The leader in the five-star hotel segment in Bulgaria – InterContinental Sofia, has recently been named Bulgaria’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2020. The General Manager, Mr. Angelo Zuccala, talks about the key to this and many other achievements after only two years of operation.
Congratulations on your amazing achievement in becoming Bulgaria’s Leading Hotel for 2020! Such a big accomplishment only 2 years after the hotel’s opening – what is the secret?
The World Travel Awards™ has been recognizing excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry for 27 years. The awards are defined as the most prestigious in the world. InterContinental Sofia is named Bulgaria’s Leading Hotel for a second consecutive year and for us this is a great recognition. I have always believed that the key element for success is the relationship with the team and we have always put our efforts into this – to ensure a safe and pleasant working environment for our colleagues. Our main goal is to provide a truly luxurious hotel experience, and the current challenges in the hospitality sector and the competition from the new five-star hotels in Sofia, encourage us to continuously improve the product we offer, applying the latest practices in the industry. This award is a result of all these efforts and we are extremely proud that it was given to InterContinental Sofia.
If you can choose 3 things you are most proud of during your work in Sofia, what would they be?
InterContinental Sofia determines the development of the luxury segment in the capital, and the experience we offer to our guests has contributed to the affirmation of Sofia and Bulgaria as desired tourist destinations. I am also extremely proud that as a result of the uncompromised health and safety measures and impeccable service quality, Floret Restaurant and Bar remains the preferred place in Sofia for business lunches, celebrations of special occasions, corporate cocktails, or drinks with friends. Last but not least, I am pleased that with the owners’ support, we are able to constantly upgrade and innovate the product and service we offer – we have recently completed our boutique spa center, which will open very soon. We have 194 luxury rooms and suites, and
а unique Presidential suite. We offer flexible options for meetings and events in our conference center, taking into account all security measures and clients’ requirements.
The current global circumstances with COVID-19 caused extremely challenging times for the travel industry. How did you manage the situation and remained the leading five-star hotel in the country?
Health and safety have always been our main priorities and now we need to be more careful than ever. We introduced the IHG Clean Promise and IHG Meet with Confidence programs, providing guests with extra reassurance. Respecting all brand standards, InterContinental Sofia operates with updated cleaning protocols, social distancing in all common areas, staff protective equipment in all departments, and adjusted working hours of the outlets according to the most recent local regulations.