THE INTERVIEW SERIES – HANNA TALAIE – GENERAL MANAGER, VILLAZZO

Hanna Talaie

No-one knows luxury travel better than Hanna Talaie, General Manager of leading online luxury villa booking Villazzo. With more than 11 years’ experience in the industry, a degree in International Business and Management, international experience working and studying in both Germany and the Netherlands, and a passion for travel, she gives us the lowdown, in our first in a series of insider interviews.

Q: What does your role as General Manager involve?

I’m responsible for managing all departments across the business, to make sure they run smoothly and to offer support if there’s an issue. Our ethos is to deliver to the high standards our loyal clientele expects. At the same time, we need to make sure we differentiate ourselves as market leaders.

Q: Villazzo is known for its commitment to customer service, how do you achieve this?

As cliché as it sounds, I love coming to work. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by a great team who enjoy what they do. Our clients are at the heart of our business, and we prioritize their every need and requirement to ensure we take great care of them. Our approach is to offer guests the attention and experience as you would give your family – simply the best of the best!

Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?

It’s fair to say that we self-impose very high standards. Our biggest challenge is to exceed our own set goals and to make every stay better than the previous for guests. We stay up to date when it comes to technology and trends, especially since the hospitality market is ever-changing and highly competitive.

Q: You’ve worked for the company for eight years, what makes Villazzo stand out from its competitors?

We are very price competitive, have a full local operations team with dedicated concierge services and have exclusive contracts in some cities. But most of all, we go above and beyond customer expectations to provide a hotel-like experience, with personalized services for guests. This ranges from little touches like premium towels and bespoke toiletry selection, to a white glove Butler service. We make the impossible request, possible – a challenge we love to take on! Villazzo only employs people with a ‘Yes’ attitude, who will care for guests and go beyond their expectations.

Q: What qualities do you look out for when appointing properties for Villazzo?

Location, location, location! That aside, to fit in with our luxury vacation rental portfolio, properties must be very well maintained and the interior needs to be clean, new and wow. We only consider properties that have a property manager to ensure we have an immediate contact.

Q: You’re well-traveled, where do you choose to vacation?

Anywhere that I can gather cultural knowledge. I have a bucket list of places that I am intending to see. I was recently in Iceland; the next trip will be Japan.

“The feedback we have from clients is overwhelming and I strongly believe they feel the extra TLC they receive from us.”

Q: Do you have any insider tips for online rental bookings?

The longer you stay in a property, the better value it becomes, as the nightly rate goes down. Of course, our business is seasonal and much like hotels, there are on and off-peak times to travel. Outside of the holidays and school breaks, you can usually bag a better bargain! I have also seen lots of online fraudsters, so always advise using a reputable online rental company such as Villazzo, where you can speak to an actual person too.

Q: Are there any travel trends you’re noticing at the moment?

Yes, people are moving away from the traditional ‘plan a holiday’ method, and being more spontaneous and last minute. We’re also noticing that short stays are growing in popularity, allowing visitors to move around more, and weekend getaways are very ‘on trend’ too.

Q: Finally, why do you recommend someone reading this should book their luxury travel villa with Villazzo?

Villazzo has a very detail-oriented team that thrives on pleasing customers. We enjoy welcoming clients from all over the world, for every type of occasion. We have a very knowledgeable, motivated team who will create a memorable and bespoke stay for your trip. The feedback we have from clients is overwhelming and I strongly believe they feel the extra TLC they receive from us.

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