From cabins by the sea to rooms in private apartments rented by the inhabitants of tourist areas, continuing to hotels with truncated standards, Albanian tourism has advanced over the years, and now it seems that the first milestones have been set for the provision of tourism that is described as qualitative, luxurious or elite.
In contrast to hotels with self-determined stars on the facade, but are often not even found on “Google,” or in the simplest tourist guides, some hotels or resorts have been set up that are doing their best to offer a quality service. Top for those labeled as elite clients.
These clients or vacationers choose to spend a lot for the days of their stay in a certain place, looking for a new mentality in the services they receive and on the agenda of the vacation period. Two of these gigantic projects, intertwined in services that should attract more quality tourists, are under construction, marking a new milestone in the cycle of Albanian tourism.
However, on the other side of the coin, there is the problematic road infrastructure, the lack of investment beyond the doors of the resorts, mainly in mountainous areas, untreated beaches in coastal areas, which are not favorable to the development of elite tourism, with the potential that Albania has, also launched by the geographical location or climate it offers.
Elite resort under construction
In Albania, two gigantic resorts are currently under construction and aim to compete with the region’s highest quality resorts and be the first in tourism choices. “Green Coast Resort,” a gigantic investment made on the Ionian Sea’s shores, in the area of Palas and “San Pietro Hotel & Residences,” another important investment in the bay of Lalzi. Both resorts have the main advantage of the lack of competition in the areas they are built-in and across the country, as they are the only ones in this format. But what will their strategy be to bring elite tourists to our country and what they offer more than what the tourism sector currently offers in the country?
“Green Coast Resort” will be one of the biggest and best projects in Albania and the region. The project brings a high-quality lifestyle through the services and facilities of the “Green Coast Hotel,” the waterfront with service units, and the sports and entertainment platform. “Our target is all those, Albanians or foreign visitors, who are looking for an elite tourism, high-level services and live a unique experience in the Mediterranean,” explains Alketa Shulla, Marketing Director, “Balfin Real Estate.” The resort currently under construction on the beach of the Bay of Lalzi, “San Pietro,” will rise on a plot of land of 350,000 square meters and 1500 m of coastline, in an exclusive beach only for its vacationers.
“With the luxury residential area and the 5-star hotel, this complex will become the main tourist destination for individuals and families looking for safety, quality construction, and natural beauty, not only from Albania but also from the region and beyond, “said Ermira Brozi. , Marketing and Sales Director, “Edil al.”
In terms of services, the “Green Coast Hotel” will be a 5-star hotel brand, part of an internationally recognized network, aiming to bring the missing standard to tourism. “We are currently negotiating with some international operators, and very soon, we will finalize the selection of the operator who will manage the hotel.” Since the beginning of this project, we have been advised and continue to be advised by the consulting firm “Horwath HTL,” world leader and expert in the field of hospitality and tourism, “underlines Alketa Shulla, marketing director,” Balfin Real Estate. ”
He suggests that the hotel alone will develop approximately 15,000 square meters, with 2 building floors, offer accommodation facilities in line with holidaymakers’ demand and high-quality service. “All this together will make the hotel unique and bring to Albania an elite standard that has been lacking so far.” What we aim for is to have an extension of the tourist season throughout the year, to meet the ever-increasing demand “, says Ms. Shulla.
The same destination belongs to the managers of the “San Pietro” tourist village. The Marketing and Sales Director of “Edil al” estimates that there are currently no facilities that offer elite tourism, even if some hotels or resorts evaluate themselves with the maximum score.
“In Albania, we have many resorts at an amateur level, where every building with a contemporary name and with some structures on its premises, has started to call itself resorts. Indeed, this is the Albanian concept for the appeal, but it is far from the concept that exists in the industry according to world standards, “says Ms. Brozi.
According to her, despite the different accommodation facilities, it seems that real restorations are the part that the country is missing. Still, as a country that aspires to significant development in the sector, it must complete it.
For the first time in Albania with such a large geographical area, “Edil al” and “Concord Investment” respectively building entity and investor entity bring “San Pietro” with an innovative concept, which combines housing and tourism, affecting the development of the area and brings exactly what is missing: elite tourism. It is the largest project of its kind, not only in Albania but also in the Balkan region “, underlines Ms. Broz.
Luxury hotels in tourist areas
In the country’s tourist areas, there are some luxury hotels and resorts, where some meet the 5-star standards and others, in the absence of legislation, have set them independently, but still offer a better service than other units.
Thus, in the city of Durres, in the Golem area, for a year now, “Prestige Resort” has been operating as tourism, an international name covering an area of 80 thousand m2, offers a 5-star service for clients. Another hotel of this category, also in Durres, is the recently opened “Adriatik” and “Premium Beach Hotel.” While in the south of the country, some luxury units operate, such as “Drimadhes In,” “Splendor,” “Morina Palace,” “Elysium,” “Altea,” “Sarajet and Pashait,” “Rrapos Resort,” “Miamar” “Paradise Hotel. ” These units offer luxury accommodation, food, swimming pool. Still, they do not meet the criteria according to the set stars or the criteria that a resort should have to provide activities such as gyms, sports fields, water sports, etc. They don’t offer tourist packages, while the stars are self-taught again.
Luxury hotel in the capital
Suppose we look at the luxuryhotelsguides.com website, which is also a guide for foreigners who want to come to Albania, the most luxurious hotels in the capital are listed, where only 6 are 5 stars. Like “The Plaza Tirana,” “Boutique” hotel, “Rogner,” “Sheraton,” “Vivi La Vita,” hotel and “Tirana BackPacker hostel,” while the list continues with 4-star, 3-star, and more hotels. The most luxurious hotels are most used today by elite customers, mainly for business purposes, which truly offer quality service and are also selected for the numerous conferences of state administration activities, companies, associations, etc.
Prices offered by hotels and resorts categorized or self-classified with 4-5 stars, we see that the prices are very high about the service provided and the prices in the region. In the south of the country, prices range from 80 euros to 250 euros in the high tourist season for a double room, with only breakfast included. What is striking is that, despite the hotels’ stars, the impressions of vacationers rank them average.
Apart from the steep prices, if you want to book through the booking.com platform, you will notice that most of the rooms are booked during the tourist season, and there are hotels where you cannot find accommodation on any date. As for the 5-star hotels on the beach of Durres, “Premium Beach Hotel” offers an average price per night of about 138 euros with breakfast and dinner included, for a couple of standard room, then it varies according to the room category and of appearance; “Prestige Resort” offers the same room 120 euros/night, with breakfast, triple room 150 euros per night, standard apartment 200 euros per night and executive apartments 220 euros per night.
Hotel “Adriatik” offers prices from 79-111 euros per night with breakfast included for a couple, and the price varies according to the room and the view it offers. So, if we do an analysis, coastal tourism currently offers luxury hotels that can be counted on the fingers of one hand and that find it impossible to cope with or attract the influx of elite tourists who want to explore Albania, which for mostly they work with full week packages and with a detailed program of activities during the days of stay. As for mountain tourism, there are still no luxury resorts or hotels.
While the two resorts under construction aim to offer complete packages for tourists, this direction began early. “Speaking concretely is a bit quick, but in general the hotel part will have different packages for SPA, swimming pool, various shows or restaurants, which will have preferential prices for residents.
As for the management of the hotel, obviously part of the attraction, especially in the different seasons, there will be different offers, from 2 to 10 days with all-inclusive or based on a specific theme (holiday weekend and entertainment in SPA and Casino, year-end holidays..etc.) “, explains the Marketing and Sales Director of” Edil al, “Ermira Brozi. As we talk about prices, these resorts will compete significantly with those of the region.
“Certainly, both in the retail and in the hotel industry, because they offer high-quality quality, they will be competitively priced, within reach of every category of customers.” Our goal is to have those average customers, as well as high and high-end ones. , he points out. The staff of the “Green Coast Resort” are in the same phase. “We are currently in the search for agencies with which we will collaborate in the future for the provision of tourist packages.
It can be said that the expected price level will compete worthwhile with its sisters in the Mediterranean region. However, this will also depend on the operator, who will manage the hotel “, explains Alketa Shulla, marketing director,” Balfin Real Estate. “