KONGRES PEOPLE - WHO’S WHO
Tjaša Lampe is a Slovenian who, after more than nine years working for Terme Maribor, has been managing the Das Weitzer Hotel, one of the Austrian Weitzer Hotels. Das Weitzer Hotel in Graz has been in the city for more than 100 years and is located in the Old Town, directly by the river Mur. The hotel has 204 fully modernised rooms in seven differently furnished categories and also offers 10 conference rooms.
Interview by Jasmina Jerant
“We are always looking for something extraordinary and therefore we do not like stereotypes.”
Q: The Hotel Das Weitzer is one of the most prominent hotels in the Graz area that fosters a long-lasting tradition of superb hospitality. The hotel’s architecture is a tasteful combination of modern urban style and traditional building techniques. With nearly half of its rooms undergoing recent renovation, the hotel emanates a fresh new vibe. What is the underlining idea for the new design?
The Weitzer Hotel represents tradition with a modern urban twist. The underlying concept for the interior design of our rooms was to combine high-level functionality with the experience of a very comfortable and chic place. We are always looking for something extraordinary and therefore we do not like stereotypes. The best way to illustrate this is to check out our Suite – it is truly exceptional – hard-to-describe only in words.
Q: The hotel’s restaurant (Der Steirer) is open not just to the hotel’s guests but also for the locals. What is the main drive behind the restaurant? What kind of food do you serve, what is the inspiration behind the food?
You got that right. Der Steirer isn’t a hotel restaurant – it is truly a staple in the local food scene. Staying in Graz and not experiencing the laidback traditional Styrian cuisine accompanied with the almost limitless selection of wines that Der Steirer has to offer, would be a big mistake. Exceptional quality of our food was also recognized by Gault&Millaue guide that has awarded us with their hat.
“The future certainly looks bright not only for the MICE part but for Weitzer in general.”
Q: Besides modern rooms, the hotel also offers 10 conference/seminar halls. What are their main features?
We could start by listing clichés like a lot of daylight, high-end technology, excellent AC etc … but I have to say that it is Weitzer’s charm that makes our seminar halls special. When you chose to host an event at Das Weitzer, it means that you’ll get top quality food from our restaurant; that your attendees will be taken care of by highly-skilled and caring staff and that they will get to experience and enjoy the Weitzer’s unique design everywhere they look.
Q: What is the future plan for MICE in Weitzer? What are you expecting?
Taking into account the recent economic boom of the Graz region and Austria’s ongoing presidency of the Council of the EU – the future certainly looks bright not only for the MICE part but for Weitzer in general. To be able to cope with increased demands for our services – we are constantly refurbishing and upgrading our hardware – we strive to maintain the high-level of satisfaction of our guests and seminar goers. Of course – since we have a foodie reputation to maintain – we are always working on new menu options and we like to surprise our guests with exciting and fun new meals.
Q: Weitzer is located right in the Old Town of Graz. What does this neighbourhood offer to your business guests?
Being able to walk around the city and experience the authentic Old Town with its cafés, restaurants, museums and shops, without worrying about transportation, is definitely a big plus for our business guests. If you’re a more leisure-oriented traveller, we’ve got you covered too. You can stroll or jog along the River Mura or just visit many of our city parks – their beauty will fill you with joy and serenity.
Q: What would you recommend to business and congress guests to buy as the perfect gift when they visit Graz?
I will have to go with our culinary delights! They should get some pumpkinseed oil to dress their salad, some roasted pumpkinseeds covered with chili or chocolate as a tasty snack, some of our world-famous Styrian wines to quench their thirst and of course – they should not leave Graz without getting some of my personal favourite – Zotter chocolates.
“I am A massive foodie … Graz is a match made in heaven.”
Q: Are there any fun activities, in the vicinity of your hotel, that you would like to recommend?
I would definitely like to recommend a sommelier crash course. This course is joint venture between our hotel and one of our local wine suppliers.
Q: Can you tell us about your favourite part of the Weitzer Hotel?
It’s a hard choice – but – I will have to go with our latest project – the sauna & gym on the 5th floor! Not only because I personally like going to the gym but also for the spectacular views you get to enjoy from our sauna (built as a glass-cube located on the hotel rooftop). To top it all – our new gym design is very elegant and with purpose-built lighting it always gives a bit of a mystique vibe.
Q: What about Graz – what do you like the most about this city?
If you recall – I am a massive foodie – and Graz being the official Austrian capital of culinary delights (since 2008) – it is a match made in heaven.