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Interview: GM of the Crowne Plaza Bratislava, Peter Pottinger

General manager of the Crowne Plaza Bratislava, Peter Pottinga, talks to Business Destinations about why the Slovak capital is the perfect place to network, hold a conference and get a great night’s sleep

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We’ve seen that the Crowne Plaza Bratislava located in a prime position in the city, but what do you think sets the hotel apart from other accommodation in the capital?
The Crowne Plaza Bratislava is the most complete MICE hotel in the city. We have the largest number of meetings and the greatest flexibility set up and use of breakouts. Where others may have one ballroom, we can provide up to three that can accommodate 150-300 theatre-style. Additionally we have an exclusive 60-seat private dining venue with an oriental design, as well as a spacious lobby that is frequently used as partial exhibition space. For a recent car company function we were able to easily accommodate up to three large cars within this space.

What advice would you give to the first time business traveller visiting Bratislava?
Enjoy the city. Bratislava is a very compact city. Your business destination is bound to be minutes only from the hotel, meaning less time travelling back and forth, more time to explore the historic old town. The Crowne Plaza is perfectly located as it is on a major crossroads to all directions around Bratislava, but is also mere steps away from the pedestrianised historic old town.

What do you think makes Bratislava an attractive Business Destination?
Everything is nearby. Two major airports to fly into, Vienna and Bratislava airport. For most international flights Vienna International Airport is ideal. Only 35 minutes away from the hotel! You can get to Bratislava more quickly slovakia from Vienna Airport than, say, to central London from Heathrow. Once in town all the major event sites, entertainment and shopping areas are within walking distance. Large events that want to hold part of their conference off-site will find it easy to move the attendees around and provide plenty of downtime entertainment.

What are your favourite parts of the hotel?
My favourite part of the hotel is our Club Lounge. It is a little oasis of peace and quiet in a very busy and bustling hotel. Located on the top floor, it has a fabulous view of the presidential palace. A more recent favourite is our herb and vegetable garden. Last spring we started growing our own herbs and some of the vegetables for our newly launched restaurant Fresh! My office looks over the garden and it is a joy to see how much all the plants have grown.

You obviously take pride in the personalised services that the hotel offers such as the Sleep Advantage programme; can you tell us a bit more about these?
The Sleep Advantage programme is a Crowne Plaza brand defining programme recognising that the most important part of the hotel stay is not a beautifully designed bedroom, or three-michelin star cuisine in the hotel restaurant, but plain and simple a great night’s sleep. To facilitate this we have put together a set of initiatives. All the bedrooms have 200 thread count, 100 percent cotton sheets and a luxurious bed topper for maximum comfort. We have special quiet zones where no housekeeping or maintenance activities take place before 9am, as well as a guaranteed wake up call, or your money back, so that you don’t continuously wake up checking that you have not overslept.

And finally, tell us about what lies ahead for the future of the hotel.
We never stop. At the heart of all of our efforts is ensuring maximum guest satisfaction. Crowne Plaza has just launched a major new brand refresh that will help us further improve our services. Locally we are very much focused on ensuring all the details are in place and relevant. Constantly we are reviewing what we offer and who we are offering it to. What was considered quality last year may now be up for review. From this way of thinking more initiatives will be developed and the Crowne Plaza Bratislava you may have experienced last week will be even better for when you return next year.

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