Laurent Schauder, General Manager, presents Sofia's most exciting hotel
The opening of Hyatt Regency Sofia in 2020 was one of the most anticipated events in the Bulgarian hospitality business. An outstanding brand at an extraordinary location in the heart of the capital, today the hotel is Sofia's it-place. We met with Laurent Schauder, General Manager, to learn more about what makes Hyatt Regency Sofia special.
What defines the Hyatt experience in Sofia?
The opening marked an important milestone for the Hyatt brand and the Bulgarian hospitality industry. For the last 6 months, we became the new preferred place for smart accommodation, inspired events, and exquisite dining, and as of December – the latest wellness destination in the heart of Sofia.
With the same spark that inspired the first Hyatt hotel more than 60 years ago, our goal is to evolve and push the boundaries in everything we do. True to the brand's origins, Hyatt Regency remains in the core of the Hyatt portfolio: innovative architecture and interior design from the way we use space to our "here, anything is possible" philosophy. We are committed to delighting our guests, enriching every visit, and inspiring meaningful connections.
Hyatt will create more awareness about Sofia as a great business and leisure destination. We are already succeeding. Hyatt Regency Sofia was nominated for Europe's Leading New Hotel 2021 and Bulgaria's Leading Hotel 2021 in the 28th World Travel Awards™ – one of the travel industry's most prestigious award programs. Being the only Bulgarian hotel nominated in the regional tier and the newest one in the country tier, is a notable recognition for us.
Why did guests and residents of Sofia need a Hyatt?
With our historical location, innovative design and unique amenities, Hyatt Regency Sofia is a premium one-stop shop created to energize the people within it – a place where guests can focus on the task at hand or gather to share, socialize and collaborate. From new culinary options for sharing, to vibrant multi-functional spaces for coming together, to exciting, technology-enabled ways for interacting, we create experiences that our guests will remember. Hyatt's brand promise is to provide a seamless, personalized, and high-touch hospitality experience in a stress-free environment.
At Hyatt Regency Sofia, guests find non-compromising quality with our 183 bright guest rooms and suites, a Presidential Suite with private access, 10 multifunctional meeting rooms, including one of the biggest ballrooms in Sofia, and a one-of-a-kind rooftop event space. These are complemented by the exclusive Regency Club, a stylish destination restaurant and a rooftop bar with marvelous views of Sofia. We also offer an underground parking, a state-of-the-art Wellness Center, and a fully equipped Fitness Center.
It is not only the facilities and amenities that set us apart. As a leader in the hospitality industry, the Hyatt brand gives us the necessary know-how and our team of exceptional individuals really make the difference. They always provide a helping hand, offer personalized assistance, and lend our expertise, giving guests the peace of mind they can't find anywhere else.
Why did the management decide to apply green and environmentally friendly policies in the hotel?
As a global hospitality company, Hyatt is committed to reimagining our business toward a more sustainable future. We are focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use, diverting waste, choosing local product alternatives, innovating and inspiring to help address complex environmental challenges and drive change.
We use Hyatt EcoTrack to track sustainability metrics like greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, waste, recycling. Our daily operational reports are used to effectively schedule heating and cooling needs. We change linens every third day unless requested otherwise, and guests may choose to reuse towels. The hotel is plastic-free, water is served in carafes or glass bottles. We organize hybrid events to reduce carbon footprint. Where possible food is sourced from local suppliers, supporting organic options. We use takeaway containers from recyclable materials.
Hyatt Regency Sofia is a highly efficient building, one of the reasons why we won first prize in the "Urban Hotels" category in the 2020 Building of the Year National Contest.
What of the hotel's amenities should we definitely try and what is your favorite place in Hyatt Regency Sofia?
Oh, where should I start… You should definitely visit The Revolutionary Dining Room & Bar and try our unconventional take on Italian classics by Chef Sami Flavio. Then, head to the seventh floor to The Scene Rooftop Bar to soak in the most amazing view of St. Alexander Nevsky golden domes with a signature cocktail. Don't miss the chance to relax and unwind in Ortus Wellness, offering carefully selected treatments, Finnish and bio saunas, steam bath, hammam, salt room, ice fountain, relaxation area, emotional showers, and an indoor hydrotherapy pool.
My favorite place is probably The Loft, the special venue for any special event. It consists of three distinctive rooftop spaces for gatherings of all sizes. The Living Room and The Den provide home comfort, complete with a private bar and a suspended fireplace, while The Conservatory offers an escape to the countryside with its own rose garden and botanical atmosphere.
How did Hyatt Regency Sofia adapt to the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic?
The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges before the tourism and hospitality industry. The high level of uncertainty made it essential to adapt and improvise, to become more resilient, agile, and entrepreneurial. In these testing times, our top priority is welcoming guests and colleagues safely, with their wellbeing in mind. Hyatt's Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment builds on rigorous safety and cleanliness protocols. Our hotel is Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star accredited. We also offer to guests contactless solutions such as mobile keys and QR code menus. We found alternative revenue streams with special offers such as the global "Work from Hyatt" home office offer, "The Great Relocate" promotion for long-staying guests, focus on the local market with staycation packages, hybrid events, food takeaway.
As mass vaccination progresses, I think that full normalization in 2022 is realistic. It is vital to be ready for the much-anticipated recovery of travel, shaping our strategies according to predictions grounded in logic, experience, and an intimate understanding of guests' needs.
Sofia, Vasil Levski Square
+359 2 440 1234