Balkanalysis on Twitter Briefing with Iassen Trendafilov, FPI Hotels and Resorts Bulgaria, June 2011

Sofia, Bulgaria– On June 29, 2011, Director Chris Deliso held a briefing with Iassen Trendafilov, Assistant Director of Sales for the Bulgarian company FPI Hotels and Resorts. The briefing was held at the Arena di Serdica Residence Hotel in Sofia.

One of the Bulgarian capital’s most luxurious and intriguing hotels, located near major state institutions and tourist attractions, the Arena di Serdica shot to prominence after 2004, when the ruins of the long sought-after amphitheater of ancient Sofia (known to the Romans as Serdica) were discovered during construction. While extensive Roman ruins underlay much of modern Sofia, the ancient arena had never been discovered until then and considerable public interest was thus aroused.

In the briefing, Mr Trendafilov gave further background information on the legal procedures that had to be undertaken following the discovery, and the government’s final decision to let the hotel be built. Today, the ruins – interspersed with a modern lobby interior – make for an impressive and aesthetically harmonious foyer space in which cocktails, concerts and other special events are sometimes held. Mr Trendafilov estimated that the ruins contained within the hotel account for only 10 percent of the original structure, which cannot be fully excavated. The arena’s walls have also been incorporated into part of the hotel’s modern spa facilities.

The Arena di Serdica’s deluxe rooms, services and capacity for hosting conferences and special events were also topics discussed in the briefing. Further, Mr Trendafilov gave a broader presentation on the FPI Group and its other properties in Sofia, which include hotels appealing to different market segments and deluxe, long-term serviced apartments, as well as the group’s activities beyond the capital.

FPI Hotels and Resorts is a leading chain of upscale hotels and other properties in Bulgaria, and part of FairPlay International, a major Bulgarian construction and investment firm. The FPI Hotels & Resorts’ current Sofia portfolio includes four business hotels: the five-star Arena di Serdica, the four-star Crystal Palace and Greenville, plus (since 2007) the Hill Hotel, located at Sofia’s highest point. The FPI group also operates luxury apartments in Sofia (the Iztok and the Bulgaria).

Outside of the capital, the company is also developing holiday villages on the Black Sea and in the Pirin Mountains of western Bulgaria. The former, the Santa Marina, is located in the popular seaside destination of Sozopol, while the latter, St. Ivan Rilski, is situated in Bansko, Bulgaria’s premier ski resort. Pirin Mountains.

The newest FPI property being  developed, the Rila Lake Resort, Ski and Spa, is to be located on Panichishte Lake in the Rila Mountains. To be built in conformity with traditional Bulgarian mountain architecture, the property will include 8 villas with 308 apartments, and a hotel with 103 rooms and apartments. In addition, the resort will include conference halls, spa center with indoor pool, two restaurants, lobby and night bars, a kindergarten and ample parking.

The FPI Hotels and Resorts group has been recognized several times for its properties. In 2007, it was awarded for being the most successful national hotel chain by the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association. Most of the group’s properties have been given “Building of the year” status at one point or another over the past few years. is an American research and analysis firm that provides dedicated coverage of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, in areas ranging from politics and security to economics and culture. It draws on the expertise of its broad network of field analysts and reporters representing a number of various countries and professional backgrounds.

Balkanalysis Briefings is a regular series in which correspondents of, sometimes in affiliation with partner organizations, engage with representatives of companies, governmental institutions, non-governmental groups and other organizations professionally involved with the Balkan and Mediterranean regions in order to gain insight into issues, trends and other factors affecting present and future developments in the area. This process contributes to better analytical and prognostic research, allowing to better serve its readers, while also providing Briefings partners an opportunity to make their products, services and goals better and more clearly known among those most actively involved with the region.

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