‘Ten years ago, Warsaw was where you changed planes on the way to Krakow. Not anymore.’ — Keith Lindsay, Orco Hospitality Group
MaMaison brings homegrown luxury to New Europe
By Kenneth Kiesnoski
aoutique hotel property is ideally a chic home away from home,
nd so, true to its name, MaMaison Hotels & Apartments hopes
o bring homegrown know-how to operating high-end hide-ways in Central and Eastern Europe.
MaMaison is a division of Luxembourg-based real estate and
hospitality developer Orco Property Group, focusing on “New Europe.”
Sales and Marketing Director J.J. Doran The Andrassy Hotel in Budapest, mean-pointed out that most high-end hostelry in while, occupies a 1937 Bauhaus structure
New Europe, the former Eastern Bloc, has designed and built by Alfred Hajos, an
been planted there by large, Western cor- architect and native of Hungary who also
porations. “We’re the first to start from the won two gold medals for swimming at the
inside,” said Doran. “So I think we’re a little first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
more adept at taking on the characteristics Said Keith Lindsay, CEO of Orco’s Hos-of the market.” pitality Group, “You want something that’s
That market spans the ex-communist architecturally appealing ... and you have to
Continent, from burgeoning Moscow in be in the right spot.”
the northeast to the balmy resort island MaMaison also manages and markets
of Hvar on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, in the eight resorts on Hvar in partnership with
southwest. Orco’s $2.5 billion Hospitality Suncani Hvar Hotels. The properties range
Group owns and/or operates 11 boutique from the luxury Adriana-Hvar Marina Ho-hotels and upscale serviced apartments in tel & Spa and the four-star, family-friendly
Moscow as well as Prague and Ostrava in Camp Vira to a selection of two- and three-the Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; star beach hotels.
and Warsaw and Bielsko-Biala, Poland. Orco’s hotels might be local in charac-
MaMaison has taken pains to make its ter, service and ambience, but they’ve been
properties relevant to the cities they serve. noticed on the global scene. Le Regina,
In Warsaw, the Hotel Le Regina (see Room the Andrassy and the Adriana, as well as
Key) is housed in a reconstructed 17th cen- Pachtuv Palace and the Riverside Hotel in
tury palace in the Unesco-protected Old Prague and the Pokrovka Suite Hotel in
Town that once served as the U.S. Embassy. Moscow, have been named members of the
Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
ROOM KEY Still, as a new and relatively small opera- tion, MaMaison lacks brand-name recog-
nition in major source markets in Europe
and overseas, such as the U.S.
Doran said he hopes that in five years
time, travelers pondering a trip to Central
Europe will take into account “whether
there’s a MaMaison in the city they’re going
to” before booking.
“We’ve just started that process,” he said.
“We have a lot of work to do before people
[outside the market] recognize the brand.”
One factor working against MaMaison
in that effort, according to received industry wisdom, would be that the brand
lacks well-known properties of its own in
the foreign source markets it’s cultivating,
particularly the U.S., U.K. and Germany.
But Lindsay dismissed the notion. He said
MaMaison has set up shop in historical, strategically
located properties in the Central European cities in which
it operates, such as Le Regina in Warsaw, top right, and
Budapest’s Andrassy Hotel, above and lower right.
Le Regina boasts the best occupancies in
Warsaw, which has five-star hotels run by
Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, InterContinental, Hyatt Regency and Marriott.
Visitors say they choose MaMaison because staff look after them, “and our ties
are woven into the local fabric,” said Lindsay. “That produces a very strong and loyal
And in promoting itself, MaMaison is
also promoting its home region. In Poland,
the chain has joined forces with the coun-
Doran said. “Not anymore … but people
still don’t know this.”
For all the luxury on hand, MaMaison’s
New Europe properties claim to offer good
value for each greenback spent.
MAMAISON HOTEL LE REGINA
ADDRESS: Koscielna 12, 00-218 Warsaw,
PHONE: (011) 48-22 531-6000
FAX: (011) 48-22 531-6001
RESERVATIONS: (011) 42-023 437-6376
U.S. SALES: (973) 838-0899
GEN. MANAGER: Krzysztof Olszewski
RATES: About $155 to $2,460 per night
AMENITIES: Air conditioning; flat-screen
TVs; free in-room WiFi, Ethernet Internet
access; safe; minibar; hair dryer; umbrella; robe, slippers; luxury bath amenities.
FACILITIES: La Rotisserie restaurant; 24-
hour reception, concierge; valet, limousine services; business center; Internet
station; meetings rooms; Roman-style
indoor pool; sauna; fitness room.
try’s growing roster of emerging luxury
products (Chopin vodka, Wedel chocolates,
Vistula menswear) to brand Warsaw as a
“Ten years ago, Warsaw was where you
changed planes on your way to Krakow,”
“When you tally at the end of the trip
how much you’ve spent, you’re in a much
better position and have had a much more
powerful European experience for the dollar” in Central Europe, said Doran.
For more, visit www.mamaison.com.
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MaMaison’s Le Regina in Warsaw is housed in a 17th
century palace that once served as the U.S. Embassy.
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