Interview with Marisa Sviriades, the Managing Director of Lindian Village resort in Rhodes Island
Next generation hotels – high quality all-inclusive
Middle East Business was lucky to meet with a prominent businesswoman, Marisa Sviriades Managing Director Lindian Village Hotel to talk about Rhodes and the hotel industry in the charming Greek Island.
One of the leading hotels on the island of Rhodes in Greece, Lindian Village, is a luxurious 5-star retreat located on the south-eastern tip of Rhodes located ten minutes away from the must-visit town of Lindos.
In an elegant Greek style, the resort boasts an exclusive collection of suites with private pools in their own gardens designed for complete privacy. www.lindianvillage.gr
Miss Sviriades welcomed us to Lindian Village’s delightful main square, where she gave us an insight into why the resort remains so popular with guests:
Can you tell us about how you established your business?
I am a second-generation hotelier; my father was in the hotel business in the early 1960s, and it was only normal that his children followed him into the business. Therefore, we were raised in hotels: my brothers and I literally grew up in hotels! We know everything about the business, and we love it. We have been in this location since the early 1970s. At that time, we recognised that this part of the island was quite promising and that it would be developed in the future as it had great potential.
So, we decided to buy this area of land. Although Rhodes is a beautiful island, it lacked a five-star property when we first started our project. We decided that we would create a five-star resort that would cater for our clients – clients who travel globally and have high expectations and standards.
When did you open your doors to guests?
We opened Lindian Village in 2004 with our five-star concept and it went very well. Clients really appreciated the quality we were offering – the local community also loved the Village. We’d raised the bar locally – other five-star hotels soon opened, which was actually good for Rhodes, because the island can accommodate a lot of people and it only needs one hotel to really change what other hotels aspire to.
So what‘s special about Lindian Village? What added value has it given to Rhodes?
That’s a difficult question! I mean I can’t really answer because it is my baby, so for me, everything is special about what we are doing here. We care very much for our clients, making sure that they feel very much at home; at the same time we are very discreet. One could say that we have our own ‘personality’ in the way we treat people. Our people need to be there to provide hospitality for our clients, but it’s actually as if they weren’t there – everything runs smoothly without impinging on the guests’ space. So that is what we do, that’s all. Part of our success is the beauty of our whole environment – our beach, our wonderful suites. As with all great five-star hotels anywhere in the world, Lindian Village has its own personality, its own character.
What are your main challenges – especially with so many competitors?
I want to be different, to put my mark on everything we do. And that’s what we’ve done, and it has succeeded. Right now we’re very much talked about as one of the world’s premier resorts – not just around Greece, but globally. So, I think we’ve made our point.
What is different here from any other five-star hotel?
We pay so much attention to privacy, so we have 64 suites with their own private pool or jacuzzi. Each is completely private; clients they have their own compound of 150m2 with very high fences. A client may be on his own, or with his wife and kids, and not want to be disturbed by anybody. We can offer this and this is a very attractive proposition for some people. I think very few hotels around the world can offer this level of privacy. So I would say this is a big difference.
Have you seen an increase in tourists this year?
We’ve been full since April – last year was the same as well. Finally, I think that Greece is slowly, slowly moving out of the financial crisis and we’ve started to see more clients returning time and time again. Of course, I have a lot of repeat guests, so even through the depths of the financial crisis, I kept my clients. Luckily, the list hasn’t stopped growing since. Approximately a third of our guests are repeaters, they come two or three times a year which is fantastic. They email us and send pictures. It is kind of nice, you know, that guests feel so attached to Lindian Village.
What can you say about tourism in Greece in general, and Rhodes in particular?
Greece is unique, a really unique place. Wherever you go in Greece you will find such beauty that you cannot really describe it – you just have to experience it. As for Rhodes, Rhodes old town is a medieval city protected by UNESCO. It’s breathtaking as you to walk around the city. Rhodes offers culture, history, very good food, fantastic beaches, very nice weather, and it is such a peaceful place.
Are tourists welcome?
They are very welcome. I mean we have hospitality in our genes. Xenia was the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, and Zeus was the god of hospitality – we still believe in him! You can see it all around the Greece even if you go into a tiny, tiny villages, you will find people that will offer you coffee, or sweets, or ask how you are doing. Yes, we are nice people, peaceful and quiet, we like to treat our guests well.