Maalot Roma Italy

How Maalot Roma creates a culture of excellence that results in great guest reviews

 | Save
Cristiano Zucchiatti, General Manager of Traveller Review Awards 2024-winning Hotel Maalot Roma, shares how he and his team have created and maintained a culture of excellence, leading to great reviews that attract more guests.

Crafting a unique guest environment

Maalot is one of a group of six five-star hotels, but this is the one that really stands out. We try to be fashionable and dynamic, so that we are different from all the other hotels in Rome. We’re located right in the middle of Rome, very close to the Trevi fountain. The area outside the hotel is very crowded with tourists, but we have worked hard to create an oasis here – something like a castle in the desert.

The differences begin as soon as guests arrive in Rome. We send a member of staff to collect them from the airport. Then when we bring them to the hotel to check in, we give them a seat in our restaurant or bar for a welcoming drink, rather than waiting at a reception desk. They can enjoy a glass of champagne or a cappuccino while we take their bags and then give them information about their stay, trying to make them feel comfortable from the first moment of their holiday.

Building a team of ‘rock stars’ 

When I read our reviews, what stands out time and time again is that people mention how much they love our staff. So if I had to explain Maalot in just two words, I would say ‘great staff’. I believe hospitality begins with recruitment, and I’ve invested a lot of time trying to recruit the best people possible for our team. I am very lucky because they’re all really great and I feel that they live the soul of Maalot – they are all rock stars!

Ionida, the front of house director, is me when I’m not here. She’s my right hand. She loves what she does, and she is amazing at taking care of all our guests – from breakfast time right through to the evening. Tamara, the housekeeping manager, is brilliant as well. She is like the ‘mamma’ of this place. She’s very elegant, is always smiling and she makes the hotel look immaculate, from the plants and flowers through to every aspect of the guests’ rooms. We have a great team in our kitchen, led by Domenico, our executive chef, who is reinventing traditional Roman cuisine for a new era. He thinks like a manager, but cooks like a grandmother! Alessandro, our bar manager, creates fresh, new cocktails, and Nicolo, our restaurant manager loves to look after our guests at lunch and dinner time. All of them are between 30 and 40 years old, with great careers in hospitality ahead of them.

I’m very proud of the team I’ve built here. Every day, every week, I’m here investing time with them one-to-one, or all together, to make them feel like a family. I love them for everything they do to make our guests feel special and for creating this fantastic atmosphere.

Maalot Roma Italy 2

Maintaining a culture of excellence

Our philosophy is to do our best in every moment, creating a tailor-made service that delights our guests. We provide guests with the most comfortable pillows and beds, a fantastic fragrance in the rooms, the most luxurious toiletries and a great selection of juices and food in the mini bar. We want everything to be perfect.

I personally take great care of our reviews – it’s the first thing I check every morning. I share them with my team once a week, to celebrate our successes and learn where we can improve our performance. One review that I love and shared with the team describes Maalot perfectly: “There is great music, great atmosphere and great staff.”

Today our ranking is 9.6, but I always want us to improve. I hate to get 8 or 9/10 – I think that only 10/10 is a good job! Every day we try to do our best. I’m always thinking of ways we can improve our service, the amenities we provide in the rooms, or giveaways for guests. As soon as I have an idea, I get the team together so that we can make it happen as soon as possible.


People in picture frames
Download your award

Celebrate your win in style. Download printable and digital formats of your award that you can use to showcase your achievement.

Learn more

What do you think of this page?

  • We create a distinct welcome by checking guests in at our restaurant or bar with a welcome drink, ensuring they feel comfortable from the very first moment
  • Every one of our team has been hand-picked for their special qualities, their passion and their ability to do everything they can for our guests
  • We devote a lot of time to training and development to maintain our culture of excellence and keep improving our ratings
  • Always look for ways to improve the guest experience and keep aiming for the perfect score in reviews – it’s what will make your hotel stand out from the rest