Armin Eberhard, General Manager of Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel.

Please tell us about your journey to the hotel and hospitality industry.

I was born in the northwest of Germany and started my career in Berlin in one of the major international brands. I had a great opportunity to train in various disciplines as part of the vocational program including rooms division, food & beverage, housekeeping, accounting, sales and marketing, and others. My initial training gave me a great overview of how large operations are structured and together with the brand I could progress my career in diverse destinations such as London and New York. Later, outside the big brand, I had an opportunity to gain experience in the resort market in the Caribbean. Prior to coming to Moscow, I worked in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Budapest, Hungary for a European operator with large conference hotels.
What are the specifications and characteristics of a business hotel?
The needs and requirements of an individual business traveler or a corporate conference attendee are always the centers of our activities. Most important to this community is comfort and ease of access to facilities with timely and efficient customer service. Often tight schedules and meeting agendas do not allow these guests much time for discoveries on their own. That is why our Navigators lead the way, so our guests can make the most of their visit on and off work.

Could you please tell us about Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel’s uniqueness?
Besides being one of Moscow latest additions to the conference travel hospitality sector, the hotel distinguishes itself with several unique selling points. Let me start with the accommodation; spacious rooms of a minimum of 35 square meters arranged for comfort, with Marriott standard bedding quality and modern bathrooms, including bathtubs and walk-in showers. With its inventory of 366 units, the Renaissance Monarch Moscow hotel offers different accommodation levels to suit all travel needs next to the deluxe king or twin bedrooms. We offer 45 suites from junior or 1-bedroom corner suites of 55sq. m. up to presidential suites of 160sq. m., all with separation between bedroom and living room.
For guests on project work, the Renaissance offers 40 apartments at 75sq. m, including kitchenettes and excellent full service, stay solutions with many services included. The second highlight is our Duplex Executive lounge offering private breakfast, sweeping views over the city and a relaxation space throughout the day with pre-dinner cocktail food and drinks in the evening. Another excellent attribute for the business traveler is our spacious and impressive Health Club. Located on almost 1,600 square meters, it has a workout and wellness space with a large, fully equipped gym, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, spa and a group training room hosting a wide variety of trainer-led activities. The core of the hotel is formed of our 2,500sq. m. of banqueting and catering floor with 12 modern and flexible meeting rooms surrounding 1,000sq. m. exhibition space and a welcoming lobby.

Do you agree with the opinion of “20% of the success of the hotel depends on location and the building with its interior and exterior and 80% depends on people who manage the hotel”?
Location is often a paramount decision for a frequent individual traveler. The sheer size of the city demands the planning ahead of travel requirements within the city during the stay. Residing on one side of the city and commuting to the other side during a short stay period puts enormous pressure on schedules and extends travel time. However, the frequent individual business traveler is an expert customer in service evaluation and possesses a great experience to compare hotel products and services worldwide. To stand out and gain the loyalty of these valuable customers means we must train and focus the associates to recognize, welcome and serve the community with utter professionalism and courtesy. Especially here in Moscow travelers have great choices and only the unique, friendly and efficient approach of all team members will make a stay memorable and convince the customers to return.

What values or characteristics should a person have to join your team?
When we hire associates, we look for that special talent with a genuine interest in meeting and engaging with international travelers from all over the globe. The desire to communicate with and host these guests without any prejudice is the most important skill to fit into our team. We can teach you many technical skills, but we cannot create desire and natural curiosity. You need to be a good Navigator for our Discoverers and our guests.

What are your plans going forward?
Currently, we are in the process of introducing new banqueting facilities, adding 400sq. m. to our existing space. Following Marriott standard updates, we are renewing facilities and technical amenities, including a new TV system and WIFI infrastructure, keeping up with the digital development. Additionally, as the hotel celebrates its first decade in 2020, we are preparing a year of surprises and want to share this milestone event with our associates, clients, partners, and guests.