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Dejan Majić, General Manager, Mama Shelter Belgrade

The Spirit Of France In Belgrade

Over the course of less than five years of operations, Mama Shelter Belgrade has managed to set itself apart as one of the most successful of the 16 “Mama” hotels operating all over the world, from Los Angeles to Rome. More than a million satisfied guests have passed through its 125 rooms during that time

Despite it being an atypical and unusual occurrence, there is actually a hotel in Belgrade that’s equally enjoyed by foreigners from all over the world and local guests, for whom special packages and services have been created. The credit for that, apart from belonging to the major brand that is the “Mama” brand, also belongs to a small team of creative enthusiasts.

Mr Majić, your “Mama Shelter” adventure has lasted for four and a half years so far, and continues to grow ever more exciting. We know that you believed in the concept and the team, but did you know back then that “Mama” would be quite so popular?

– That’s right, my adventure with “Mama” has lasted since her first day. I’m very proud of the fact that, in less than five years of operations, we’ve succeeded in singling ourselves out as one of the most successful among the 16 “Mama” hotels operating all over the world, from Los Angeles to Rome. I would like to highlight in particular the fact that “Mama” has brought to Belgrade the true spirit of French fun and hedonism, and has somehow changed the way hotels are enjoyed. I’m known in my team as a perfectionist, so I personally wouldn’t accept anything less than the great popularity of “Mama” among guests, both foreign ones and our dear fellow citizens with whom we socialise on a daily basis. We shouldn’t forget that “Mama” has as many as 125 rooms and that more than a million satisfied guests have passed through them to date.

Apart from an excellent location, specific interior design and superior service, what’s the secret of Mama’s success? How important was that personal touch to your guests; the fact that they feel like they’ve arrived home?

– I consider that the most important feeling. Every hotel, especially when it comes to people who travel often, should and must represent a second home for them – a place where they feel comfortable, secure and cared for. Apart from that, “Mama” also introduced a fourth criterion: fun.

Something happens at our cocktail bar almost every day, our terrace provides the most beautiful views of sunsets in the city, so you can enjoy a complete package of hedonism at the heart of Belgrade without ever needing to leave the hotel.

We know that flexibility is today more important than ever before; and that without it businesses cannot survive. How does “Mama Shelter” adapt to market conditions and expectations?

– I think the answer to that question is best exemplified through our approach to operations during the pandemic. When it comes to the hotel business, we monitored trends and created new packages for digital nomads, for people who had the ability to work remotely.

The famous Jalil Amor really knew what he was doing when he designed the interior and every nook and cranny of Mama Shelter Belgrade

On the other hand, our F&B sector was extremely creative and we immediately introduced home deliveries of the finest “Mama” specialities. Some of the operational models have remained in place today and proven themselves to be very successful and practical.

Your desire from day one was for Belgraders to also enjoy “Mama”, and not just guests from abroad. Have you devised special packages and services for locals?

– Yes, those are offers that were created during the time of the pandemic, when it wasn’t possible to travel, so we let our imaginations run wild, and then helped our guests do the same… All those offers, including Sexcation, Movie Night, Mama Deal and Sunday Lunch at Mama’s, became so popular that they remain relevant and widely used today.

Apart from being able to be tourists in their own city, Belgraders, but also other domestic guests, have opportunities to organise team building events and work at “Mama Shelter”. How was that concept conceived?

– That’s right. Seemingly like every other hotel, “Mama” offers conference halls and rooms for meetings, team building events and work, but the feedback we receive from our clients is that the energy of “Mama” is special. For almost all of them, working from the “Mama” studios is fun and less strenuous, and this proves that the famous Jalil Amor really knew what he was doing when he designed the interior and every nook and cranny of Mama Shelter Belgrade.

There has finally been more or less normal travel this summer, without restrictions and bans. Did you have sufficient capacity to handle all interested guests? Is it time to bring other Accor Group hotels to Serbia?

– I experienced sweet anguish this summer, the best kind a hotel manager can have, and that’s overbooking. Market demand was incredible, but I also believe and like to think that that was still partially down to us [laughs]. When it comes to the Accor Group, with years of planning behind us, this year will demonstrate our full result, and I’m personally very happy that, in the coming years, the Accor Group will be present in Serbia and the region with its broad palette of various types of hotels.

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