Marine Pogosyan is joining us in Barcelona for HostelSkills #2 as a representative of Envoy Hostels that offer great experiences in Yerevan, Tbilisi and Phnom Penh. She shared their philosophy before coming to Barcelona, where you will all have the opportunity to meet her and many other great hostel people from all around the world.
How did you decide to open a hostel?
Envoy Hostels are designed by travellers for travellers. The seed of the idea was planted while travelling in Europe (in Prague to be exact), after a series of pleasant and not so pleasant travel experiences, that IF we ever open up a hostel, what we would include to make the stay memorable.
Envoy’s first hostel was opened in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2005 after realising the absence of good quality budget accommodation as well as the lack of fair employment conditions for locals. So the decision was made to start a hostel with the vision of only employing locals and a focus on upskilling and empowering team members with a common goal of creating a fantastic experience for our guests. Since then we have also created a hostel in Tbilisi, Georgia, and another in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
What is the biggest challenge you are facing in running/managing your hostel?
As an international company, we have intercultural nuances to be mindful of. We don’t see these as challenges but rather as learning points. Respecting and adapting to local culture allows us to grow as a company which equally translates to knowing how better to service our guests.
What makes your hostel unique?
You will feel the love when you stay with us. Love of what you ask? Love of travel, love for the wonderful people who pass through our hostels, love for the countries we represent (and the opportunity to show them off to our guests) and of course the love for the work we do together as a team.
What is the one thing that your guests like the most in your hostel?
This would easily be their interaction with our team. We hand pick the best of the best to be part of our Envoy family. Our teammates are genuine, professional, caring and helpful.
What makes your destination/city a place everyone should visit?
We love travel and know that every corner of the world offers a unique and wonderful experience for all. Equally, we appreciate those who visit our shores/lands and know that they will also discover the uniqueness in culture, sights, traditions, foods and more. All our locations are somewhat off the beaten track for many travellers so if you reach Yerevan, Tbilisi or Phnom Penh, we know you are already well travelled but are certain we can wow you with what each of our locations has to offer. In Yerevan, it’s the| perfect views of the biblical Mt Ararat, in Tbilisi the gorgeous Old Town area, and in Phnom Penh the richness of Khmer culture and cuisine.
What is the best time of the year to visit you?
Any time of the year! Remember we are travellers ourselves and we believe there is no such thing as the worst time to travel – hence all time is the best time 🙂 Each season brings new scenery to appreciate and experiences to cherish. In fact, we would recommend several visits, one per season (which some of our guests actually do!).
What would you recommend to your guests as a must see/must do in your city?
There is so much to see and do in each of our locations that it’s hard to summarise. There is much in terms of historic sites, natural landscapes and local culture to discover. To make it simpler for travellers, we offer a wide range of tours (again designed with the avid traveller in mind) to allow you to experience the best of each region.