KR Robert ROGNER – Founder & Owner of Rogner Hotel Tirana
- Since Rogner Hotel Tirana is in a primary location while still encompasses several non-built areas, have you any plans to add another concept or a brand to the actual?
The selection of the location in the center of today’s big city of Tirana was a major decision factor for my investment at that time.
My condition for selecting the site for the hotel was “I may choose the site myself as the first investor for a western hotel. The decision was not difficult for me. The government agreed and was relieved to have finally found someone who had the courage to find an investor in these very difficult times for Albania. At the same time, I was also told that I had to do everything on my own, because
– we have no money
– we have no material
– we have little trained personnel and
– we have only the land!
On this property 30 years ago the atomic bomb-safe bunker for the dictator Enver Hoxha was already finished in the shell, beside it on the free surfaces in best city situation sheep have grazed.
There in a park landscape created by us in the middle of a pulsating large city our hotel is as oasis of the peace and recovery for our guests. This is our most valuable asset, which we want to maintain in the future.
- Competition is getting ferocious around your Hotel with international brands coming to the town soon. What are the plans when it comes to the innovation systems and technology concepts?
Sustainability, ecology and lived genuine service to our guests is at the heart of our daily work. Of course, a company must keep up with the times and accordingly we have expanded the hotel complex in 2016/17 and built a state-of-the-art conference center. In the course of the expansion, it was particularly important to us to equip the conference area with the latest communication technology. As a starting project into a new age of energy supply, we have built a photovoltaic system in 2020 with the goal of a holistic energy concept.
- What are the takings from the 30 years of investments in Rogner Hotel Tirana?
The project in Albania / Tirana developed into one of the greatest challenges of my entrepreneurial activity. The completely non-existent infrastructure and materials of any kind were probably the biggest challenge at the beginning. One must not forget that at that time there were no paved roads or construction vehicles available. In addition, even at that time we wanted to provide perfect service to our guests and therefore had to make intensive efforts in the area of training and education.
Today I can consider myself lucky to have a great team of mainly local employees at my side as the soul of our service. In this sense, I would like to call Rogner Hotel Tirana my favorite child and my second home.
Mrs. Eva XHEPA – General Manager of Rogner Hotel Tirana
- Rogner Hotel Tirana continues to be the center of hospitality attention in Tirana. What were the latest challenges you faced during the pandemic to maintain the Hotel fully opened?
The well-known hotel brand “Rogner” came to Albania in 1995, as the first foreign investment in the hotel industry to bring a new international standard, as an immediate need of that time for an accommodation structure of high standards, to welcome the international elite.
Today, Rogner Hotel continues to be the meeting place of the economical, diplomatic and cultural elite, thanks to the high standard in service, strategic location, success history in these 26 years and a team of professionals.
In the past year we have faced the most difficult economic situation we have ever encountered, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The impacts that the economy had on a global level are well known, but the hotel and tourism industry suffered even more from the consequences of isolation.
Rogner Hotel did not close its doors for a single day, but became the home of some of our customers, who chose it for security reasons to spend this difficult period under the care of our service.
During this period a series of security measures were taken in accordance with the strict protocol against Covid-19. To face this situation from the business point of view, we had to be flexible and creative in providing services that helped our clients in their businesses.
We adapted the hotel rooms as offices for daily rental use. We were the first hotel in Albania to invest in new technologies for organizing Hybrid events. Thanks to the large capacities in rooms, conference rooms, outside spaces we were able to offer our customers effective solutions by respecting safety protocols. Also, we created in our website a dedicated page with detailed information about the measures taken against Covid, the new hotel services adapted for this difficult period so we never lose the contact with our customers.
- How are you marketing and selling Rogner Hotel Tirana nowadays since you have a mix of new built area and an old one. How conflictual is this from the marketing perspective?
In 2016, the hotel expanded its capacity with 40 new rooms bringing it to a total of 178 rooms and suites and a new conference center “Antigonea”, with a capacity of up to 400 people.
The new rooms were built following the same style of the existing ones. Rooms with the most optimal conditions to create the comfort of home, a minimalist Austrian style with natural wood.
So there is not a difference between new and existing rooms as the hotel makes renovations from time to time, to always be in the standard that the brand Rogner represents.
The best marketing for the hotel is done by the feedback of the clients themselves in the most influential portals of this industry such as booking.com, TripAdvisor etc.
Scrolling over the guests’ comments during all these years the ROGNER EXPERIENCE is the feeling that they mostly appreciate.
- What is the key to the F&B success at Rogner Hotel Tirana?
The F&B department is one of the largest departments of Rogner Hotel, of a great importance. A passionate and professional team, some of them hired since at the opening of this Hotel, is our greatest asset ever.
They create delicious International and Albanian menus including the latest culinary trends and are able to handle gala events such as weddings, conferences and gala dinner providing the highest standard in cooking and serving.
Thanks to the work of all the team, Rogner Hotel is a success name associated with the high standard and superior service.
Article Credits: Rudina Hoxha & Jose Pinto Trailblazing Magazine