Marketing is characterized by an extraordinary creativity. It has an adaptability to market circumstances similar to a chameleon. There is no room for hesitation at the top luxury hotel sector. Therefore, the person at it’s head is an irreplaceable part of the strategic planning and the profitability of the entire hotel. There are many attractive opportunities on the market and gaining an interesting clientele is becoming more challenging every day. Mistakes or inaction equals loss of customers.
Mrs. Alena Spišiaková is the leader of the luxury hotel marketing sector. She worked for the Kempinski group, and during her time the hotels achieved record profits. She is a woman who is not afraid of any challenges.
Le Globless: Alenka Spisiakova, you are the woman at the head of the hotel calls. How did you get into the hotel industry and specifically into marketing?
Alena Spišiaková: Marketing and business, you need to have it in your blood. For me, it began very naturally. I have been associated with the hotel business and tourism since I was young, as I come from the High Tatras where I was born. It is the most beautiful part of Slovakia and the epicenter of tourism in Slovakia.
“I love the mountains and the virgin beauty of Slovak nature, whose beauty is unique in the world. “
,,Marketing and a sensitivity for the high demands of the client must simply be in your blood. Of course, something can be learned in school, but if you miss it inside , it won’t work. “My love of marketing began with the love of the mountains and high quality. “
Le Globless: What was your first marketing challenge and your first start in the hotel business?
Alenka Spišiaková: At a time when all my acquaintances were traveling mostly to America, I decided to travel to Australia and later to the UK. I was interested in everything new and I gained valuable international eye-opening experience. But I always wanted to return to Slovakia and to the High Tatras as I wanted to contribute to their growth.
I worked in the Tatry Mountains Resorts, the top leader in the field of tourism in Central and Eastern Europe. Our role was to set up marketing strategies for the hotel segment and to build a hotel chain that started with 4 and grew to 10 hotels. Later the portfolio was expanded to restaurants and bars of the group, and we needed to build synergies with the owners of 6 ski resorts, water parks and an amusement park, more than 40 bars and restaurants, ski schools, sports shops, our own sports equipment brand, ski equipment rental and service. The company grew with immense speed and everything was constantly subject to change.
The tempo of work was incredibly fast. After some years, I returned to the Kempinski hotel to rebuild the local sales & marketing team.
Every single segment or country was different at the same time and constantly subject to change. I worked a lot, I didn’t have time for my private life and the tempo of work was incredibly fast. After a few years, I decided to accept a job offer from the Kempinski network.
“Every single marketer needs a lot of experience and an open mind. She or he needs to perceive things as a whole from the point of view of the customer as well as the hotel and investors. You will not learn this experience in school, it can only be gained through experience, travel and life. “
Le Globless: The Grand Hotel Kempinski Hight Tatras is renowned for its high quality service and professional staff. Has this played a major role in your decision to work in hotels?
Alenka Spišiaková :The Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras is an icon of Slovak hospitality. Historically, it is associated with the highest luxury and quality, relaxation right at Štrbské pleso. I always felt very passionate about this place. At the same time, the general manager of the hotel Mrs. Kathrin Noll was a role model to me and I knew I could learn a lot from her.
Kathrin is one of the hardest working managers I’ve ever met. She demonstrates discipline and hard work. She is present at the hotel and supports all departments, she is walking the walk and dedicates her life to the guests. It was also an inspiration for me as a driving force. She has created a perfectly functioning organism in hotels whose goal is the highest quality and customer satisfaction.
“Customer satisfaction and strong discipline are the foundations of success. And most importantly, don’t be afraid of any work. Being a director means being a leader of the entire hotel. It’s similar to a manufacturer and every detail is a part of the job.
Being a hotel manager means leading people, showing them how to do it, helping them. “
Together with Kathrin we managed to get many hotel awards and be well noted within the Kempinski brand. I remember after our hotels 10th anniversary party with attendance of our owners and Kempinski COO, how we sat together in the office and Kathrin told me: ,,Alena now that we have reached the top“ and then the question came, what do I do next and whether I want to move within the brand.
Le Globless: Do I understand it right, that a new challenge came to the table?
Alenka Spišiaková: Yes, I accepted an offer from the Kempinski hotels in Croatia and Slovenia. At that time I did not yet know what awaited me. I came to the hotels a few months before Covid, I had two hotels 20 km from each other in two countries, two new teams of people with different temperaments in front of me.
Each country has different character traits, and different markets. Slovenians are more similar to our culture. In Croatia, the management team was there for a long time and quite resistant towards changes. I enjoyed watching how the results and work commitment surprised them later. ” At the time, Covid changed our entire industry. Sales and marketing strategies were changing every day as a result of the government’s announcement and Covid’s actions. We were alert, and we changed everything on the fly. Our hard work has paid off, we have made the highest profits in the past years.
Le Globless: But now you are back in Prague and you are working on a new project, A new challenge again?
Alenka Spišiaková:(Laughter) Yes it is. I always wanted to work on a project right from the beginning. To be a part of it all and work on the concept, new brand launch and a hotel opening at the same time. That is why I am very grateful for the new opportunity. The current hotel Alcron is an icon of Prague and a historical treasure associated with the nobility of the past and the glory of the most famous people in the world of business and of course, the richest. In the past, the most savvy chefs cooked here, and the hotel kitchen proudly boasted a Michelin star. My job is to connect history with modern design. We want to restore the hotel to its former glory and open it to the world. Soon its name will change and it will become a proud member of the ALMANAC hotels family. What is amazing about this whole project is that we will bring the “old city lifestyle experience” directly to clients.
Humility, respect and esteem.
“I would like to build a team of people around me in which we will inspire and support each other. Every day in the hotel industry is a new challenge. I would like for each of our employees to keep their individuality. Having their own approach to clients.“
“Access to clients is the most important point of this entire business, otherwise it would not make sense.“Alena Spišiaková, Cluster director of Hotel Almanac Prague
,,Women, Managerial gems in the business world. Amazing creatures that do not resist any challenge and who go step by step towards their goal. They handle challenging tasks that seem impossible at first. Impossible is becoming a reality. They are strong, beautiful and at the same time feminine and humble,, Ivana Vieriková, Chairperson of The Le Globless
All RIGHTS OF PICTURES AND IDEAS RESERVED. MADE BY IVANA VIERIKOVÁ.
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