Experience the unique, modern and sophisticated spirit of Hyatt Regency Belgrade
Experience the modern and sophisticated spirit of the Hyatt Regency Belgrade, one of the finest five star hotels in the city. It offers 282 modern rooms and suites and constitutes the perfect option for both leisure and business travellers, as it occupies a premier address in the heart of the main business, culture and entertainment district of New Belgrade, close to the city center. The hotel is within walking distance of Stark Arena and just across the bridge from Belgrade Waterfront, the most exclusive business and residential district in the city, and Galerija, the city’s largest shopping mall.
The Collection Editor in Chief Sandra Vlatković interviewed Mr Zafiris Lampadaridis, General Manager of the iconic Hyatt Regency Belgrade hotel. Mr Lampadaridis has over 20 years of experience with Hyatt brand and is given us an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the hotel and Belgrade’s hospitality market.
For over a decade you have been living and working in Belgrade. How would you describe Belgrade today, compared to when you arrived for the first time?
A lot of things have changed over the past decade, I must say. The city has developed and thrived but I think the people and their lifestyles have changed the most. This is a city that never sleeps, and everyone is in a hurry. It took me a while to get used to the pace of life here, but right now I could not imagine myself in any other destination.
Belgrade has been one of the most sought-after conference destinations in the region for many years, and now aims to become one of the main conference centres of Europe. What is your message to all those who can contribute to raising the attractiveness of Belgrade as a conference destination?
Today, the conference industry is one of the most important segments for the development of a society, and Serbia and Belgrade have great potential that has not been fully realised yet, and whose time we believe is still to come. In order for business to continue to grow, a serious, dedicated, professional and, above all, responsible approach from all of us in the conference and tourism industry is necessary, in order to place Serbia and Belgrade at the centre of the map of conference tourism.
INTERVIEW WITH MR ZAFIRIS LAMPADARIDIS – GENERAL MANAGER OF HYATT REGENCY BELGRADE
It is quite demanding to stay operational during a pandemic and achieve positive results. What has been the strategy for you?
To be honest, at the beginning of the pandemic we were shocked, I believe like the whole world was. Then we focused on our biggest strengths and took action based on keeping people safe, as well as keeping our essential business functions operating. We adjusted our hotel strategy based on the ongoing situation, with more organized / coordinated efforts to stabilize operations. First and foremost, I always emphasize that caring for the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, guests and customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been the top priority for Hyatt.
Why should Hyatt Regency Belgrade be travellers’ first choice in Belgrade?
Our motto is “We care for people so they can be their best” and that is something we aim to prove every day. We want to make a difference to the lives of those with whom we are in contact daily, whether they are guests, colleagues or members of the community, and that is what we are constantly working on. At Hyatt Regency Belgrade, we see people as individuals with different desires and needs, and we try to meet all their requirements whether strictly business-oriented or vacation-oriented.
In recent years, we have witnessed new investment throughout the hotel. What can we expect to see in the coming years?
The company will continue our tradition of innovation, to care for people through empathy and always promote integrity and creativity. As stronger demand for meetings and small conventions continues, the upgrade and improvement of the facilities is a must. Over the last three years the hotel has begun the transformation of its renowned Focaccia restaurant into Studio, a unique venue giving our guests a perfect new setting for creative meetings, formal presentations, workshops, art exhibitions and celebratory gatherings. Several major renovation projects at the end of what was a very challenging previous year included the redesign of the Tea House outlet into a café-style market. A home to Belgrade’s people sharing time, space, attitudes and customs, Tea House – Not Strictly Business since 1990, represents a home for not only business and high-end travellers, but also families and special moments celebrated in life. The company continues to invest in the property and upgrade the building, so plans are also in place to renovate a further two guestroom floors.
What does it take to become a successful hotel general manager?
There are many factors that are interconnected, but they all start with this one: You have to deeply love what you are doing. It should not feel like you are preparing to go to work every morning; it is not a job, but rather your home. From that starting point, I would also say commitment, rapid adaptation to change, understanding the needs and desires of people and, of course, innovation, are all very important. But as the cornerstone of success, I would have to highlight my staff. They are the backbone of our hotel and without them, we wouldn’t be successful. When a relationship of trust and understanding is created, it’s a winning combination.
HYATT REGENCY BELGRADE
Milentija Popovića 5, Belgrade
Tel. +381 11 301 1234