Question: The northeastern corner of Slovakia is not exactly the best-known holiday destination. Why did you build a new guest house right there?
Answer: Maybe that’s why. High Tatras are full of pensions, hotels and apartment houses. Mostly empty. They called the last houses the ghost houses. Is there another guesthouse missing?
Q: Why are they empty?
Answer: That’s the right question. Even an easy answer. We all know her.
Q: Do you mean high prices and service levels?
Answer: Not only that. The overall quality of the services provided, in the broadest sense, is very low, with some exceptions. Often differentiated according to the guest. But it is not just the attitude of the hoteliers themselves, but also the local government. Its relationship with entrepreneurs in this top tourist area is indolent. But this stems from the very essence of its structuring and electoral system in such a specific tourism location.
Q: But let’s go back to the “Far” East. There are no such problems?
Answer: Not really in this respect. Ghost houses and hotels are not built there. The municipality has no interest, at least for the time being, to piss off the entrepreneur. It does not send to the municipal police to levy fines for improper food parking. Nobody collects parking fees. Even ordinary people treat their guests respectfully and kindly.
Question: If nothing is built there, are there any decent accommodation at all?
Answer: Definitely yes. Hotels in Humenné, Snina and Stakčín are of good standard. These towns or villages are the entry points to the Poloniny National Park. In the park itself is the possibility of modest private accommodation in the villages Osadné, Runina, Kolonica and Nová Sedlica.
Question: What about the Obsitnik Pension?
Answer: There is obviously the best accommodation (smiling). The guesthouse is located at the entrance to the NP Poloniny. It is 13 km from Humenne and 13 km from Snina. In the spacious lobby, with the possibility of dining for 20 persons, there is also a pleasant sitting by the fireplace with a tiled stove. Each room has its own bathroom and toilet. You can play billiards or darts in the relaxation room. In the 1 ha garden there are attractions for children. For example, a house in the crown of a 100-year-old tree, where you can sleep. What is important is that we try to create a pleasant atmosphere with our wife and offer good cuisine with typical dishes for this region.
Q: What, for example?
Answer: Tatars (buckwheat) pies stuffed with sheep cheese, cottage cheese, potatoes, cabbage or jam are very popular. There are also pigeons (filled cabbage leaves), gulch trees (lokše), but also a cauldron and in the season dishes from the game. Weight is not essential for meals. The guest eats as much as he wants and reigns.
Q: What kind of guests are coming to you?
Answer: Mostly it is tourists, cyclists who make trips to individual reserves of NP Poloniny or trips to Sninský kameň and Sea Eye in the Vihorlat mountains. They visit settlements with wooden churches, as well as the Andy Warhol Museum in Medzilaborce or the open-air museum and museum in Humenné, or the remains of the castles in Brekov and Jasenov. Another attraction is a visit to the observatory in Kolonice. Hunters will also come into their own as there are some good hunting grounds. Less demanding tourists will be satisfied with trips to the surrounding countryside or simply enjoy a quiet and clean environment – away from the roaring crowd.
Q: Where do the guests come from? Have you had any attractive visitors?
Answer: Last year almost half of the visitors were from the Czech Republic. From Prague, Brno. They come with a good theoretical knowledge of the sights of this region. But even Slovaks are not lagging behind. For example, I learned from them about the existence of river piracy on the local Udava River. As for the attractiveness of the guests, everyone is equally attractive to me. I look forward to every guest and try to leave satisfied. However, I particularly appreciate the visit of my distant relative, former US Ambassador to Slovakia, Vincent Obsitnik, who has visited me with his wife and brothers several times during his time in Slovakia. I greatly appreciated the stay of well-known musician and hoteler Bra Hronec with his friends from Sweden. Surprisingly, a visitor from Spain, who was returning from Ukraine, was looking for evidence of his ancestors.
Q: What is your credo to doing business?
Answer: I have a principle that a guest must get more than expected. More than listed in promotional material or website. There must be some pleasant surprises awaiting him.
Q: What, for example?
A: Come and see…
We would love to come and thank you for the interview.