1. Tell us a bit about yourself...
I was born in USSR, and ever since the iron curtain dropped and I first went abroad, travelling became my life passion. As a child my dream was to become a hotel inspector, travelling around the world, staying in different hotels and to get paid for doing it.
2. Tell us about the history of your hotel...
Vintry and Mercer is a brand new hotel which opened in 2019, but it is full of history. It is located on the site where Vintners used to unload wines from the ships coming from Europe, and where Mercers were trading fine silks and textiles. Historical references are part of hotel's DNA and you can easily see these references in the design of the hotel's rooms and public spaces.
3. Can you describe a typical day for you at work?
A typical day at work would be meeting with my managers for a general update, to discuss occupancy and revenue, and how the restaurants and bars are performing. As well as meeting some VIP's, answering emails, reading guest's reviews and developing strategy for the weeks ahead. Every day I think how we can improve on what we are doing.
4. What's special about your destination and what will be popular in 2019?
The City of London is an underrated destination and some people disregard it as a business district. However there is so much more to it. Not only it is very centrally located, but it is also close to some of London's best landmarks such as St Paul's, Tate Modern, and the Shard.
I think that 2019 will be about experiential travel, where travellers will want to have an authentic experience of the destination they are traveling to, rather than just a stay over.
5. Are there any special local dishes from your destination?
Our signature dishes are a 1.2 kg Tomahawk steak and Guinness bread at the Mercer Roof Terrace. All produce on our roof terrace is sustainably sourced and all the dishes are inspired by traditions of the British Isles.
6. Where's your favourite place to travel? Which country do you most want to visit and why?
I love travelling in Africa - the nature, the people, and the sense of adventure never seem to disappoint there. If I had to pick one place in Africa it would be Selous National Park in Tanzania - it is vast, remote and full of undiscovered gems. My next dream destination is the Skeleton coast of Namibia.
7. How should guests avoid the crowds to get a truly Independently Minded experience in your location?
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the city it may seem challenging to avoid the crowds, however thankfully the City is full of hidden gems, including some of London's oldest pubs, small eateries and private art galleries.
8. Where do you think will be the most popular destination to travel in 2019?
London. It has it all.
10. What do you think makes an unforgettable hotel experience?
An unforgettable hotel experience is always about providing something unique and surpassing guest expectations. We like to give them something extra, from free international calls to views of the Grade 1 listed Church designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
11. Why would you choose an SLH hotel over any other?
SLH hotels never disappoint. They are always different, charming, small enough to have personal service, but big enough to have all the amenities which todays' travellers require. SLH hotels are always on top of the latest trends in hospitality and it is a brand I can rely on.