Kyiv Post

Star hotel takes starcity to another level. What first Radisson in Odesa has to offer

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After its rebranding and reconstruc­tion, the new hotel offers 90 rooms with a restaurant and a conference hall. We spoke with a general manager of the Radisson Hotel City Centre Odesa Olga Michenko about the bright future of the hotel industry and how the addition of a hotel from a respectabl­e chain would affect Odesa.

Why did Radisson choose Odesa to open its new hotel?

Odesa is Ukraine’s gem. It’s hard to find a city as attractive for tourists as Odesa. The city has everything — a unique culture, beautiful architectu­re, access to the sea, developed infrastruc­ture and a unique atmosphere. The city also offers delicious local cuisine. But at the same time, Odesa is a major hub of Ukraine’s business life. In 2021, Ukraine signed several bilateral agreements with the United Arab Emirates for a total of $3 billion. Now, Odesa is a popular spot among UAE businesspe­ople from.

We also shouldn’t forget that Ukraine seeks to join NATO, and a lot of military drills are held in Odesa, including the ones by the legendary Sea Breeze division.

The pandemic has encouraged Ukrainians to explore local tourism. Has the flow of tourists to Odesa increased?

The world has adapted to the pandemic somewhat. Ukraine has started vaccinatin­g people, and there’s a hope that everyone will be able to get their jabs. Moreover, herd immunity is developing. Therefore, we are optimistic about the future and hope for the return of the domestic demand already this season. Foreign markets are still cautious, but the situation might change for the better in the fall. However, the spur of interest in Odessa among domestic tourists is undeniable, and I think it’s going to remain that way when the pandemic is over.

Do you think that Radisson’s opening will affect the city itself?

It certainly will. When such a large internatio­nal brand as Radisson comes to Odesa, the city becomes an even more desirable tourist destinatio­n. It gives more confidence to both foreign and Ukrainian travelers. Therefore, the star hotel located at Deribasovs­ka “star street” — it’s an unbelievab­le synergy that would affect locals, tourists, and business positively. This would be a positive signal to investors, and other global businesses would follow Radisson’s footsteps.

Every hotel of the Radisson chain is special. What would be the highlight of Radisson Hotel City Centre Odesa?

The highlight is Odesa itself! The hotel will be located on the legendary Deribasovs­ka street which is glorified in music, literature, and folklore. The hotel’s magic location is nestled among the main Odesa sights — the Potemkin Stairs, the Odesa city garden, Passage and the Opera Theater. Our guests can take a promenade to feel the city’s vibes and atmosphere.

The hotel also has a special Odesa courtyard — green, elegant and cozy. Here, the guests can rest after a long day, rejuvenate and enjoy the pleasant conversati­on or, on the contrary, enjoy the silence.

The restaurant’s menu integrated typical Odesa cuisine. We are trying to localize the menu, since southern Ukraine produces delicious fruits and vegetables. Our guests can enjoy the remarkable taste of the local peaches, apricots, and “Mikado” tomatoes. Last but not least, there are the people. Odesa's locals have a unique worldview, they are unapologet­ic optimists. Our welcoming, cheerful, and open-minded staff will help the guests feel the character of the people of Odesa.

What are the brand’s plans? Do you plan to open more hotels in Ukraine, and if so, in which cities?

Radisson Hotel Group has been interested in Ukraine for a long time, it’s an extremely promising market for us. More and more foreigners are exploring Ukraine, they come here for vacations and business trips. Ukrainians have started seeing their country differentl­y, too. A vacation in Odesa now can compete with a weekend in Kraków, Budapest, or other European capital in terms of service and atmosphere. That’s why we would like to expand our chain of hotels. First, we would like to open a Radisson Red hotel in Lviv.

In Kharkiv and Dnipro, we want to open Radisson Blue and Radisson brands of hotels that would be the best fit for entreprene­urs and businesspe­ople. Also, we plan to open another hotel in Kyiv. This time, it will be a premium-class hotel, the Radisson Collection brand.

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