Rezidor re-enters Tripoli with Radisson Blu hotel
February 27th, 2012
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has re-entered Tripoli in Libya more than 10 months after staff were evacuated from the Radisson Blu hotel back in February 2011.
After the Radisson management left the property amid the revolutions in the city, the hotel closed for “one or two months” but re-opened shortly afterwards under local management appointed by the owning company, Summa.
General manager Kosta Kourotsidis recalled: “[For one to two months] the hotel was without any management and then the journalists came back or increased during that time and then the owning company appointed a skeleton of a team in the hotel and they were running the hotel on their own.
“I think they did great during this time even with only very limited possibilities and they maintained the hotel, technically the hotel is up to the standards, no major damage happened during this period,” he added.
Kourotsidis returned back to the hotel in December 2011, ahead of Radisson’s official re-entry to the market on January 1, 2012.
“It was handed over from the owning company back to the operator, more a handover than a reopening,” he clarified.
The first priority was establishing the safety and security of the building, guests and staff — some of who returned to the property.
“We gave all evacuated and local staff first the opportunity to re-join. Not all staff returned, only the ones who wanted to. Some of the management have been placed in other Radisson Blu hotels but and some of the staff went home to their home countries and took up interim jobs there,” explained Kourotsidis.
He continued: “The priority remains to keep the security level high within the hotel.
“We have done assessments with our technical department from Rezidor to revaluate and to assess the fire fighting systems, the water quality, legionella, all these kind of hidden threats. It was the first priority to have this done before we do anything else. We did not know what happened in the last 10 months regarding legionella — was the swimming pool treated properly with chemicals — [are] the fire fighting systems working, was anything broken or damaged?
“So I must say the hotel was well maintained and all the safety and security procedures are in place, from the beginning actually.”
With the building secure, the next step was to run a “small pre-opening”, said the general manager, in order “to bring back the Radisson brand concepts”.
“The free wifi is in place, all collaterals are in place, the super breakfast concept is in place, we are now in the process of relaunching the ‘yes I can’ core service philosophy,” said Kourotsidis.
“We are training all the staff, from the beginning, from zero, on ‘yes I can’, even though we know they have been trained in 2009, 2010, but I think it is important to relaunch this concept,” he added.