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Maka Ghlighvashvili/Commercial Director at Lopota Lake Resort & Spa

Lopota Resort – Pearl of Wine Region Where Time Stands Still

Started with only seven rooms, now Lopota resort gains world attention with its unique  environment and shared values, where service creates individual experiences. This place in the cradle of wine is a mix of modern and traditional cultures, the place where Time Stands Still.

Lopota Resort is indeed unique place to relax and has one of the best hotel services in a country, however management of this place constantly strives to reach more goals, which involves reinvesting and developing employees and sharing global expertise, Lopota Resort is growing repeatedly adding more values to the company. Maka Ghlighvashvili Commercial Director at Lopota Lake Resort & Spa talks more about upcoming projects and resort itself in our interview.

Why Lopota Lake Resort & Spa?

It’s Georgian and it’s Good. Am quoting the well-spread hashtag, but it really is the precise definition matching the resort that started with 7 rooms and has come to what it is right now. For me it is one of the most successful national products focused on a constant development. And the most exciting about this starvation is not just the expansion of the resort itself, but the permanent efforts the company undertakes for self-advancement from year to year. I have joined the company to make these efforts stronger, to share my international brand experience with a well-positioned Georgian brand and apply the worldwide standards in a right way, without losing its authenticity. It might sound a bit ambitious, but we as a company have ambitious plans to attract the best and maintain the positioning of the resort on the market as the sole “The Place Where Times Stands Still”.

Today hotels of Georgian brands actively manage to compete with international hotel brands. What factors have inspired this tendency? How competitive is this market today and do you feel competition?

That’s right and that is what makes working for the Georgian brand even more exciting. Once more this tendency proves the strength of already well-established local brands on the market. Georgians are smart in general, but those who are particularly smart pioneered to invest in the hotel business. Getting experience needs some time, but again smart people also need less time to gain it.

Tourism is one of the main fast growing economic directions in Georgia with good deal of a governmental support. The increased number of the hotels, travel agencies, DMCs is a very good confirmation for that.

And it is obvious that the competition is constantly growing and the companies do their best to strive towards development, to polish the standards of service, to maintain the competitive advantage and uniqueness. The individual approach is what makes this business successful. I guess the traditions of Georgian hospitality made it easier for us to keep up with the pace of developing trends. We love our guests and try to put them in the center of full attention, create individual experiences for them. Every guest is treated as a separate person with his own needs, values and requirements and you should always feel the pulse to exactly respond to them.

What is competitive advantage of Lopota Lake Resort & Spa on this market?

Lopota Lake Resort & Spa is a small heaven on the earth and what is the most important – this is the feedback from our guests. A place where all seasons are gorgeous and notwithstanding the purpose of the visit, you want it or not, your stay is always full of relaxed emotions. Surrounded with the range of
Caucasus Mountains, the resort suits all kinds of guests, is ideal for family vacations, romance, MICE tourism, weddings or other events. The diversity of indoor and especially outdoor venues, pools, luxury SPA, sport activities and many more, opens one’s creativity to experience in reality exactly what one has dreamed of. Add to this good Kakhetian food and wine served by warm hosts – what else you can wish for.

Do you think Lopota Lake Resort & Spa is a strong Georgian brand today? Do you plan to expand the resort? (Does Lopota Lake Resort& Spa company plan to expand business and add new services?)

It is strong as mentioned already and the proof for that is the development plan that Lopota Lake Resort & Spa  has already started to implement. We have signed the agreement with Co-Investment Fund on 5.4 million USD to start the new projects. By the end of 2018, the resort will have opened 85 more guest rooms, new event venue for approximately 600 guests, indoor pool with fitness center and additional sauna rooms and most importantly wine-producing Chateau with premium class restaurant. We are very excited about these projects.

For new projects a strong HR Strategy is needed.

Not only for the new projects, our HR Strategy is to attract the best talent on the Market!

Our company continually reinvests in developing employees with successful on-boarding and ongoing trainings.

Our main goal is helping new employees develop skills needed for their jobs and helping current employees grow their skills.

We have developed training programs and look for outside development opportunities to continue the building process of in-house marketing expertise.

The season is coming and naturally, demand for Lopota Lake Resort & Spa will grow. How would you appraise the current demand?

Good for us the season has already started. April was an amazing month with 75% average occupancy rate. To tell you the truth a bit even unexpected as compared to 2016 this index has grown by more than 20%. As the weather gets warmer, for sure, we expect to improve our own results month by month. Well, should be noted that of course nothing comes for free and the figures we show are the results of a very good, constructive and structured team work of all hotel departments.

How active is Lopota Lake Resort & Spa in corporate segment?

We have a very strong, pro-active sales team working on the corporate segment. Day to day sales calls and other sales activities are implemented in order to expand the account portfolios that make major feeder segment off-season. We have four conference halls, several outdoor venues and are adding even more as I have mentioned already as we see growing demand.

The private and the government sector is year to year trying to attract more MICE business in Georgia and these destination promotional activities are actually transforming in figures as well, but there is always a space to grow and I am pretty much sure, we will see much more positive developments in the near future.