VOICE FROM THE TOP

Sandi Kovačevič

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry?

Well, I have more the feeling that we found each other! I always knew that I would be working in the hotel industry, as it is a family tradition and I didn’t even consider any other profession.

In my early twenties, I was one of the founders of the Hound Dog club. It was quite successful at the time due to the concerts and stand-up shows which we organised. That was my first experience with event organisation and I was “hitched”.

When I actually started working in the hotel industry, implementing previous experience to my new work was a logical step. Now that I can organise events and work in the hotel industry I have two things that I love bound together. It is never a struggle to wake up in the morning when you get to do things that you love.

Q: Why is your destination/country the best in the world?
I know that it will sound like a cliché, but my favourite country is Slovenia, my home country. It is a unique destination, full of natural beauties, and you can do so many things in such a small territory – we can still ski in April and swim in the sea in September. And no destination is more than one hour away by car.

Q: What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country?
Something that we still really know how to do is to enjoy a glass of Slovenian wine and a good dinner combined with Slovenian hospitability – it is always a winning combination.

Q: What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself?
Definitely CUBO hotel in Ljubljana. I have been with it since the beginning and I am glad to see how the baby is growing up. We are setting the standards for the boutique hotel industry in Slovenia with it and we are constantly receiving great reviews from guests.

Q: What motivates you the most at work?
The best motivation is to see when an event turns out as a success and becomes a standard bearer for the following ones, especially when we have been preparing it for a month or more.

Q: In what way do you deal with stress?
Well, I don’t need to deal with it. I guess I am in stress like everyone else, but to me unexpected and tense situations are a positive thing, which give me energy and motivate me further.

Q: When were you last angry/disappointed and why?
I don’t waste my time with anger; it is counter-productive.

When I am disappointed, it is usually because of things over which I have no influence. I was disappointed to learn that the renovation works on the main street in front of Hotel CUBO will take much more time than initially anticipated. But when you are aware that it is because of ancient Roman archaeological artifacts discovered on our doorstep, you take it easier.

Q: What will be new in your business in 2016?
In Hotel CUBO we have just finished with the renovation of all of the rooms. The next part to be renovated is the lobby; we plan to extend the bar as far as the street and create a more comfortable and open space.

Currently we are also working on a project to add two new meeting halls, which could be ready by mid June and will increase our capacity for various events.

Furthermore, we will unite several on-going projects under the CUBO group name. Besides the hotel in Ljubljana, another hotel will be added to the group. The hotel is located in Bovec, Soča river valley, one of the most beautiful parts of Slovenia. We expect the complete renovation to be finished by the end of 2018.

The third member of the CUBO group will be Enso Village – a group of luxury private villas built next to a golf course just outside Ljubljana.

Q: Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why?
I spend most of my holidays at equestrian competitions (show jumping is my hobby). This year, I will also ride horses outside competition times; I plan to do horseback travel through Tuscany.

Q: If there would be no time or financial constraints, where would you go?
I would travel to all the best and legendary hotels in the world to experience them as a guest.

Q: What would be the title of your life autobiography?
Hotel je hotel (a word play in the Slovenian language – the title can be interpreted and translated as “A hotel is a hotel” or “He wanted a 5* hotel”).