Voskan Kokanyan – General Manager at Marriott Tsaghkadzor

You are now working as a general manager of Tsaghkadzor Marriott Hotel. Tell us more about the specifics of the hotel market in Tsaghkadzor and the city in general.
To run a hotel, not in the capital is quite different. As you know Tsaghkadzor is a small town and known as a ski resort. The market is very seasonal with a short booking window. The town itself is not offering much to entertain visitors. Two main attractions are Kecharis Church and Orbeli Brother’s Museum.

What are the main differences between managing a hotel in the capital and managing a resort hotel like yours? Please tell us more about the challenges and advantages of resort hotels in Armenia.
In general, there are no advantages but only challenges to run Brand Name Hotel in the resort area… We are hosting both groups and individuals, and their expectations are different than in the capital. As Marriott, we should provide the best service and lodging in the market which we do day to day, but to keep all standards is challenging. Our motto is Modern Luxury in Natural Beauty, and we adopted a personal approach to all our guests.

Please, tell us how you started your career in the hotel industry. What are the main bits of advice that you would give to yourself while doing the first steps in the industry?
I’ve started my career in Yerevan Marriott in 2000. My first paid job was Bartender in the Hotel’s restaurant. During 12 years I’ve worked there had a chance to work in all operational departments with different roles. I will advise myself to do exactly the same I have done…

It is very interesting to know how you choose your team members, what are you looking for in a person when making a decision to hire somebody to work with.
For me the most important is common sense, the rest we can train. Since the opening till now, our Hotel is in the top 5 best hotels in Europe rated by guests. There are 96 Marriott Hotels in Europe and for our small hotel in the mountains, I think, having a leading position in that list is a great achievement.