Hotel operations in Lithuania are normalized and visitors are flocking to the Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius City Center, according to general manager Sigita Rudzeviciene.
As the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine were felt around the world, Rudzeviciene said Lithuania was a safe country to visit despite initial fears about travel to the region. Daily, Rudzeviciene said her goal is to provide the best hotel experience “for the new world of business travel so guests can pursue their personal and professional passions.”
As part of this, she said she felt responsible for restoring confidence in the hotel workforce. To attract talent, his property works closely with local colleagues, universities and schools in Vilnius and the region.
To learn more about the Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius City Center, read this Q&A email with General Manager Sigita Rudzeviciene.
The Courtyard Vilnius City Center features exceptional design and architectural expression. Interestingly, this one-of-a-kind exterior shape of our building is the result of architectural limitations. The design concept had to take into account that we couldn’t build a big building in the corner of the land. The architects therefore had to be creative and they came up with a design approach that makes the hotel appear to be suspended in the air. .
The interior was created by Scott Brownrigg, an international interior design studio based in London. The designers were inspired by Lithuanian nature. The predominant pastel colors of the interior of the sea, nature, burnt gray wood and sand, like a soft lining, soften the contrasting interior architecture of the building. Those who look around the hotel will also notice the subtle Lithuanian symbols such as the stylized straw garden graphics in the room paintings and the national ornament patterns on the carpets. Pastel colors and dynamic metal constructions create a perfect balance between lightness and space, both in the hotel’s elegant rooms and in the contemporary Solt restaurant and public areas.
We can say with pleasure that demand levels are reaching and even exceeding 2019 levels. There is a strong influx of business travellers, who are our main customers, as well as great interest in meetings and events. Since May, during the summer months, the hotel has experienced continuously high occupancy rates. It’s fantastic for the team to see and feel the vibe of a full hotel again!
I like to quote our guests here: They often say that Vilnius is the ultimate hidden gem in Europe, positively surprising first-time visitors. The lack of crowds combined with the city’s overflowing charm makes it a place every savvy traveler should add to their to-do list. It is the only European city where you can fly in a hot air balloon directly over the old town. The balloons actually take off five minutes from our hotel; therefore, our customers’ favorite package includes a hot air balloon ride over the city. Another popular option is to visit a real prison, transformed into a museum just two years ago, which was the filming location for the series “Stranger Things”. The majority of our dear guests have always been international business travelers, who will find the perfect atmosphere here to pursue their professional goals.
First, let me say that this sad situation has had serious humanitarian, socio-economic and global repercussions. The consequences are being felt globally. That said, Lithuania is a safe country to visit and after the initial uncertainty regarding travel to the region, traveler perception now reflects this. Business operations are returning to normal, post-pandemic and travelers are coming to Vilnius in healthy numbers.
Our daily goal is very simple: to be better today than you were yesterday. Every day, we strive to provide the best hotel experience for the new world of business travel so guests can pursue their personal and professional passions. For 2023, we have the ambition to be the best Courtyard hotel in the world in terms of guest rates.
What the hospitality industry has been through in terms of the impact on our employees and job security has been the most challenging aspect of the pandemic. In many ways, the industry’s reputation as constantly growing and a safe place to build a career has been shaken by the pandemic, so we need to rebuild trust.
Like our industry peers, we have had labor issues where there has been a rapid rebound in demand. To attract talent, we work closely with local colleagues, universities and schools in Vilnius and the region. I am also a teacher in one of the hotel schools and by imparting my passion for hospitality I try to encourage students to consider a career in hospitality. Of course, one of the elements is to offer competitive salaries and benefits. But differentiating our careers is also about showcasing our values as a company, the potential for growth and development in a career that can take you anywhere in the world, and how we respect our associates and care for our communities. Intangible assets are important, and they will continue to set us apart — and we have nearly 95 years of people-focused culture to showcase, which is certainly a plus.
The hospitality industry is all about people looking after people. I would advise always putting the team at the center of everything you do. Genuinely listening to your team members and being able to provide the tools and resources to keep them feeling good and productive is what will foster a caring culture in your company. And this culture will then be felt by all your guests and customers.