Vahe Khachatryan - General Manager of
Courtyard Moscow Paveletskaya
Tell us a little bit about your “Journey”.
graduated from the Yerevan State Institute of
Economy as an accountant auditor. In 2001, in the
frames of the student program, I went to the United
States to work and travel. That was the beginning of
my career in the hospitality sphere.
In the very beginning, I worked as a room cleaner for
a local brand, I can’t remember the name. A bit later
I was supervising the cleanness of the hotel’s pool
and private beach at the Atlantic Ocean. Those were
2 unforgettable years, which I spent in the USA. Two
years later, I decided to return to Armenia where I
immediately went to serve in the army. After this, I went
back to the university where I received my diploma in
2006. Simultaneously, in 2005, I began my career with
Marriott Yerevan as a Housekeeping floor supervisor.
Two years later, I was promoted as a Housekeeping
manager of the hotel. I always remember the years
spent in Armenia Marriott Hotel. In my opinion, it is
still the best hotel I’ve ever worked for, the real school
of the hospitality industry. In this job, you should love
it and if you love it you do your best every day and you
never think in the mornings “oh…, again I should go
to that place”; you never look at your watch when the
working day is over.
Marriott is a distinguished school. If you want to
grow, the opportunity will be granted. The company
provides you with all tools for work; it trains you and
teaches how to act with integrity at all times. Here,
they teach in a different way and as a result, you are
developing in a different way. For me, Marriott is a
family-run hotel chain that changes the mentality of
employees and people. Loyalty towards the brand is
vital for me. When you devote yourself to a brand, it
becomes a part of your family. Those values are higher
than salaries or any other benefits. This is a typical
western type of work relation and working culture. I
do respect such a way of doing business.
Let me go back to my journey. Since I had a
background, I was
t h e
Finance department as my next career step
which I agreed with great pleasure. In the
beginning, I was doing my job in Housekeeping
for half a day and then trainings in accounting.
After working there for a few months as an
Accounting manager, the regional office offered
me to move to other location, and at the end of
2009, I moved to Renaissance Samara Hotel as
a Deputy Director of Finance. Later in 2011, I was
promoted as a Director of Finance of the hotel.
My next move was in 2013 to the east of Russia,
the city of Novosibirsk. Our company opened a
new branded Marriott hotel and I worked there
as a Director of Finance. For the first time, I could
feel what Siberian cold means, when outside is
minus 35 degree but life still goes on; it’s like you
are in huge “walk-in fridge” - the hoteliers will
understand what I mean!
The next step was Georgia, where I was a
Director of Finance of Marriott properties in
Tbilisi for almost 2 years. In 2017, we opened
there a fantastic hotel - the Moxy Tbilisi and I do
encourage everyone who visits Tbilisi to try this
Later in 2017, I have been promoted to my
first General Manager’s position in Courtyard
by Marriott Moscow Paveletskaya Hotel and
I live and work in Moscow now. Of course, it is
not easy to relocate all the time from one city
to another. Nevertheless, it is already a style of
life and you never know where and when the
next opportunity comes. Thus, you gain the
experience that you cannot obtain anywhere
How did you get this position? Did you choose
your work or did it just happen to be that way?
f course, it is true that everything depends
on a person and sometimes there is a piece
of luck as well. The formula of success is simple,
love what you do and do your best. We have 7,000
hotels, out of which 2,500 are directly managed
hotels and the rest are franchises located all over
the world. In Europe, the number has increased
even more after the acquisition of Starwood; so,
there are future opportunities. You never know,
which hotel you will happen to work next.
There is an unwritten standard; the General
Manager should be replaced every 3-4 years.
There are several positions as well that fall into this
logic. Those positions are: the Director of Finance
and the Director of Sales. Of course, that does
not mean other executives cannot be moved. In
general, a hospitality business requires mobility.
Relocations are done on purpose - to avoid
inaction, which means downfalls. As soon as
you feel you have nothing to do, you must look
for new opportunities. During the past 14 years, I
have changed five hotels and I am happy about
that. This is a life experience, which makes you
more professional in every aspect of life.