The Alexander's Hayk Sahakyan on why Armenia is the next big luxury destination
Yerevan's first internationally-branded hotel cements Marriot International's emerging market strategy
With its historic status as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, and its economic transformation in the early 2000s, it's little wonder that Yerevan, Armenia is emerging as a must-visit destination. Now, Marriott International's launch of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel – Armenia's first ever internationally-branded hotel – is cementing its status as an emerging marketing for experiential luxury.
The first luxury international hotel in the historic centre of Yerevan, The Alexander is just minutes from the city's sites, such as the famous Republic Square, while its collection of bars, restaurants and Keys Aficionado's Private Club have already begun to attract the city's glitterati. The hotel's décor combines traditional Armenia architecture with modern American style, while its personalised concierge service aims to provide world class luxury.
Hayk Sahakyan, The Alexander's sales and marketing director, says that the brand's ethos is the perfect marriage of local history and high level of service. "Every Luxury Collection hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination's indigenous charms and treasures," he tells Tempus. "Each hotel, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognised as being amongst the world's finest and so being part of this collection is a way of communicating to guests the high expectation they should have and the quality of the experience that will be provided."
This nod towards the city's history is particularly important to Sahakyan, who believes it is Armenia's national heritage that will be key to its growing popularity to high net worth holidaymakers. >>
"Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, but until now seems to have remained an off the beaten track luxury holiday destination. Yerevan captivates new explorers with its enriching cultural experiences, rich traditions and storied history," he says.
"Yerevan is a fascinating capital city, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks like the Matenadaran library. Many of Yerevan's unique attractions are just steps away from The Alexander, such as the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, where visitors can discover its repository of ancient documents; the whimsical Seven Fountains; and the National Art Gallery, which is also considered to be the largest art museum in Armenia."
Sahakyan admits that the luxury space is a new market to Armenia's hospitality industry, but welcomes the chance to "take our country to another level" through The Alexander's place with Luxury Collection. He notes the hotels' amenities, including panoramic pool views, spa, gym and restaurants serving French, Italian and Armenian cuisine.
"Armenia represents a new travel destination for those who value authentic trips to countries with cherished cultural heritage. We have seen that every year, the statistics on who is visiting Armenia is changing, and shows the growth and diversification of interest in our country," he says. "Our staff members are proud to be involved in leading the way of luxury in their home country. The Alexander offers guests an incomparable property located in the very heart of Yerevan."