This week we had the chance to meet an amazing lady and talk about the value of hospitality.
Marina Tyrologou is the Co-owner of ''Rouista Hotel'' located in Epirus.
What is the story behind ''Rouista Tzoumerka Resort''?
-The love for our village and the region of Tzoumerka was the driving force. Our goal was for the visitor to get to know the area through our eyes and the memories of our childhoods to live an unforgettable experiential experience.
We wanted to create a base, where the visitor will have the opportunity to discover Tzoumerka, a pristine and unexplored area with unpretentious beauty and hidden secrets that are lovingly waiting to be discovered.
What does Tzoumerka mean to you?
-Tzoumerka beyond our roots is the place that inspires us, the place that calms us, a virgin place like true paradise, a place with great cultural heritage and tradition. Small wonders of Mother Nature are scattered throughout the region of Tzoumerka with breathtaking sights and areas where you can sit and enjoy the spectacle. Tzoumerka is the refuge that inspires and brings peace to my heart and my soul.
Why is hospitality so important in life?
-Definitely, hospitality is truly important in life not only for the results in the economies but also it builds understanding and appreciation among cultures and is the secret to get a successful business.
Through hospitality companies can increase the volume of their sales and grow their business.
Everyone can benefit from hospitality and especially for the tourism industry hospitality is the main key to success. Through hospitality, you get better skills about customer needs and expectations, about communication and you can form a relationship ensuring gain loyal customers.
Good hospitality will make you stand out and be established.
What makes ''Rouista'' so magnificent?
-First of all, we made sure that the architecture of the buildings is in complete harmony with the environment, highlighting the traditional architecture of the place and in addition to harmoniously combining tradition with modern comforts.
But what we consider as a comparative advantage, is that the owners (ourselves) operate as hosts offering a complete hospitality experience that includes a tour program in the area, many themed events inside and outside the hotel, and many unannounced surprises to the guests.
All this is done with all the sides that the visitor will get to become one with nature.
How is your everyday agenda and how do you combine your intense business life with your personal life?
-The truth is that for every woman out there and especially a mother of 2 small kids, a daily routine is very demanding and needs enough endurance.
With focus and a specific routine program, I am trying to find balance and to define my limits end especially I am trying to find time for myself devoting time to things I love and get inspired.
Beyond all, in my case working in a family business and having my family members as my teamwork members is something that gives me extra motivation, understanding, and support.
All this energy I get from my family is my power to bring positive vibes to my daily business program.
After all, don’t forget that it all gets easier when your work is also your passion.
Are you the type of character who would swim against the stream or would you rather be on the safe side?
-As a matter of fact, I have always liked stability and I am a fan of square logic. I don’t like intense situations without reason and I prefer calm and peaceful waters.
Nevertheless, I always say yes to appearances and progress. I can’t refuse to internal ideas and new philosophies that suit me and take me one step further.
So, I would say that it depends on the reason! For everything that inspires me and gives me the joy of creation, I am ready to swim against the stream.
Do hotel managers get holidays?
-When it comes to a hotel manager who is also the co-owner of a family business, it is very difficult to organize and get real holidays. Hotels are like a machine that runs non-stop.
So does the thought of a hotel manager. Especially when your job is not just a job but a piece of you, it is almost impossible to stop working and thinking about it, even if you are far away.
Nevertheless, we always need short toning breaks to increase our productivity and creativity, and even our inspiration!
What skills are needed in the hospitality industry?
-To be successful in the hospitality industry it is very important to focus on the details so you can provide a great customer experience. The most important for each hotel is the heart and the soul of it. That means that the human factor is a valuable component of success. Custom service is very important. It’s not only about being polite and provide solutions to each problem but you have to ensure that the guest will leave with a good impression and certainly wants to come back!
Beyond teamwork and professionalism, I think attention to detail makes always the difference. But the most important for me is to smile and have passion!
Tell us about the restaurant of ''Rouista''. We have to admit that the food we tasted was simply delicious!
-We consider gastronomy to be a key part of every trip. Proud of the nutritional tradition of Epirus, we select daily the freshest, local ingredients to create handmade, traditional recipes that have passed through generations. And then, we try to add a bit of innovation to our tradition.
We thus remind the older ones of the pure, Greek tastes and we share to the younger generations and our foreign visitors this wealth.
For us, food, is an essential part of Rouista, of Epirus, and of the holistic, Greek experience that we want to offer to all guests. We always have a gastronomic proposal accompanied by themed events offering a different experience to the traveler.
This means, that gastronomy at Rouista is an experience you cannot miss!
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered an unprecedented crisis in the tourism economy. Are you optimistic about the whole new situation?
-It certainly hurt but it was a great opportunity to take a break and redefine our goals. The crisis hides opportunities. Opportunity to adopt the model of slow tourism. A more personalized model of tourism with emphasis on experience and quality and not on quantity.
To aim at a more holistic approach to tourism. The pandemic period gives us time for a new strategy and preparation with respect for the health and needs of each visitor.
Plans or dreams waiting to come true?
-First of all, we want to contribute to making the area of Tzoumerka an all-year destination. More Greeks get to know this side of Greece and at the same time attract more visitors from countries that do not know the region.
This effort will motivate other young people to venture into the area and return to their roots. Regarding the hotel, our goal is to create more facilities to enrich the visitor experience.