ASTANA – Hilton, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, opened the first Hampton by Hilton Aug. 15 in the Kazakh capital. The Astana Times spoke with Astana Triumphal Arch General Manager Maria Temerova to learn about the hotel’s amenities and why the company is attracted to the Kazakh market.
“We are proud to announce that we provide the best service by Hilton with an affordable cost. An interesting fact about our hotel is Hamptonality, which is the mix of the Hampton brand and hospitality. Hamptonality means that our team members are friendly, authentic, careful and thoughtful with every guest and it is fact. It means we create Hamptonality on our own. We bring our own individual strengths and irresistible skills to work. We find our own ways to deliver on our brand values,” she said.
The 114-room hotel is located in the heart of the new business district near Nazarbayev University, the expo grounds and the airport. A standard room starts at 24,000 tenge (US$66) average per night and there is a number of packages and discounts.
Bringing best practices to hotel operations is a priority for the company.
“There are many hotels in Astana, so we have a very experienced team and I am sure they are the best professionals in the market. In addition, we decided to trust in youth and hired people just after graduation who really want to work in the hospitality industry, develop themselves in this business and with passion in their eyes. Everyone who works at Hilton takes part in trainings depending on his or her position. We have general trainings, but still there are very important trainings about our brand standards, security, safety and anticorruption,” she explained.
The staff have the opportunity to choose among training programmes at Hilton University.
“For example, a front office agent can receive education in sales, housekeeping and HR and then can use this knowledge in practice and may change his or her position in time,” she said.
Temerova noted Hilton is involved in the improvements in Kazakh business and tourism. The five-star Hilton Astana and Hilton Garden Inn Astana already operate in the city.
“Kazakhstan is a very young and interesting country. Main international companies have representative offices in Astana or Almaty; almost every week, governmental delegations visit the capital and national tourism is developing very fast. Now, Hilton is represented by three different brands in Astana for each segment of business and some are in the pipeline,” she added.
“The potential of tourism is still developing,” said Temerova. “At this moment, we do not have a big amount of people travelling for leisure; still, there are more individual business travellers from outbound and from Kazakhstan. The Hampton by Hilton brand is a good choice for them, because we are providing the best service and convenient location, which is great to go to/from the airport and city centre, and we have everything that a guest might need for a two-three day accommodation during their business trip.”
Hilton is a leader in the global hospitality market with a portfolio of 14 international brands, including approximately 5,400 facilities with more than 880,000 rooms in 106 countries. The company does not have a target audience and welcomes all visitors.
“Astana is a business city and travellers mostly visit Astana for business. But our rate segmentation and location also give us a very good chance to work with tourists, especially with tourists who come to visit sports events or events in the expo centre,” she said.
From the customers’ perspective, variety is now a major trend in the hotel industry.
“It is very good that in the city there are many hotels with different prices, services, location and philosophy. It has been proven that the most important values of the hotel are a clean room, comfortable bed and tasty, hot breakfast and these are the things we are ready to provide our guests with. In the near future, we hope to see more guests coming for leisure and conventions and we will do our best to be the lead hotel in Astana,” she said.