The first thing you’ll notice about the Concept Hotel by the Children of Armenia Fund is that you can’t actually see it. After turning off the newly repaved M6 highway and following the road past the Tourist Information Center, all you can take in are the mountains and the gleaming COAF SMART Center in the middle of it all. It takes a while for the eyes to adjust to the modern architecture of the Center reflecting the brilliant sunlight and the sheer amount of green that greets you from all sides. And, as you gaze past the information booth, you are met with another remarkable view of the eastern side of the valley, and more green – but no hotel in sight.
Set in the side of a hill, just down from the COAF SMART Center, the Concept Hotel exists in harmony with the natural environment that surrounds it. Its green roof acts as camouflage that keeps the view of the nearby village of Debet and the mountains intact. For the unsuspecting visitor, it’s this feature that makes the Concept Hotel a hidden gem in plain sight.
The hotel shares the curved architecture of its neighbor, as well as the same remarkable glass windows that form walls that look out onto the landscape, the source of the ubiquitous natural light throughout each room. The modern architecture is enhanced by the cement walls and clean furniture of the guestrooms and everything in the hotel is run with this sleek aesthetic in mind even in its menu selection, included with your stay.
The most remarkable thing about the Concept Hotel by COAF is its status as a social enterprise, which ensures all hotel fees go toward charitable contributions to COAF in support of its mission to provide resources and opportunities to children and families in rural communities. Guests are welcome to tour the grounds with members of the Concept Hotel and SMART
Center staff use the state of the art technology offered within each building. Because of its connection to the COAF SMART Center, guests and dignitaries visiting for seminars and lectures make use of the accommodation offered, ensuring that COAF beneficiaries have access to leaders in all fields.
This link is an invaluable connection for the community of the Lori region. The Concept Hotel provides training and employment for members of the local community and is part of the crucial reinvestment in the region’s tourism industry. The Concept Hotel staff are on site around the clock, both developing their hospitality skills and providing training assistance to others. With each visit, guests contribute directly to rural development through this cyclical business model: investing in local business so that they can expand and flourish.
The proximity to the SMART Center in Lori as well as COAF beneficiaries further north and west allows educators, doctors, and program staff to better meet the needs of the constituents by establishing residency for a few days or weeks at a time. This allows COAF to fully connect with these villages and develop programs with longevity and purpose.
It’s not often that one checks into a hotel that is so multifaceted, but that is what makes this guesthouse the Concept Hotel by COAF. The consideration and scope that went into all aspects of the design of the hotel converge into accommodation that expands crucial investment in rural Armenia.
Through the cycle of teaching and training, local villagers are given access to job training and subsequent employment. Guests for business and leisure have the world at their fingertips in the stunning valley. But most important of all, by giving back to the COAF SMART Center, the Concept Hotel has become a key component of a sustainable model for future communities in the years to come.