Interview with Slavko Lešnik, assistant marketing manager at Casino & Hotel MOND
Q: In 2016, Hit Group opened a new hotel MOND in Šentilj, located on the border between Slovenia and Austria. Why on the border?
We are located on the main north/west and south route of Europe. And we are on an ideal location for international companies to have meetings in our hotel and then drive back to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Vienna, Munich, etc.
Q: How does the casino offer compliment the hotel’s offer?
The casino is a cherry on the top of innovative business meetings in Hotel MOND. With the Casino, we can fill the early evening gap before dinner with a Poker round, Casino Tour, game explanation. The casino is open 24/7, what provides for a wide offer of entertainment round-the-clock.
Q: What can MOND offer to business guests?
MOND offers something different; a new design hotel, a wine story with either an entertaining or an an educational aspect, a top culinary and a flexibility. Our services are adjusted to the needs of our clients. In MOND almost everything or any wish is possible.
Q: By your estimations, is there more Slovenian or more foreign business guests?
For now, we have more Slovenian MICE guests, but the number of foreign enterprises, to host a MICE event in hotel MOND, is rapidly increasing. International businesses that have units in Slovenia bring guests from other countries. They book us for their own events. Most of our business hotel guests are foreign guests (Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, …)
Q: How does hotel MOND contribute to Maribor’s MICE industry?
In my opinion, our offer or our story is different from other hotels in Maribor. We are situated in the cozy hills of the beautiful wine roads in Slovenia and Austria, with just a 15 minutes’ drive to the center of Maribor. We offer incentive programs in vineyards or a Wine Duel between Slovenian and Austrian top winemakers of the world known South Styrian Wine Road hosted by a sommelier. We are the first hotel in the world that planted the offspring of the oldest vine in the world, we are the first Maribor hotel that got the EU Ecolabel Flower for sustainable tourism, we are the first Maribor Hotel that got the green Accommodation label.
Q: What are the future plans/investments for the MOND Hotel and Casino?
We want to continue our Wine story; we already planted our own hotel vineyard, we will build a klopotec (wind rattle) in August 2018, we want to produce our own wine in a few years, we want to have a cellar with an archive of our wines, we want to have our own spice garden, … We have so many ideas in our team.
Q: What is the focus of the marketing activities of the hotel MOND?
The marketing activities on weekends are focused on casino guests, while during the week the focus is on business events. We want to be considered as a hotel with a top location and a top service in the destination. We also organize concerts and shows with the biggest names in showbusiness.
Q: The hotel is located among vineyards. What kind of incentive programmes does the area offer to business guests?
In our hotel we can offer a wine duel, that is very educational and applicable for business lunches and offers a lot of fun. We also offer a wine team-building with our MICE partner ETC Adriatic that happens in the vineyards of Slovenia and Austria. There are different programmes: from making a wind rattle, to searching “smuggled« coffee beans in the vineyards or rock-climbing in a nearby quarry. We have also a partner in Maribor, Rajzefiber, that offer urban walks through Maribor (Taste Maribor, Discover Maribor, Multisensory experience, etc.).
Q: What would you recommend to business guests to see in Maribor?
I would recommend them to visit the oldest vine in the world (Guinness Record holder), to take a ride with a wooden raft, to visit the Poštna street in the evening, to have a delicious dinner in one of many superb restaurants, to enjoy the Maribor Wine tour.
Q: It is a 15-minute ride from your hotel to Maribor. How do guests get to Maribor if they want to visit it?
We offer a shuttle service for our guests.
Q: What is your favourite activity in the vicinity of Maribor?
My favorite activities around Maribor are to visit the Wine Road in Svečina and Kungota, then return to the Poštna street (the heart of Maribor nightlife), to go skiing in winter, to go to a football match of NK Maribor, to enjoy the diverse Program of the Festival Lent that invigorates the city of Maribor every June.
Q: Which is your favourite Styrian wine?
My favourite wine is of course white, fresh, dry and with a nice bouquet. Like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Šipon (Furmint).