, local produce and an enormous love for cooking resulted in a fusion of most special dishes with a variety of tastes.
How can your guest relax in SAINT TEN? Please tell us about wellbeing alternatives.
Our hotel offers activities such as fitness with Technogym cardio program, a sauna made of abachi timber and a specially created massage concept with a wide range of treatments that will satisfy all needs of massage lovers.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Ministry Suite
Could you tell us about the services and facilities? How could your guests spend time at SAINT TEN?
Our guests besides having all amenities in the room for a comfortable stay from USB chargers to Smart TVs can spend the perfect evening in our a la carte restaurant, sip a perfect cocktail at the bar or enjoy our massage list. Besides all of these our Guest relations Manager has an arrange of activities prepared for our guests with the best recommendations and connections for tours and activities in Belgrade and around.
You are organizing different events throughout the year. How can your guest follow these events? What should they expect from your events?
All our events are posted via social media or our website. All information, prices and booking button are set so guests can easily book one of our internal events. Our internal events are our most creative inspiration where we as a team gather and think about new trends, new cocktails, new activities and time of the year related events. In our events expect always a surprise, from actors to special live music program.,
SAINT TEN Hotel - Paper Room
What kind of services and meeting rooms do you offer to companies that want to organize their meetings and events in SAINT TEN?
Our meeting rooms called THE COVENANT (as a very important Covenant was signed in the hotel building) offer the ultimate technical equipment, 110 square meters of conference space with 2 projectors, TV, an interactive board with the possibility to save everything you touch in the touch screen directly to your computer and sound system. Besides our meeting rooms, our biggest selling point when it comes to meetings and events are our colleagues who are specialized and at your full disposal during the whole event making every wish possible.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Stamp Room
What kind of additional services do you offer for business travellers?
SAINT TEN Hotel offers Wifi as a “must have” these days and of course: garage, possibility to print, a laptop for our guests and meeting rooms at their disposal.
Do you have any advantage packs or loyalty program that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?
That is the perfect question since from the 30th of January we are proud to announce our exclusive strategic alliance with Hyatt, giving World of Hyatt members the opportunity to earn and redeem points and receive exclusive on-property benefits at SAINT TEN Hotel as part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is an exclusive agreement between SLH and Hyatt and we proud to be part of that. Besides that, all Small Luxury hotels as ours have their own loyalty program called INVITED which also provides many benefits to our travelers.
SAINT TEN Hotel - Executive King
How can travelers make their individual or business/group reservations?
Our hotel is bookable in many ways, as technology is expanding we try to keep up with all trends. Individual customers can book via phone, email, our website, slh.com, hyatt.com or any other online travel channel. As for group reservations, there are 2 ways its either directly with the hotel via email or the hotel can provide a tailor-made booking code which guests can use and book through our website.
What are the most famous attractions near SAINT TEN?
Within walking distance from the hotel, you can find many important attractions. First of all its the SAINT SAVA TEMPLE, biggest orthodox temple in Europe only 2 minutes walk and second of all is the Nikola Tesla Museum-who was a Serbian inventor who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. Thanks to our guest relations manager you can book exclusive tickets for all attractions in Belgrade directly with him in the hotel.
SAINT TEN Hotel
If you have only one weekend in Belgrade as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?
3 things - Night Life ( the best party and clubs are in Belgrade), River tour or visit (both Sava and Dunav river) and eat in a Kafana. After these 3 things, you can feel the real Belgrade style.
How do you describe Belgrade in one sentence?
I will have to quote one of the greatest Serbian poets: "Who was fortunate enough to wake up this morning in Belgrade, it can be considered that he has achieved enough in his life today. Any further insistence on something else would be immodest. "
Thank you Sara for your time.