Kristina Bošnjak, General manager of the Prezident Hotels Group, believes that recognition of quality has a crucial role in the success of a company, regardless of the sector in which it operates.
She grew up in a family that has been in the hotel industry, so her business path was easy to choose. Her love for the hotel industry came quite early. Through the family business, she learned everything that the hotel industry carries on with. She had a chance to get to know the good and bad sides of the business and admits that there is no other industry in which she would feel more herself, that’s why she devoted her education to the hotel sector.
Please describe a typical day for you if such a thing exists.
My work day usually starts at 8 am, the first hours at the office are reserved for a staff briefing and daily meetings. Each day is filled with a work lunch and a lot of phone calls.
My day is mostly about decisions, lots of decision-making!
And what is the best part of your job?
Definitely our team. The Prezident Palace team is built of really wonderful people who are all skillful professionals. We have become like a small family and one that I am extremely proud of.
Prezident Palace Belgrade Hotel pays great homage to the infamous royal couple Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, please tell us more about why and how this honour is executed throughout the hotel.
From the moment you enter the hotel, to the check-in at the reception, you will be greeted by reproductions of the most outstanding works of art from the period of the royal couple’s life.
The whole experience is enhanced with the finest pieces which you can find throughout the entire hotel, some of them are carefully selected at auctions from around the world. Marie Antoinette’s apartment is designed according to the model of her boudoir in the rustic Petit Trianon building near the Palace of Versailles and in apartments you can find personal belongings of the royal couple, for example, Marie Antoinette’s mirror, all that will enrich your experience and bring you closer to the period of the 16th century.
The interiors and soft furnishings are stunning and perfectly encapsulate the baroque period with most of the furniture designed specifically for the hotel – please tell us more about the journey to achieve this ambition.
The project itself was completed a couple of years ago, and we started its implementation seven years ago. The production of furniture took around five years and included design, selection of the finest and highest quality materials, creating handmade details, for example, specific techniques of gilding. Chandeliers are made with Swarovski crystals, at the reception you will find Brazilian granite, an Onyx wall and the finest Murano glass shelves. In cooperation with a well-known design house from Paris, we have truly achieved a unique hotel design that stands out on the Belgrade scene. We created it with a lot of love, effort and dedicated people.
There are many authentic exhibits around the hotel which helps to create a royal and glamorous ambience for guests. Please tell us more about this curated collection.
The biggest challenge was importing extremely valuable works of art from all over the world. Our team really gave themselves and truly committed themselves to visiting the world’s auctions and choosing unique pieces that contribute to the authenticity of the hotel’s royal story and the lifestyle of the royal couple Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.
The culinary experience at the Prezident Palace Hotel Belgrade, sets unique standards and brings world trends to the Belgrade gastro scene. How do you do this and what can guests expect from their dining experience?
Thank you, I’m glad if you said so. We like to provide our guests with a gourmet experience that they have not yet experienced. Our menu includes dishes that were served at a royal supper. All dishes are made according to recipes that have been preserved for centuries.
Certainly, our menu contains some classic dishes, but we still represent them with a unique Prezident signature. The Chef committed a lot of time to creating each dish, he carefully selected each ingredient and made the finest combinations of aromas and spices. It is really important to accent that most of the ingredients are from organic farms of the highest quality. We tried to make the entire offering top quality, from the selection of wine, drinks, and organic coffee to the ingredients used in the preparation of dishes.
The desserts are a perfect display of our kitchen team’s creativity, and we are really proud of our sweet selection. You can find some classics at breakfast time, such as Crêpes Suzette, to the A la carte offering with Prezident signature and the finest combination of tastes.
Is there a typical Prezident Palace Belgrade guest? If so, please describe them!
I cannot classify all our guests in the same category. But I can tell that our guests are people who clearly know what they want. They are looking for a warm, intimate, authentic place to stay and enjoy.
Which three words best describe Prezident Palace Hotel Belgrade?
Authenticity, tasty-food, and historicalness.
Please share an insider’s tip for first-time guests at the hotel.
If you need peace and quiet with fresh air you will find it on the 10th floor, and while you are there, you should try the hotel’s signature dessert Prezident Kruna.
The luxury travel sector continually evolves, are there any trends that have had a big impact on your offering and what do you think the next five years hold for the luxury hospitality sector?
We do our best to follow world trends and client’s needs, and with this I truly believe that our offering will always be recognisable to the guests.
Luxury is highly subjective, what does it mean to you personally?
Quality. Splendid customer service with a personal-oriented experience.
Finally, what is your life motto? If you have one.
Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.