Park Plaza Victoria has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. General manager Ramesh Costa spoke to Janie Stamford about the changes to the London hotel industry over the past decade.
How has the hotel changed in the 10 years since it opened?
Park Plaza Victoria has gone from strength to strength. Competition in the capital has encouraged us to constantly monitor and implement the latest services, so every time our guests come to stay there's something new in the hotel. I've focused on establishing a great team of staff with a huge amount of knowledge and experience.
How do you keep up with all the latest technology requirements of the 21st century guests?
Providing the latest technology, while also keeping our prices at a reasonable rate, is one of our main priorities, so we have to be selective about which innovations we choose to introduce. We frequently draw on our years of experience to make sure we provide the innovations that are most important to our guests. For example, we've added memory foam mattresses and Nespresso machines to our executive rooms.
Which innovation has made the biggest difference to the hotel?
The internet, without a doubt. It has never been easier for guests to directly compare hotel services and search for the best bargain. Guests want more for their money and with the internet, they can find it. We've had to keep up with customers becoming savvier with their bookings, while also providing an internet booking service that is simple, easily accessible and showcases the hotel to its full potential.
What does the next 10 years look like for the hotel industry?
The most significant event in the near future is, of course, the 2012 Olympics. Lessons were definitely learned industry-wide about how to handle such a monumental event after the Royal Wedding. With the current economic instability, the hotel industry faces a challenging time. In this tougher climate, hotels will need to go the extra mile to attract business.
Where will your focus lie?
I'd like to focus on implementing the necessary green initiatives that are becoming increasingly important. Over the next 10 years, I'd like to see the hotel lead the way in introducing the necessary technology to really do our bit.