OUR AIM IS TO BECOME AN ICONIC HOTEL AND A PIONEER OF MODERN LUXURY IN SLOVENIA
Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, educated in USA (NYC and the famous hotel school University of Nevada Las Vegas), Miloš Cerović started his career in Las Vegas at MGM GRAND, the largest hotel in the world with 5044 rooms. He gradually climbed the latter from a receptionist to General Manager, he worked for international chains such as Hyatt, InterContinental, Shangri-La and gained his experience in North America, Middle East, Asia and Europe in some of the finest hotels. Hosting Prime Ministers, Presidents, Royal Families throughout his career, the former Olympic swimmer for Serbia in Sydney Olympics in 2000 is married with 3 children and happily, resides in Ljubljana.
Q: As a General Manager, what are your main tasks before the opening of InterContinental Ljubljana?
Preparation for the new hotel opening is done in the so-called Pre-opening phase, which is critical for every new hotel. The objective of the Pre-opening phase is to prepare and position the future hotel in the market, recruit human resources and set the standards for all the operational functions according to the high service levels that InterContinental is globally famous for. I feel a huge sense of pride and responsibility in knowing that my team and I are trying to redefine luxury hotel experience in Ljubljana.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as the General Manager of InterContinental Ljubljana?
Most definitely my biggest challenge will be to turn Ljubljana, the hidden gem of Europe into the must-see destination that I personally totally fell in love with. Ljubljana offers high quality of life; it is a boutique, green and compact capital ideal for business and leisure guests. Renowned brand such as IHG will definitely help Slovenia and Ljubljana to boost the awareness and recognition amongst the leisure travelers and business people alike.
Q: InterContinental Ljubljana has a management agreement with IHG where Delta holding is a 100 % investor and IHG will manage the property. What is the main difference/advantage of a managed hotel?
The main difference would be that a management company, in our case IHG, brings know-how into the picture. The General Manager, along with key positions, is directly selected by IHG to ensure that company’s DNA is authentically introduced and delivered to all other employees. We have colleges who joined us from our sister hotels in Lisbon, Amsterdam and I, myself, have spent 8 years with IHG in Chicago, Budapest, Tel Aviv and London prior to arriving to Ljubljana.
Q: What can Ljubljana gain from an internationally renowned hotel group like IHG entering the Slovenian market?
IHG is one of the most recognizable hotel companies globally, and Ljubljana will be amongst 100 locations worldwide where our hotel group is present. Along with the beautiful hotel, IHG will also introduce the city to its 100 million loyalty program customers and business partners.
Our team works closely with the local community and the city authorities creating partnerships with all agencies in order to promote and proudly represent the city of Ljubljana on the global tourist market. Our aim is to promote the destination as much as we promote out the prestigious brand.
Q: What will be the star offer of InterContinental Ljubljana?
Our star offer will definitely be our colleagues. We have received over 4000 job applications and we are extremely proud of the colleagues who have come on top following the rigorous selection process. They will be the ones delivering the famous “Intercontinental life” for our guests. When it comes to the hardware, we are confident that our lavish presidential suite will redefine luxury in Ljubljana with its 155 square meters, fully equipped kitchen, steam room and fireplace, among other exclusive amenities. A must do in the hotel will be the B restaurant where a carefully selected menu of local and international ingredients will be blended by Michelin star celebrity chef Alfredo Russo. Or, enjoy the beautiful view of the city skyline from the 20th-floor terrace bar while trying out one of the largest gin selections in the region that proudly carries 40 types of gin from 30 different countries.
Q: InterContinental Ljubljana will be the first 5-star hotel in the city, do you feel any pressure?
Our mission statement is to bring a fresh approach to hospitality in Ljubljana so in that sense we feel pressure to be innovative in every step of the guest journey. As the only 5 star hotel in the city, we need to be different from our competition as that is the expectation from our customers. At the same time, we feel grateful to the hotel’s owning company, Delta Holing Group, for investing over 40 mil Euros to build such a beautiful hotel and we want to ensure that their investments see quick returns.
Q: Who will be the hotel’s main guests and how will you manage to address different types of guests?
Typical InterContinental guest is a well-travelled individual, seeking understated luxury and prompt service delivery. With that in mind, all our employees will go through extensive training after which they will be fully prepared to deliver long lasting memories even beyond guests’ expectation. Our state-of-the-art facilities are well designed to cater even the most discerning guests.
Q: What are IHG’s future plans in Slovenia or Region?
With the opening of Crown Plaza in Belgrade, Delta holding and IHG have formed a strong partnership with a goal to bring IHG branded hotels to key destinations within former Yugoslavia region in the years to come.