The Londa Beach Hotel is a unique boutique hotel located in Limassol. It's a gorgeous hotel with a design and character that makes for a fantastic getaway.
Boutique hotels are world renowned for their personalised service and intimate environment. We wanted to find out a little more about what differentiated a boutique hotel from any other and so we had a chat with Jochen Niemann, General Manager of Londa, to explain.
This is what we found out.
1. What exactly is a boutique hotel and how does it differ from any other hotel, 5 star or otherwise?
The definitions vary according to the reference source that you choose, however all agree that a boutique hotel has between 10 and 100 rooms. Recurring terms describe such a property as a lifestyle hotel which is unique in design, atmosphere and character, and offers high level of quality in its facilities, often also luxurious.
2. Is there something you would expect to find at a boutique hotel that a normal hotel would not have?
Thanks to its smaller size this would be the intimate atmosphere and highly personalised service.
3. How does the Londa maintain the quality and service required to be a boutique hotel?
Thanks to our great team of employees, we are able to maintain close guest contact and build relationships. Guest feedback is closely monitored and our service accordingly analysed and adjusted.
4. What does running your hotel involve; what’s your typical day?
The beauty of being in the hospitality industry is that there is no typical day. When dealing with guests at such a personal level the routine work is kept to the very minimum.
5. What are your biggest challenges?
Being an independent hotel, the Londa lacks the magnitude of marketing resources that member hotels of large chains can rely on. In order to overcome this situation, we recently joined the marketing alliance Small Luxury Hotels, which is internationally known as a well established and trusted luxury brand.
6. What is the general feeling about boutique hotels in Cyprus? Have Cypriots caught onto the concept of what a boutique hotel is or do they simply put it into the same category as any other hotel, 5 star or otherwise, on the island?
Cypriots are travellers and as such, have a very good understanding of what a boutique hotel stands for and what to expect. Checking into a five star boutique hotel one can and should expect at least the same level of luxury service as known from a 300 bedroom five-star property. The only difference being that due to its smaller size, the boutique hotel does not have multiple F&B outlets and can only offer a limited number of other facilities.
7. How has the recent recession affected boutique hotels? Have they been hit as hard as any other hotels in the region?
Boutique hotels usually target niche markets. The Londa caters both for couples in the leisure market as well as for the individual business traveller. We do not need to fill hundreds of rooms with families on all inclusive packages, meeting and incentive groups, wedding parties etc. In economically challenging times, niche products always have an advantage.
8. Do you expect to see more chains operating boutique brands? If yes, do you think they will be a threat to the established boutique hoteliers?
Internationally operating hotel chains have the tendency to be present in every market segment. Many have already launched their own boutique brand, the latest being Canopy by Hilton and there will be more to come. The majority of these new brands are targeting the Millennium generation, offering lean luxury, a hotel experience rich in high-tech but with fewer services and facilities. These operate on or below a classified 3 star level, similar to low cost airlines. I believe these new brands are competing with each other but not with the established full serviced luxury independent boutique properties.
The esteemed honour of accepting these two awards on behalf of Londa Hotel fell to its General Manager Jochen Niemann, who travelled to Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso in Athens, Greece to attend the World Travel Awards™ Europe Gala Ceremony on Saturday 2 August.
The gratitude that Niemann extended to all of those who voted in favour of the hotel could be felt in what he had to say: “It was a humbling experience knowing that I was representing one of the best hotels in Europe because I would not be there if not for all the hard work of the staff and the appreciation of our guests. Such notable Awards like these are a reminder to all in the Travel industry that we must always aim to be the best at what we do – at Londa we never forget this.”
At the Europe Gala Ceremony, which took place in Athens, Greece, on Saturday 2 August, Hilton Cyprus was one of 24 Hilton Worldwide properties in Europe to receive an accolade. Cyprus’s leading business hotel. Hilton Worldwide flagship brand, Hilton Hotels & Resorts was also awarded Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand, reflecting its presence in 34 countries across the region.
Charis Michael, Hotel Manager, Hilton Cyprus said, “I am delighted to see Hilton Cyprus recognized at these well-respected awards, especially for the second consecutive year. This demonstrates the team’s outstanding commitment to providing Hilton’s world-renowned hospitality to our guests and the quality of the hotel’s facilities.”
The prestigious World Travel Awards have been recognising organisations delivering outstanding customer experience in travel and tourism for more than 20 years. They have become a key global institution of the industry, stimulating competition and innovation among operators, as well as providing a helpful testimonial for quality to travellers worldwide.
More information on the categories and winners of the World Travel Awards 2014 can be found at http://www.worldtravelawards.com/winners2014.
Hilton Cyprus is the only 5 star hotel in Nicosia. We are constantly developing in order to attract guests from the domestic and international markets. The hotel attracts many large conferences, governmental delegations, official visits and VIP stays. Offering fully equipped extensive meeting facilities with themed coffee breaks, and variety of food & beverage options that suit all tastes. We have a long history on hosting prestigious weddings and social events. In terms of leisure, the Hiltonia Health Club is considered one of the best health clubs in town and our members have been loyal to us for many years.
2. How do Cypriot 5 star hotel compare to others in the world?
Nowadays, Cypriot 5 star hotels match the high international standards of other hotels around the world. As a matter of fact over the last years we have seen Cypriot hotels secure Worldwide Hotel Awards, certificates and recognitions.
3. How does the well know Cypriot hospitality play a role in your hotel?
It is generally accepted that Cypriots have a warm and loving nature that really impresses visitors every time they come to Cyprus. Our mission as a Hilton property is to do our utmost to satisfy and even exceed guests’ expectations. Since 1967 we are welcoming guests to Hilton Cyprus and encouraging them to experience the Hilton as well as the Cypriot hospitality through our various excellent facilities. 4. What do you recommend your customers to do when it’s raining outside?
Well the best place to be when it is raining outside is Hilton Cyprus where you can explore endless leisure facilities. From staying connected to friends and family with our free Wi-Fi service in all the public areas of the hotel, to enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee at the well known Lobby Lounge, having lunch at our Fontana restaurant or even staying in shape at our magnificent Hiltonia Health Club. Furthermore, we have many shops to satisfy all tastes and preferences. So we could say the options are so many for our guests that even when the weather is not that good, which happens rarely in Cyprus, we are able to facilitate a pleasant stay.
5. If there was one thing that you could change about the hotel, what would it be and why?
The only steady thing in life is change! If were to do in the future what we did in the past, there would be no progress. Because we are proud of our long Hilton tradition, we continuously work towards improving our future.
Congratulations must be extended to Antara Palace Wellness & Destination Spa located in Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus, which has been awarded the "Best Luxury Destination Spa" at the 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards!!!
With over 50 spa treatments and a range of wellness retreats that one can choose from, it is not surprising that this spectacularly decorated ultra-luxury boutique hotel that opened its doors in October 2013 has been bestowed this honour.
“The World Luxury Spa Awards, part of the World Luxury Hotel Awards, gives recognition to the best, most luxurious Spas across the globe for their high quality of standards, innovation and service in fourteen different categories. The voting is done by industry spa gurus and those who are frequent visitors to the most beautiful Spas all over the world.”
If you would like to know more about this amazing spa retreat, see here.