New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map
Holistic architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh has injected new life into a building in Usedom, Germany, by completing the restored Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…
Germany is not known for its islands, nor is it famous for its sugar-white sandy beaches.
However, on the northern tip of the country sits the island of Usedom. The coastal escape is blessed with untouched coastline, a royal history and recently a new boutique design-led all-suite hotel.
As the modern traveller seeks adventure to untapped new locations, the island’s secret has been unveiled, drawing in more crowds than ever before. The increase in visitors has been the driving influence to restore a building on the Bansin stretch to become a luxury boutique hotel, known today as Villa Meeresstrand.
Barely adrift on the Baltic Sea, where Germany meets Poland, Usedom stretches about 30 miles from end to end and has been a popular summer resort since the late 19th century. Nicknamed Berlin’s Bathtub, its connection with Germany’s capital is as legendary as that of Brighton to London, and the Hamptons to New York City.
Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a well known designer on the international hotel design scene, was tasked to work on the project that became a labour of love following extensive research. The designer and architect delved into the lives of people of its past to add just the right amount of sense of place, while merge the impressive history between the current and modern time. “I took portraits of famous writers such as Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoi and imprinted them in a pixel like fashion on wallpaper in the rooms and their positive quotes are printed on suspended ceilings above the hotel beds.” The result of this adds a deeper nod to the building – and island’s – past becoming, which has become the motif of the overall design concept.
Image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
In order to mindfully design areas to retain the location’s charm, while also blending in one-off experiences, Mahmoudieh has played on more than just the sense of two-dimensional sight to explain the building’s past. “Once you enter the hotel there is a projection of a video artist,” she says, “commissioned to tell the story about the rich past and this is projected against a three dimensional entrance wall, that distorts the viewing and melts past and present once more.”
Subtle hints of bringing nature indoors run throughout the hotel. For example, the lighting above the bar is imitating the seagulls seen all over outside which are part of the natural landscape to be found everywhere on the island.
Meanwhile, a three dimensional wall of bottles from the French company Elitis defines the fine dining area and seating benches are diving the restaurant between the a la caret and general restaurant.
The lounge area, which also includes a magnitude of books from other celebrated Russian writers, also picks up on the spectacular sunsets outside, by a touch of violet to be found in fabrics, melted with the rather natural colour scheme that depicts all hues directly from nature.
Going forward, the hotel owner, which currently owns 16 hotels on this island, in reaction to the crisp design scheme. “We are going to redesign three more hotel buildings for the same owner and like to give this area a sense of a new identity that will attract once more an international crowd of hotel guests,” explains Mahmoudieh.
Villa Meeresstrand is located on the beach promenade, and is regarded among those who stay there as ‘a real gem on the Baltic Sea’.
Main image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Germany, France and the UK lead European hotel project development
Latest hotel development statistics from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database show the three nations account for 50 per cent of the 1,514 projects that are currently in the pipeline for the region…
Germany, the UK, and France are currently dominating a “booming European hospitality market”, as stated in a report by TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION. The latest data to be published indicates that the three nations account for 50 per cent of the 1,514 projects currently in the pipeline in Europe.
Germany currently has 382 projects in its own pipeline, which means that it alone is accounting for around one quarter of the upcoming hotels in Europe. The UK, meanwhile, is hot on its heels, with 287 projects in its own pipeline. Meanwhile, there is a significant dropoff between the U.K. and third place France, which has 91 projects in its own pipeline.
Other destinations in the top 10 include Spain (72 projects in the pipeline) and Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, and Ireland, all of which have less than 70 hotels each in their project pipeline.
The report concludes that Europe’s strong performance is due to Germany being a significant driving force in the hospitality space, as well as globally dominant tourist destinations such as France, Spain, and the UK.
According to TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION, the 1,541 hotels currently in the pipeline for Europe will ultimately yield as many as 251,730 new guestrooms.
Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is the brand’s first hotel in Saxony, next door to striking baroque architecture and a host of outdoor activities, providing the perfect location for guests looking to discover a culture rich part of Germany. Meanwhile, Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery overlooks the world’s largest open air gallery, complete with 1.3 kilometres of original art pieces.
The 132-key Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is within walking distance to the historic centre of the city. The hotel is close to one of the city’s most famous sites, Brühl’s Terrace, nicknamed the “The Balcony of Europe”, which stretches along the shore of the river Elbe. Just steps from the hotel, Kraftwerk Mitte is a former electricity plant, which has found a new life as an arts centre and regularly play host to some of the biggest DJs in Europe. Within the same neighbourhood, the Academy Of Fine Arts in Dresden, HfBK Dresden, occupies a glorious neo-Renaissance building featuring a beautiful glass dome.
Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is fully immersed in its neighbourhood, taking its design cues from Dresden’s contrasting architecture styles, from modern, industrial buildings to historical Baroque architecture. In the public areas, a modern industrial feel comes through in the use of filament bulbs, scaffold table legs, and features slabs of solid wood and use of copper and brass. Guest rooms are a contemporary take on the baroque architecture of Dresden, with wood-panelled walls and colours taking inspiration from the copper verdigris (the blue-green patina that metals take on when weathered) of the grand buildings of the city.
Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery takes its design inspiration from the creative energy of the East Side neighbourhood, marrying raw industrial architecture with retro elements such as graffiti blocks and a bright colour scheme, inspired by the famous Trabi car. All guest rooms are fully equipped with USB outlets, a 43” inch Smart TV and complementary WiFi throughout.
The onsite restaurant and bar, Gallery Restaurant, gives both guests and locals a place to enjoy traditional German cuisine served in a tapas style, made from locally sourced fresh produce. The Gallery Rooftop Bar, offers panoramic views of the river Spree and is the perfect location to gather for a few drinks.
Whether strolling alongside the East Side Gallery or visiting local boutique shops and street markets, Hotel Indigo® Berlin – East Side Gallery is in a prime location for guests to explore the local neighbourhood. Nearby attractions include Oberbaumbrücke, the former checkpoint between East and West Berlin and Wrangelkiez, an area that forms part of Kreuzberg, with an array with unique shops, cafes and bars. Wrangelkiez, is also famed for its flamboyant street art, curated by some internationally renowned street artists.
The hotel brand, which is vastly expanding in tier two cities across Europe now that more than 105 properties worldwide, with Hotel Indigo Chester waiting in the wings for its unveiling later this month.
This follows technology expert Jason Bradbury’s hotel review with Hotel Designs where he identified future hotel design trends, one of which was intelligent rooms. Designed around three parameters – personalising guests’ experience, connected technology and sustainability – Mood Room enables guests to regulate the lighting, music and temperature to adapt the mood to their own tastes. Using only the touch of a tablet, guests can choose between six main pre-set modes and 19 moods to help them sleep, work and relax better, and enjoy a unique technological experience.
“Digitalisation is already an intrinsic part of everyday life in many areas,” said Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe NH Hotel Group. “Hotels must not be left behind; we need to be even more determined to open the way to change, testing out new services and solutions and offering them to our customers. With the introduction of Mood Room in our offering, our Northern Europe business unit now has a magnificent new easy-to-operate product, making a hotel stay an even more pleasant experience”.
“Guests can choose between six main pre-set modes and 19 moods to help them sleep, work and relax better, and enjoy a unique technological experience.”
For Signify, too, this partnership is an excellent example of how interconnection is generating entirely new models in the hotel industry: “The four Mood Room at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte are like a window into the future”, says Karsten Vierke, PR Manager of Signify in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Smart lighting and interconnection are becoming the order of the day at home and at work. Naturally, these changes should not suddenly stop at the hotel door. For me, a really satisfactory hotel stay involves a combination of good service, atmosphere and convenience. By working with our partners in climate control, lighting, music and fitness, we’re showing how smart technology and automation can create a whole new hotel experience.”
One of the new and distinctive features of the Mood Room at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte is the sports and exercise settings provided by fitness and lifestyle brand, CYBEROBICS. By selecting the “Set the Tone” mood, guests can interface with CYBEROBICS’s workout exercises, choosing between four different fitness videos: Yoga Power, Six Pack Attack, Quick Fit or Just Relax. Again, the system chooses the right type of lighting and mood for the occasion.
For Oliver Schulokat, CEO of CYBEROBICS, the Mood Room ties in perfectly with the new move towards ‘on-demand fitness’: “Digitalisation will have wide-ranging consequences for the way people train in the future to improve their physical fitness,” he said. “Our goal is to promote with CYBEROBICS that evolution, making fitness available to even more people and in this way turning it into a natural part of their everyday lives. That’s why CYBEROBICS covers all areas of life—at home, at work and in the hotel when we’re away. We see the NH Hotel Group as a generator of innovation in the hotel industry, using digitalisation to take its guest experience to a whole new dimension. At this point we are seeing many points of contact with CYBEROBICS’s vision. We’re therefore very happy to be launching this partnership”.
The Mood Room project, presented for the first time at the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding, has taken sustainability, connectivity and customer experience into account as key factors. Thanks to Philips RoomFlex, the Mood Room™ has become a totally individualised stay experience. Philips RoomFlex is a fully programmable system for controlling lighting in the hotel rooms, which can be easily integrated into the sensor technology and other systems, such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, visual protection and booking software.
The recent renovation of Ritz-Carlton, Berlin showcases a chic, elegant design evoking 1920s Berlin with creative details and references to the golden era of German cinema…
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has announced the culmination of a 40 million euro renovation. The meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.
“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”
The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s Budapest team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.
“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”
Image credit: Matthew Shaw
In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.
The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of
the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.
The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor. Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music. A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.
Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.
H-Hotels signs a new contract for H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel at Düsseldorf airport, both slated to open in 2024…
H-Hotels Group is embarking upon the next stage of its dual brand concept by announcing two new hotels at Düsseldorf airport. The hotels will be constructed on Wanheimer Straße, in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf airport, and will be of particular interest to business travellers as a conference and congress venue.
The building complex will occupy grounds of around 15,000 square metres, located to the north of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It will host an H2 Hotel featuring 237 rooms as well as an H4 Hotel offering 264 rooms. A generous conference centre with an area of around 1,000 square metres will be available to guests of both hotels. This will also be the case for the planned fitness centre and ‘sky bar’ on the eighth floor. Around 18,000 square metres of office facilities will occupy the area that is parallel to the hotels. An underground car park with 700 parking spaces will complete the facilities.
Thanks to its unbeatable location in the immediate vicinity of the airport, the terminals can be reached using the SkyTrain in just a few minutes. The ICE long-distance train station is just five minutes away, which means that both the city centre of Düsseldorf as well as the exhibition complex can also be reached quickly using public transport.
“Our dual brand concept with its impressive conference facilities is the perfect response to this exclusive location, right next to one of the largest airports in the country,” said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “This means that travellers can choose between completely different accommodation options depending on their preferences.”
The real estate partners for the project are Nördliche Spitze GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Reggeborgh, Delta Project Development, and Kondor Wessels. Managing Directors Johannes G.S. Hegeman and Lars Stillmann are delighted by the joint project: “In the H-Hotels Group we have found a very experienced hotel operator, whose concept corresponded perfectly with the project and its environment. Future office users will be able to take advantage of all of the hotel’s services within the building.”
Reggeborgh is a family-led investment company from the Netherlands and has also been active as a property business in Germany for more than 25 years. The company is responsible for the fund and asset management of several property funds in Germany and the Netherlands, with which Reggeborgh is also significantly involved. Another of the company’s fields of activity is the development and management of projects for high-quality residential and commercial property projects. In this respect, Reggeborgh stands for the sustainable and innovative development of ambitious property projects, as well as their implementation.
“The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept.”
With more than 120 completed projects, primarily within Germany and the Netherlands, the Delta Group is active as a property development company. The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept. The intelligent use of all kinds of resources – as well as the possible reutilisation of these resources – is one of the challenges facing the property sector of today and the future. The value of the group’s current portfolio, with a focus on residential and commercial properties, is in excess of €500 million.
Kondor Wessels boasts more than 25 years of experience in the development, planning and construction of residential properties, care homes, and office properties as well as mixed residential districts. With all of its projects, the company takes responsibility for the entire construction process as a partner, as well as delivering added value – all from a single source. Currently, more than 38 property projects with a total value of more than 700 million euros are being supervised by Kondor Wessels in Berlin, Frankfurt and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The project was supervised by Horwath HTL Germany – hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, operating as a consultant. The tenants were assisted by GVW Graf von Westphalen lawyers, and the lessors were assisted by lawyers from Bornheim and Partners.
Union Investment and bulwiengesa announce that growth is in both traditional hotel segment and in new concepts – despite Airbnb…
The investable hotel market in Germany grew last year, despite Airbnb, by approximately six per cent to EUR 52.6 billion compared to 2016. According to the latest market value analysis carried out by Union Investment and bulwiengesa, the size of the German hotel market has doubled in the last ten years.
The key factor in this rise is the continued growth of the branded hotel segment in Germany – which is favoured by investors – as well as a general increase in supply. This is reflected in an upturn of 16.6 per cent in the number of hotel beds over the last ten years. The strong performance of the German hotel chain segment, which is being driven by rising occupancy and higher room rates, also boosted value. RevPAR (revenue per available room) in the German hotel chain segment increased significantly over the period in question, climbing from EUR 49.9 to EUR 66.7. Budget and mid-range hotels saw above-average value growth.
“Overnight stays in Germany, which have risen for eight years in a row, are the main factor behind this development,” said Dierk Freitag, departmental head and partner at bulwiengesa. “Despite competition from Airbnb, the institutional hotel market continues to grow steadily. Alongside the traditional hotel market, newer hotel concepts are also part of this growth story. This includes apartment hotels, which are becoming increasingly investable and therefore also feature in our market value model.”
Union Investment and bulwiengesa identified an investable universe of around 375,200 hotel rooms, which are split across small, medium and large towns and cities in Germany. The average value per room was approximately EUR 140,100 in 2017. In the prior year, the corresponding figure was EUR 135,600.
Decline in transaction volume
The growth in the size of the institutional hotel market in 2017 contrasts with a fall in transaction volume from around EUR 5.2 billion in 2016 to approximately EUR 4.2 billion in 2017. Whereas in the prior year some 10.2 per cent of the calculated total market changed hands, the value of the hotels traded in 2017 was eight per cent. “Property holders’ willingness to divest themselves of hotel assets has fallen significantly compared to the prior year. The decrease in product availability and rise in prices are reflected in declining transaction figures. Hotels nonetheless remain a highly liquid asset class capable of delivering above-average returns,” said Martin Schaller, head of Asset Management Hospitality at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH.
“We expect the number of individual transactions in Germany to continue to fall in 2018. During this market phase, a sophisticated, long-term investment strategy is required. Options here include forward deals and targeted improvements to existing properties that boost their value, assuming they are to be held in the portfolio for an extended period,” said Martin Schaller.
The analysis shows that value increases are also being achieved in German tertiary locations, which are of growing interest to operators and developers. “The branded hotel segment goes wherever there are high – and growing – tourist figures and correspondingly good prospects for running a successful hotel,” commented Dierk Freitag. “Several small and medium-sized towns offer interesting catch-up potential here.”
Apartment hotels as drivers of growth
In 2018, Union Investment and bulwiengesa expect around five per cent growth in the institutional hotel market, which more or less corresponds to the prior-year level. “Many existing properties are getting rather long in the tooth, which is driving the development of new hotels across all segments and putting huge pressure on privately run hotels. Real estate for temporary living, such as apartment hotels, is likely to profit disproportionately from the continuing strong growth in 2018,” said Martin Schaller.
The Union Investment and bulwiengesa market value model is based on data from companies, official statistics and hotel associations. It enables a comparative analysis of the institutional hotel market for the years 2007 to 2017.
Nine new properties taking in the mid-West and Far East.
Hampton by Hilton has confirmed the opening of nine new properties, including Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Detroit/Warren in Michigan, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton St. George in Utah and Hampton by Hilton Dortmund Phoenix See in Germany.
Meanwhile, the opening of two properties – Hampton by Hilton Shunde Longjiang, Foshan and Hampton by Hilton Suzhou Xiangcheng District – has extended the upper midscale brand’s position in China.
A quick overview of each property:
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Detroit/Warren in Michigan:
Modern amenities, value and access to attractions make this hotel ideal for travel to the newly-revitalised Detroit area.
The hotel is near popular sites such as the Detroit Zoo, Hitsville USA Museum, casinos, and all major Detroit sporting venues: Comerica Park, Ford Field and the new Little Caesars Arena.
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton St. George in Utah:
The weather and scenery make St. George a popular spot for biking, golfing, bird-watching, hiking, rock climbing and boating.
The property is also along the route to Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Snow Canyon State Park and other areas of Southwest Utah.
Hampton by Hilton Dortmund Phoenix See in Germany:
Centrally located, guests can watch football at Signal Iduna Park or visit the Ruhr District and cities like Bochum, Essen and Duisburg with ease.
Guests will enjoy the signature offerings of the Hampton brand, including complimentary breakfast every morning, a fitness center, and business center with free WiFi and natural lighting.
Hampton has also grown its presence in Massachusetts, California, Oklahoma and Canada with the addition of Hampton Inn by Hilton Foxborough Mansfield, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Irvine-Orange County Airport, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Oklahoma City/Quail Springs and Hampton Inn by Hilton St. Paul, respectively.
MEININGER Hotels has opened its fifth hotel in Berlin. The new building, which has 245 rooms and 833 beds, is well-located right next to East Side Gallery and Ostbahnhof.
The design of each MEININGER hotel is based on an individual theme, and this hotel was inspired by the immediate proximity to the former border wall separating East and West Berlin, the East Side Gallery. The phrase “be united” is realised in every room of the hotel, with concrete walls, long tables and graffiti reflecting the history of the wall and the reunification, as well as the philosophy of MEININGER Hotels. “Every day, guests from all over the world meet here and exchange views in a relaxed atmosphere in the guest kitchen, game zone, lobby, lounge and bar,” says Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels.
In the public areas of the MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery, two long tables serve as a connecting element between different areas of the hotel. Opposite the bar, the text “be united” illuminates the room on a concrete wall. The modern, straightforward design is punctuated by colourful highlights.
On the way to the rooms, the guests come across interesting quotes about the reunification and togetherness. In the cosy rooms, modern graffiti reflects the theme. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a perfect view of vibrant Berlin as well as the nearby quarter. The room types range from classic double rooms and private multi-bed rooms, through to a bed in a dormitory. The hotel also offers superior rooms on the upper floors of the building. “Also in this new hotel, we expect the typical mix of guest types including groups, families, backpackers, business and leisure travellers, which makes MEININGER so unique”, says Hannes Spanring.
Thanks to its excellent location and convenient public transport links, the MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery is the perfect base to explore the whole city, with the trendy districts Mitte and Kreuzberg only a few minutes away. The East Side Gallery and Oberbaumbrücke are also within walking distance of the hotel. The proximity to the Ostbahnhof, which can be reached in a two-minute walk, guarantees a comfortable journey. For guests arriving by car, the hotel offers 17 parking spaces in the underground car park.
The opening of the MEININGER Hotel at the East Side Gallery is the beginning of a series of openings that will follow in the next nine months. By September next year, MEININGER will open eight more hotels across Europe including another one in Berlin. “Berlin is an important location for us, and we are keen to open more hotels here. A sixth MEININGER hotel is already under development, in Turmstrasse in Moabit. It will welcome its first guests in the summer of next year”, says Hannes Spanring.
MEININGER continues to expand. A total of 16 new hotels are already planned. Although the focus is on Europe, opportunities in North America and South Asia are being examined in the search of further projects. Currently the MEININGER Group operates 18 hotels in Europe with 2,712 rooms and 9,242 beds in total.
The MEININGER hotel group and Peter Simmel have signed an agreement to open a new hotel in Dresden.
Located right opposite the central station at Wiener Platz 2, the new hotel will have 165 rooms and 639 beds. It is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2021.
The hotel will cover a gross floor area of 7,600 sqm on the first floor and above, and will offer all typical features of a MEININGER hotel such as reception, lobby, lounge, breakfast room and bar as well as guest kitchen and games zone.
The 165 modern and well-equipped rooms will be distributed on four floors. Due to the flexible room concept of a MEININGER hotel the accommodation will range from classic double rooms and private multiple-bed rooms to a bed in a dormitory.
Hannes Spanring, CEO of the MEININGER Hotels, says: “With 4.3 million overnight stays per year, Dresden ranks number seventh in Germany for visitor numbers, making us all the more pleased about this new and excellent addition to our fast-growing portfolio. Dresden is an important cultural, educational and political hub in Germany and Europe. It’s a diverse city which has a lot to offer and attracts urban travellers from all over the world.”
MEININGER currently operates 17 hybrid hotels in Europe, with a total of 8,409 beds in 11 European cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, London, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. Contracts for 17 new hotels in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Bordeaux, Budapest, Geneva, Heidelberg, Lyon, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Zurich and now Dresden have already been signed. MEININGER has ambitious plans for growth – in this regard, the focus is no longer only on Europe – possibilities for an expansion to North America and Asia are also being sounded out.
Hyatt has announced the opening of Hyatt House Dusseldorf / Andreas Quartier, marking the entry of the Hyatt House brand into the European market, and the fourth Hyatt House branded hotel to open outside the US in 2017.
The Hyatt House brand offers casual, authentic hospitality and purposeful service in a smartly designed, high-tech and contemporary environment. It allows guests to feel at home, whether they are staying for a night or a month. The design is rooted in extensive consumer insights which indicate that guests seek stylish, comfortable and seamless experiences that accommodate their lifestyles and familiar routines.
Hyatt House Dusseldorf/Andreas Quartier is operated by In Town Hospitality under a franchise agreement. The hotel is a part of Andreas Quartier, a former courthouse being redeveloped by Frankonia Eurobau Andreasquartier.
Providing a comfortable environment for guests, the hotel boasts spacious guestrooms and suites with fully equipped kitchens and open living areas, offering all of the neccesities of home. The interior has been designed by Jan Wichers, a renowned German designer whose portfolio includes hotels, restaurants and golfhouses worldwide.
Hyatt Hotels has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with HR Group for a Hyatt House hotel in Frankfurt, Germany.
Hyatt House Frankfurt/Eschborn will mark the second Hyatt House and third select service hotel for Hyatt in Germany, an important step towards increasing Hyatt’s portfolio throughout the country.
The Hyatt House brand is rooted in extensive consumer insights indicating that guests seek stylish, comfortable, seamless experiences that accommodate their lifestyles and familiar routines. To embody this, the brand offers casual hospitality and purposeful service in a smartly designed, high-tech and contemporary environment.
The new Hyatt House hotel will be located in Frankfurt Eschborn, a well-established business area on Frankfurt’s Ring Road, known to be the city’s international financial and economic centre. The hotel’s immediate surrounding area is currently home to numerous high-profile corporations. Eschborn benefits from a great infrastructure with easy access to the main highways, convenient connections into Frankfurt city center and Frankfurt airport. It also offers a range of local amenities such as shopping facilities, restaurants, and recreation areas.
Hyatt House Frankfurt/Eschborn will offer: – 190 rooms and apartment-style Kitchen Suites with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living rooms, spacious bedrooms, and stylish bathrooms
– Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and guestrooms
– The Commons, a comfortable lounge with an open and welcoming space for guests to relax, gather and socialise
There are five Hyatt-branded hotels currently open in Germany, namely Park Hyatt Hamburg, Grand Hyatt Berlin, Hyatt Regency Cologne, Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf, and Hyatt Regency Mainz. In addition to Hyatt House Frankfurt/Eschborn, there are three Hyatt-branded hotels currently under development: Hyatt House Düsseldorf/Andreas Quarter (expected to open in October 2017), Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport (expected to open in January 2018) and Andaz Munich (expected to open in Q3 2018).
The niu growth engine is going full speed ahead, with over 35 niu hotels currently planned. One of these exciting projects is the niu Sparrow in Regensburg.
The design for the new hotel of this unique midscale brand is being jointly developed by NOVUM Hospitality and the interior designers Bachhuber Contract GmbH & Co KG.
The niu Sparrow is thus the first hotel of the NOVUM Group to open in Regensburg and offers a perfect starting point for seeing Regensburg, with the railway station, cathedral and city-centre all within walking distance.
The current plan is for guests to be able to check into the 258 rooms from August 2019.
The architectural firm Bost Interior Design has received a 2017 Iconic Award during the recent Expo Real Trade Fair in Munich.
The prize was awarded in the “Interior” category to recognise the design the company had produced for the renovations that have taken place at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg.
Every year the German Design Council, a body instigated by the Federal Parliament, honours visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable communication achievements. Every branch of architecture, construction, property and manufacturing industry is eligible for consideration. The Iconic Award is conferred in five main categories. Evaluation criteria include quality of form, aesthetics, material and design.
The Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg has undergone complete modernisation and regeneration over the past 18 months. The first stage of the works involved renovation of all 174 rooms and suites, and this was followed by a redevelopment of the facade and public areas.
Architect Tassilo Bost stated: “In the 1920s, the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg was known as the ‘Ritters Parkhotel’. It was a highly prestigious establishment which enjoyed an international reputation. The idea behind the concept for the entire expanse of the public areas was to create a link to the aura exuded by classical grand hotels from the beginning of the twentieth century and to showcase this style whilst also incorporating design components from the modern age.”
COO Thomas Willms was on hand to represent Deutsche Hospitality, and he also expressed his delight at the award. “We get regular positive feedback from large numbers of guests regarding the new appearance of the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg. We are proud that architectural experts have declared their recognition in the form of such an accolade,” he said.
A total of €11 million (£9.8 million) was made available for the renovations at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg, and the project was jointly funded by the owning company Art-Invest Real Estate and Deutsche Hospitality itself.
Proving that a hotel can bloom from the most unlikely of settings, Hotel Liberty has just opened its doors to guests after an extensive three-year renovation project centered around Offenburg’s former prison.
And thanks to its commitment to impeccable design, service, and gastronomy, Hotel Liberty is set to become a destination in its own right.
Architecture and Design
Hotel Liberty’s 38 rooms and suites are spread across two 19th-century buildings and joined by a contemporary glass box. Originally conceived by the German architect Heinrich Hübsch in 1840 and completed in 1845, the structure served as a jail for the city of Offenburg until 2009. A comprehensive renovation program between 2014 and 2017 has resulted in a hotel design defined by wide corridors, natural materials, and a 10-meter-high glass wall which provides a striking juxtaposition to the severe red sandstone façade. The original stonework plays an integral part in the aesthetics of the 38 rooms and suites, which have been created by connecting several former cells. Further referencing the building’s past, the 1.2 meter-thick walls have been left intact, and the old cell doors have been cleverly integrated into the contemporary layout.
The new glass box extension acts as a gateway to the two components of the original structure, and houses the restaurant, lounge, gallery, and a library that boasts over 3000 tomes. The second-floor conference and meeting room appears to float in mid-air and adds a whole new meaning to ‘blue sky thinking’. Rooms and Suites
The Knoblauch design studio was responsible for the hotel’s interiors, which fuses traditional craftwork with contemporary design classics. In the guestrooms, sideboards by Dutchbone and pieces by Fritz Hansen, HAY, and Arflex rub shoulders with handmade furniture and accessories by local artisans. The tonal green color palette complements the dark oak parquet flooring and red brick vaulted ceilings. Artwork handpicked by Hotel Liberty’s Originals—brothers Christian and Dietmar Funk—grace the walls, showcasing the talents of resident Offenburg artist Stefan Strumbel. The black leather headboards contrast with snow-white beds, which feature woven linen from Swiss firm Schwob and cloud-like mattresses by Treca. An extensive pillow menu ensures a perfect night’s sleep for each and every guest.
Perfectly equipped for a stylish night cap, the minibar is housed in a gray-green lacquered cabinet, custom-made for each room, and filled with a selection of local spirits and wines. Local flavor also extends to the bathrooms, which are elegantly outfitted with showers and fittings from the Axor signature line of Schiltach-based company Hansgrohe. Most of the superior rooms, as well as all junior suites and suites, have a free-standing bathtub—many with views over the neighboring parkland. Bath time luxury comes courtesy of Quercus amenities by heritage brand Penhaligon and exquisitely soft towels and bathrobes, while the Liberty duckling adds a touch of whimsy.
INNSIDE by Meliá, the urban lifestyle hotel brand by Meliá Hotels international group, has announced the latest addition to its growing portfolio of global properties with the opening of INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen.
INNSIDE by Meliá hotels are known for their strategic city locations and INNSIDE Hamburg Haffen is testimony to this with a prime position in the Hammerbrook district.
Near the Hafencity quarter and with a dedicated pier on the Mittelkanal channel, the hotel is a short walk from the city center and the world renowned Speicherstadt district, making it the perfect choice for pleasure seekers as well as modern work trippers, who want to achieve more than just business when they travel, intent getting to know the cities they visit like a local.
INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen’s staff are all sharp city insiders, able to provide any visitor with local tips as to how to get the most out of their city stay, with advice on everything from where to go for a traditional Hamburgian dinner, to the best park for an evening run.
In keeping with the young, fresh and innovative design that characterises the INNSIDE by Meliá brand, the hotel offers 207 stylish rooms and suites across six levels.
Their sleek design is dominated by monochrome white, black and silver colouring, creating interesting accents due to subtle, indirect lighting that also complements the luxurious wooden texture of the floors. All rooms and lifestyle suites boast king or queen-size beds, individually adjustable air conditioning, a 40-inch LED television set, a free soft drink minibar, free Wi-Fi, desks including a media hub and high-speed Internet access, as well as open-plan bathrooms with a rain shower.
“At INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen, the spacious and impressive lobby with an integrated bar and restaurant is divided by various pieces of furniture into stylishly multifunctional, shared spaces where guests can work in a relaxed atmosphere, eat in company, or simply relax on the comfortable furniture. We call this the Open Living Lounge, specifically designed to facilitate networking and socialising alike.” says Kai Lamlé, Managing Director Germany of Meliá Hotels International, explaining the trend behind these co-working and communal areas.
The chic and modern lobby, which no longer includes a classic reception desk, but a digital check-in/check-out machine, a merchandising corner and a communal table, leads guests to the “Werft” bar and restaurant area with its large waterfront deck overlooking the Mittelkanal channel.
INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen provides more than 230 square meters of conference space to accommodate modern business needs. This includes two bright, fully air-conditioned event rooms which are flexibly combinable and equipped with state-of-the-art media technology.
INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen, once again underlines INNSIDE by Meliá’s commitment to Germany, which, after Spain, is the second-largest European market of the Meliá Hotels International (MHI) group. Meliá Hotels International (MHI) owns the INNSIDE by Meliá brand, 14 of their 27 German hotels are INNSIDE hotels. INNSIDE by Meliá is one of Meliá Hotels International’s fastest growing brands, with key new openings in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East allowing guests to maximise their leisure time during business trips wherever they are in the world.
Kai Lamlé, Managing Director Germany of Meliá Hotels International comments: “We’ve been looking for a suitable location for a long time in Hamburg, and still see a lot of market potential here – also for other brands run by our company.” The INNSIDE by Meliá brand was originally developed in Germany and has been part of Meliá Hotels International since 2007. It is one of Meliá’s most successful and strongest expanding city hotel brands on a global level.
The new IntercityHotel Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof Süd will open for business by the beginning of 2019.
Offering 400 guest rooms, six conference rooms, a bar and a restaurant, it will become the largest hotel to operate under the IntercityHotel brand and will also feature the new interior design concept created by the Italian architect Matteo Thun.
The building which will house the hotel is currently under construction as part of a major regeneration scheme for a larger site lying to the South of Frankfurt Main Station, progress on which can be viewed via a special webcam.
The IntercityHotel Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof Süd will be located within the direct proximity of a new bus station offering inter-city services and near a newly constructed multi-storey public car park.
Mannheim proudly presents its new project of the coming year. The NOVUM Hotel Group, together with the project developer GBl AG, is planning a Millennial brand niu hotel on Seckenheimer street near the historic city centre.
The opening of this 170-room hotel is scheduled for November 2018. Together with GBI AG, the Hamburg group is already planning several hotel projects.
The facade is being designed by the Prasch Buken Partner architect”s office and JOI-Design is responsible for the interior design.
“The strategic selection of our location is the most important part of our dynamic expansion. Mannheim is the economic and cultural center of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and is located directly in the “Dreiländereck”, the tri-border area,” says David Etmenan, Chief Executive Officer & owner of the NOVUM Hotel Group.
THE SPA at the Grand Hotel Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof has gained a “Luxury Hotel” commendation at the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards in Hanoi (Vietnam) and has thus won the immediate right to designate itself as a “2017 World Luxury Hotel Spa Winner”.
The World Luxury Spa Awards are a world-recognised public event that has been in existence since 2007. They acknowledge hotels with outstanding health and beauty spa areas and restaurants on an annual basis. More than 1,000 luxury hotels and resorts from 150 countries compete in 50 categories to acquire a nomination. The crucial criteria are an innovative overall concept, the very highest level of quality and comfort and excellent service performance on the part of the hotel.
The exclusive Day Spa extends over an area of 1,000 m2 and features a combination of health and beauty and body care treatments. THE SPA at the Frankfurter Hof is not merely a premium venue for relaxation and regeneration. Professional beauty experts are also on hand to offer first class body care from head to toe. Exclusive cosmetic products are used to provide individual hair, nail and make-up treatments.
Further highlights include an unusually designed hamam, an extensive sauna area and a Private Spa Suite which is the first of its kind in Frankfurt.
The décor at THE SPA reflects a timeless elegance in its combination of warm shades of cream and brown and dark-coloured high-quality woods. Whereas clear and calm lines predominate in the relaxation rooms, the Private Spa Suite and the sauna area, the ornamental mosaics in the hamam conjure up an oriental atmosphere.
Located in a 190-metre-high skyscraper of Frankfurt’s European district, the future nhow Frankfurt property is to open its doors by 2021.
The Spanish hotelier NH Hoteles just signed a new address under the nhow brand, and following Berlin, Frankfurt will be the second German city to welcome a nhow property, to open in the European district (Europaviertel) by 2021.
It will feature 375 rooms over 14 floors, located in a 190-metre high skyscraper. The hotel will also include a conference area of more than 1,000 square metres, a restaurant, a bar and a fitness zone.
Situated in the business district of the German metropolis, it is also to rely on business travellers who regularly attend Frankfurt’s international-scale events and conferences.
AC Hotels by Marriott, a lifestyle hotel brand from Marriott International, has opened AC Hotel Mainz, the brand’s first property in Germany, offering entrepreneurial spirits a new way to hotel in the destination of Mainz. As the first boutique-style hotel in Mainz, the property adds to the brand’s growing global portfolio of more than 100 design-led hotels located in Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Following a recent renovation, this historic building in the heart of the city has been transformed into a stylish 58-room hotel boasting sleek, contemporary design combined with the elegance of a classic grand hotel. Design details by Dutch interior designer Helge Docters van Leeuwen accentuate the original architecture and introduce a sleek, modern finish where clean lines interplay with neutral colours.
AC Hotels believes that purposeful design improves lives, carefully curating the things that guests need and editing out what they don”t. AC Hotels strip away the unnecessary to remove friction, providing guests with thoughtfully designed moments of elegance. Allowing guests to focus on what”s important to them and elevating their stay.
Guest rooms blend simple lines and modern European style to create a sophisticated and contemporary ambience for guests with open-plan closets, sleek design furnishings and rain showers in the bathrooms with signature AC Hotels amenities. In addition, all rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi and spacious work desks, catering perfectly to business travellers” needs.
Collaborations with local artists and businesses further strengthen the brand’s commitment to its European heritage, offering guests a menu packed with local breads, pastries, and beer and wine, with hotel associate”s uniforms designed by celebrated fashion designer Anja Gockel, who lives in Mainz.
Hamburg has long remained just under the radar, playing second fiddle to the gritty glamour of Berlin, and yet the eagerly-awaited opening of the iconic Elbphilharmonie has cemented Hamburg’s position as Germany’s most exciting cultural hub, befitting of an equally thrilling new residence.
On the Nikolaifleet waterfront, Sir Nikolai is sandwiched between the Altstadt (Old Town)—the city’s historical and cultural nucleus—and the regenerating, super-modern HafenCity district to the south. The luxury boutique hotel—with curated art, vintage rugs, and polished marble throughout—is a showcase for artisanal quality and tradition, seamlessly blending local heritage and international sophistication in the shadow of one of Hamburg’s oldest churches, Sankt Katharinen.
Design agency FG Stijl has directed their award-winning nous into artfully converting a former warehouse to create the 94-room Sir Nikolai. Extending into the glass-covered courtyard, The Patio is the beating heart of the hotel with its fluid interior/exterior setup playing host to both cozy fireside soirées and the eternal cocktail hours of summer thanks to a fully retractable ceiling. Two canal-side terraces further blur the lines between inside and out.
Opening late 2017, the 300-square-metre subterranean SPA will take on an elegant yet casual vibe, with a pool and sauna overlooking the canal, as well as having three treatment rooms, a steam room, and a gym. While the SPA takes care of spiritual nourishment, more immediate sustenance comes courtesy of THE ENTOURAGE GROUP’s destination restaurant IZAKAYA Asian kitchen & bar. Incorporating the entire ground floor and patio, the innovative Japanese-Peruvian dining experience pushes the boundaries of Nikkei cuisine in urban-chic surroundings.
Spanning between 20 and 56-square-metres, Sir Nikolai’s 94 rooms and suites afford views over The Patio, the Nikolaifleet canal, or the Altstadt, where boutique shops and cafés wind along the waterways. Each is luxuriously outfitted with custom-made furniture and lighting, while vintage carpets, contemporary artworks, and a carefully curated selection of design books and novels ensure a unique touch.
A goody box of decadent treats sourced from around the city replace the staid hotel mini-bar and queen or king-size beds are made up with the Sir Hotels’ bespoke signature bedding collection. The luxurious marble bathrooms feature oversized rainfall showers, and signature DEAD CLEAN spa body amenities.
In line with the plan to meet the rising demand from millennial travellers, Frasers Hospitality, a division of Frasers Centrepoint Limited, is expanding its Capri by Fraser brand footprint with the opening of Capri by Fraser Berlin.
Capri by Fraser Berlin marks Frasers Hospitality”s seventh operating Capri-branded property globally and the second in Germany. Frasers Hospitality is on track to expand the brand to a total of 16 cities over the next four years. These cities include Leipzig, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Balikpapan, Kalkara and Gurgaon.
Within the unique property is an archaeological excavation site that was discovered by chance during construction, which is now carefully preserved and showcased through a glass floor. Swings are installed above the excavation site to offer guests a playful and novel way of engaging with this historical landmark. In addition, the apartment decor adopts the same approach by juxtaposing symbols of modernity, such as current city maps, with historical graphics of iconic buildings. Furthermore, the ceiling structure of Capri by Fraser Berlin takes cues from classic architectural styles, and is accented by rich gold and warm colours that create a relaxed, convivial ambience.
The Capri by Fraser brand caters to the needs of the e-generation, evident by its offerings at all hotel residences. The Spin & Play concept, resisting the usual expensive hotel laundry model, provides laundrettes with the latest games consoles, kickboxing and other activities for the millennial traveller. Guests have further options to de-stress at the 24-hour gymnasium or at the all-day dining restaurant, bar and deli. Meeting and conference facilities are also equipped with the latest audio-visual capabilities including interactive touch-screen panels and integrated whiteboard-projector features. Furthermore, local activities can be customised for guests seeking an authentic and unique experience.
Core to millennials and Capri by Fraser DNA is technology. Apart from state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, Capri by Fraser is developing a suite of technological initiatives to offer guests an unforgettable stay, where cutting-edge technology is seamlessly integrated into the travel experience at every possible touchpoint.
Conveniently situated in the heart of the vibrant German capital, Capri by Fraser Berlin offers easy access to international organisations, cultural attractions and popular tourist destinations. Numerous public transportation links are also available in the vicinity, with the closest underground station being 4 minutes away, while the Ostbahnhof train station is 10 minutes away.
Frasers Hospitality”s global portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 148 properties in more than 80 cities with over 23,600 keys worldwide.
Hamburg will soon gain a new architectural spectacle with the 15 October opening of The Fontenay, a 131-key property designed by Jan Störmer of Störmer Murphy and Partners.
Located directly on the banks of Lake Alster, the hotel features a sculptural form resembling three interlocking circles that frame views of the lake and downtown cityscape.
Occupying a substantial 14,000m² plot of prime waterfront real estate, the hotel has been designed as a luxury urban resort covered in thousands of white porcelain tiles that mirror the fluid lines of surrounding parkland and water.
The circular, flowing shape of the building’s architecture repeats itself throughout the hotel, and, aside from the partitions dividing each guest room, there are no straight walls and no wall is parallel to another.
Germany’s largest owner-managed hotel group has increased its conference and incentives offer by upgrading more than a quarter of its German portfolio and introducing green initiatives.
Expanding on the company motto ‘Conference and living under one roof’, more than 3,000 rooms, bathrooms, public areas, meetings and events spaces have been refurbished as part of a comprehensive redevelopment programme.
These new features can be found in rooms at some of the 33 Maritim hotels across Germany including in Königswinter, Ulm, Munich, Hannover, Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Bad Homburg, Cologne and Würzburg and its adjacent Congress Centrum. Maritim’s hotel in Bonn is set to be upgraded this year.
The largest hotel in the city, Maritim Hotel Stuttgart has recently completed an 18-month renovation. The property features 13 conference rooms, including the historic 750 capacity, 19th century riding hall, ‘‘Alten Stuttgarter Reithalle’’. For larger events, the hotel offers direct access to the renowned “Liederhalle” convention centre.
Maritim’s flagship hotel in Hannover has recently revamped 15 event rooms and ten conference suites which can host groups of all sizes from 3 to 1,500, as well as new sound systems. Reaffirming their commitment to environmental matters, all Maritim hotels across the region are taking proactive steps to support the landmark German Sustainability Codex, which measures the sustainable performance of organisations.
LeRoy Sheppard, Maritim Director of Sales UK & Ireland, explains: “Sustainability is now an essential part of the meetings and events industry, with an ever greater number of delegates and organisers requesting their venue provide a socially responsible package. Mindful of this trend, we’ve incorporated these environmentally conscious demands to deliver a dedicated meetings and events offer. With a wide range of city centre hotels and conveniently located airport hotels, we have something for everyone.’’
Hilton’s Hampton by Hilton brand has announced its newest property, Hampton Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz in Germany’s vibrant capital. The hotel brand unveils the 344-room Hampton by Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz as its largest hotel in the world.
Boasting a prime location, Hampton by Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz is surrounded by famous attractions such as the Berlin TV Tower, the beautiful Museum Island and the Brandenburg Gate, and it joins the existing portfolio of three Hampton by Hilton properties in Germany.
“International visitors to Berlin exceeded five million for the first time this year, demonstrating the city’s increasing popularity as a top European destination,” said Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton.
“This milestone opening is a testament to the strength of Hilton in Germany and marks the first of five new mid-market hotel openings for 2017 in cities including Frankfurt and Hamburg.”
Provocateur is Berlin’s first shamelessly sensual hotel designed by Amsterdam-based interior designer Saar Zafrir, who is behind a number of Europe’s most buzzed about new hotel properties.
The Provocateur hotel, restaurant and club will push buttons and makes guests push their boundaries. The hotel’s ethos is provocative and explorational catering to the up all night, sleep all day adventurer for both hotel guests and nightlife enthusiasts.
The Design Hotels™ member holds 58 rooms that whisper passion in every way with their mysterious romantic cosy corners bathed in red light with black and white photography adorning the walls along with a mix of soft and heavy textured interiors and furniture.
Each room has a “provocateur mode,” a setting allowing guests to set the mood and drift to a different world as the room’s lights dim, seductive tunes commence and video art plays, making you not want to leave your bed…or lover.
Zafrir’s playful burlesque inspiration for the property began in another city. A weekend getaway in Paris laid the groundwork for a revolution in the Berlin hospitality scene and design of Provocateur Berlin.
Zafrir was drawn to discovering the secret and hidden spots of Paris by midnight, some beautiful, some dark, but all sharing the common pull of passion and desire. The aesthetics paired with the music of Paris began his design and development of Provocateur and led him to the realization that the property should be shocking and unexpected.
Driven by the colors red and blue and using soft and sexy textures is what makes the hotel so warm, mysterious and provokes and pushes people’s buttons without crossing the line.
The expansion of prizeotel continues through the joint venture with The Rezidor Hotel Group. The group is proud to announce a new prizeotel near the Munich Airport in the Hallbergmoos municipality. prizeotel Munich Airport will open in early 2019. Karim Rashid, the renowned New York based designer and the brand curator, will once again showcase his ‘designocrasy’ at the new prizeotel.
With the signing of a new prizeotel in Munich, Founder & CEO Marco Nussbaum introduces 160 brand new rooms for the design-oriented but price conscious guests in Bavaria’s capital and home to the famous Oktoberfest. The new prizeotel is situated less than 10 minutes from the airport by car and will provide 80 parking spaces for guests. Munich Airport is one of the busiest and most important travel hubs in Europe, hosting more than 42 million passengers annually.
“The new prizeotel in the heart of Bavaria is another evidence of our continued success story with The Rezidor Hotel Group, with whom we have already realized three projects in a span of 11 months”, said Marco Nussbaum. prizeotel currently operates 555 rooms in Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover, with an additional 995 rooms in the pipeline. Future prizeotels are under construction in Hamburg St. Pauli, Erfurt ICE city and Bern.
prizeotel is an economy hotel brand, high on design and functionality. The brand concept is based on an urban flair and innovative, customer-friendly technology with free, high-speed Internet; mobile check-in; etc.
Elie Younes, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group, looks forward to the new Munich location: “With prizeotel, we are offering our guests an innovative, exceptional and credible hospitality experience in the economy segment,” he says. “We are also offering our investment partners a sustainable and compelling real estate investment proposition through a contained investment cost and attractive fixed income.”
The Rezidor Hotel Group is already present in Bavaria’s capital with two Park Inn by Radisson hotels.
Enabling customer orders to be fulfilled with maximum efficiency, the Geberit Group has expanded the capacity of its logistics centre in the southern German town of Pfullendorf, investing around 40 million Euros in its storage, order picking and dispatch operation.
The honeycomb warehouse is home to 1,800 honeycombs, which are used as shelf spaces for Geberit pipes. The automatic storage and retrieval at the[CRF_Form id=’1′] facility is carried out by two storage and retrieval machines.
The significant expansion of the company’s existing logistics centre enables Geberit to continue supplying products to its customers efficiently and reliably, allowing Geberit to remain on top of the volumes resulting from the company’s growth. As part of the expansion project, a concept for the storage of pipes of up to six metres long has been implemented, with new automated storage areas now in operation. This means that the Geberit Mapress piping range can now be delivered directly from Pfullendorf.
Now spanning 60,000 square metres, the logistics centre also now includes an automated small-parts warehouse, a new high-bay warehouse, a processing area with fully automated workstations and the expansion of the shipping area.
The logistics centre is ideally situated to enable Geberit to supply products to its customers in the most economically and ecologically viable way. Goods are bundled together at the production plants and transported to Pfullendorf in trucks. Automated and co-ordinated processes there ensure that products are delivered to customers in a consolidated fashion, on schedule and with a high level of reliability.
On a continued quest to discover the unique and inspired, Design Hotels has scoured the globe and selected six new member properties, spanning four continents.
Complementing a curated portfolio of over 290 member hotels, the new additions epitomise the ethos and values that Design Hotels holds dear — from effortless living paired with mindful design to the regeneration of treasured buildings.
Starting in Design Hotels’ home city of Berlin, Provocateur — a collaboration between three Design Hotels Originals, Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu from Roomers and Liran wizman from SIR hotels—draws inspiration from 1920s Paris and its buzzing Charlottenburg neighborhood. The latest addition to the SIR hotels stable, Sir Adam, is a cultural, artistic, and culinary gathering place in the new heart of Amsterdam.
With a spectacular waterfront setting, the Altis Belém Hotel & Spa acts as a gateway to old and new Lisbon. Across the pond, Chicago’s iconic Coyote Building plays host to The Robey, which has already established itself as a hip neighborhood spot for locals and guests alike. A heritage building also forms the foundations of Singapore’s The Warehouse Hotel, housed in a turn-of-the-century godown on the banks of Robertson Quay. In the South Korean capital, GLAD Live Gangnam’s 210 rooms and suites are design-conscious hubs for the stylish at heart.
Set in Berlin’s pulsing Charlottenburg district, Provocateur seduces guests with fusion cuisine, 58 lavish rooms, and an award-winning bar concept. The interiors mix 1920s Paris with the urban Berlin of today—think twinkling chandeliers, low lighting, contemporary artworks, and velvet curtains—while the building is a perfect picture of the neighbourhood’s archetypal modern-style Art Nouveau architecture.
ICRAVE, the renowned New York-based design studio, is responsible for Sir Adam’s 108 guestrooms and The Butcher Social Club, a full-service “living lobby” open 24/7. Inspired by the its achingly cool neighbors, including Sony and Gibson, music plays a huge role in Sir Adam’s aesthetic and cultural concept, from the curated music library to the Crosley Cruiser record players in each room.
Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
Given its striking architecture and enviable waterfront location, wedged between the dramatic Monument to the Discoveries and the fairytale-esque Torre de Belém, it comes as no surprise that Altis Belém Hotel & Spa has swept up a multitude of awards already. Facing either the Tagus River or the marina, the cool simplicity of the hotel’s 50 rooms and suites is lifted by custom-created wall panels depicting scenes inspired by Portugal’s former colonial outposts.
Set in the Coyote Building, which was originally designed by the iconic Chicagoan firm Perkins, Chatten & Hammond, each of the hotel’s 69 light-filled rooms, lobby, and roof spaces have been transformed by Belgian design duo Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors. The Art Deco façade of The Robey is bookmarked by the ground-floor Café Robey.
The Warehouse Hotel
Encompassing a meticulously renovated turn-of-the-century godown, on the banks of Robertson Quay, the inspiration for the hotel’s design language came from the building itself. The unique structure from the late 19th century once stood in the midst of a hotbed of secret societies, underground activities, and liquor distilleries. The restored heritage building is a proud illustration of old and new thanks to the award-winning local agency Asylum. Original details like the triple-pitched roof and raw brick stand alongside a custom-made light in the lobby made of wheels and pulleys, and tailor-made, single-unit copper wall pieces that unify the rooms by integrating everything from desk to wardrobe.
Offering a “curated lifestyle” that is in full harmony with Seoul’s chic nightlife offerings, the 210 rooms and suites are design-conscious hubs for the stylish at heart. Culture and entertainment are at the core of the GLAD Live Gangnam experience, with the hotel’s afterhours club, DStar, and its lush EDM music and 3D projection mapping, intensifying one’s escape into music and the moment.
Hilton Worldwide is for the first time launching a series of podcasts that will act as audio guides to landmark hotels within its European portfolio.
With a focus on architecture and design, the podcasts tell the hidden story behind five hotels from a variety of Hilton brands to encourage guests to see the buildings as more than a place to lay their heads.
Hotels selected for the podcast project have been hand-picked by Hilton’s in-house architecture and design team. The collection includes iconic restoration projects in Paris and Hamburg, a refurbishment inspired by a little known corner of Dublin, a London conversion on the city’s artistic South Bank and a first of its kind, design focused concept in Reykjavik.
Over the past five years, Hilton has significantly expanded its dedicated team of experts focused on the architecture and design of each property. The team works collaboratively across the entirety of Hilton’s portfolio covering a diverse array of locations, brands and projects. The team’s philosophy is centred on creating a sense of place that reflects the destination – not just the city or country, but the hotel’s district, neighbourhood or even street.
By working with local designers and consultants, Hilton’s design and architecture team ensures that each hotel not only encapsulates an all-important sense of place and the DNA of its brand, but showcases the very best of each location. This can range from commissioned artwork to mark an important moment in time, the inclusion of furniture and soft furnishings from celebrated local workshops or the preservation of historical artefacts for the public to enjoy for decades to come.
Gordon Coles, Senior Vice President, Architecture, Design and Construction, EMEA, Hilton, said: “Whilst our hotel guests are excited to explore a city’s architecture or its design hotspots during their visit, the hotel itself can be overlooked – it is sometimes seen as just a place to lay your head or enjoy a nice meal after a long day of sightseeing or business meetings. We want to challenge this misconception by revealing the hidden stories of five very special European hotels. Each podcast tells a very different tale reflecting the diversity of our projects, but we hope listeners will be inspired to take a closer look at their hotel after learning a little bit more about its history and hearing one or two secrets.”
Chris Webb, Senior Director, Interior Design, EMEA, Hilton, said: “Every project is unique, so we approach each hotel with a blank canvas. Creating a sense of place is our core aim – it enhances our guest experience by making their stay more authentic, but it also makes people feel more at home. There is a risk that this could become pastiche, so we spend a lot of time getting under the skin of each location to identify lesser known or quirky flourishes that are still true to the building itself. Each of the five hotels featured in the podcast series are a testament to this approach, from preserving historical features for future generations in Paris and Hamburg to creating interiors that reflect and celebrate a particular neighbourhood in Dublin, London and Reykjavik.”
The five hotels profiled in the new audio guides are Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre (Iceland); Hilton London Bankside (United Kingdom); Conrad Dublin (Ireland); Hilton Paris Opera (France); and Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton (Germany).
The IntercityHotel Braunschweig opened for business at the start of the week, the first of the upper mid-range hotels operated under the brand to feature the new interior design by Matteo Thun.
Located right next to the main railway station and the BraWoPark shopping and business centre, it offers 174 rooms, a conference area, a restaurant, a bistro and a bar.
IntercityHotels have also been working with leading chef Pierre Nierhaus to rework menus and culinary offerings. Guests in Braunschweig can, for example, choose between light and modern dishes and familiar classics. Another innovation is the introduction of a special mobile app developed by the company hotelbird which allows visitors to use their smart phones to check in and out, open the door to their room and pay the bill.
“The launch of the IntercityHotel Braunschweig is the starting signal for a whole new generation of IntercityHotels,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO Deutsche Hospitality. “We are delighted to be able to make our guest experience even more pleasant by offering a modern interior, convenient technology and a new gastronomic concept.”
Overall project development in Braunschweig was by the Hamburg-based B&L Group. The architectural firms of Reichel+Stauth from Braunschweig and php prasch buken und partner from Hamburg are responsible for the design of the hotel. The general contractor is W. Markgraf GmbH & Co KG of Bayreuth.
Not since Jay Gatsby set foot in West Egg has a neighborhood so eagerly anticipated the arrival of a new host—this October sees the grand opening of Sir Savigny in Berlin’s vibrant Charlottenburg district.
This 44-room luxury urban retreat built in 1893 perfectly reflects the mindset and sybaritic ways of its mythical founder, Sir Savigny, a bon vivant who has dedicated his life to beauty and storytelling. At this newest addition to the SIR hotels stable, the story unfolds deliciously with guestrooms that showcase the work of local artists and wide-open public spaces that create intimacy, spark conversation, and promote new friendships among kindred spirits.
Sir Savigny’s eponymous host is the consummate epicurean traveler finally putting down roots in the emerging district of Charlottenburg, west Berlin. Sir Savigny’s traveling nous is demonstrated in the 44 luxurious guest rooms and suites, elegantly outfitted by Amsterdam-based designer Saar Zafrir. Ranging from the 13-square-metre Sir Petit room to the 30-square-metre Sir Savigny Suite, each questroom is defined by an eclectic assortment of local art, vintage rugs, and custom-made furniture under heavenly high ceilings. The result is an encapsulation of Zafrir’s design Mantra: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Award-winning interior designers Baranowitz + Kronenberg are responsible for the fluid design of the ground-floor reception rooms. The result, an open and engaging space that allows guests to slip seamlessly between perusing Sir Savigny’s book collection in The Library to sipping aperitifs fireside in the Winter Garden. The flowing reception rooms lead to The Butcher, a hip neighborhood burger bar conceptualised by Yossi Eliyahoo’s The Entourage Group, which offers haute fast food that is defined by culinary craftsmanship and the finest Aberdeen Angus beef. Bookending the property is the Savigny Garden, a leafy urban retreat perfectly placed for whiling away halcyon city days amid stylized graffiti by renowned street artist Dome.
Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand, hosted an epic party inspired by the prolific nightlife culture in Berlin, showcasing the music, dance, art and sexual expression that are the lifeblood of the city, October 20, 2016.
The event was attended by YouTube stars Taryn Southern, Oli White, and Jack Maynard with actresses Natalia Avelonand Grace Capristo and DJs ItaloJohnson, the faceless enigma trio as the headliners, who kept guests dancing well into the morning. Moxy Underground, a mash-up of Moxy’s wildest and most imaginative programming, featured eccentric live, interactive, art installations where guests were encouraged to write their deepest, darkest secrets on latex clad hosts,renowned Berlin tattoo artist Suzan Rinow inking guests, ‘Hungry’ and Mad Kate, legendary Berlin performance drag queen and performance artist respectively, with UY Studio creating bespoke club-kid wardrobe for the talent of the event.
The Moxy Berlin opening party also celebrated artist-in-residence, the British artist Paul Robinson, aka LUAP, the chosen artist of the brand’s #BlankCanvas global initiative, which calls on international emerging artists to submit works for the chance to feature their art at new Moxy hotels. Robinson created a light-box installation, featuring two large-scale photographs from his ‘The Pink Bear’ series, which are suspended from the ceiling in the hotel’s vibrant Living Room. ‘The Pink Bear’ series is best known for being featured in Cara Delevingne’s #Art4Animals campaign. LUAP was on-hand to direct his provocative live installation during the party. Moxy Berlin’s partygoers were able to engage with LUAP’s creation as ‘The Pink Bear’ came to life with his doll-like companion through transformational performances.
“Berlin has a unique character and culture and we wanted to celebrate that with the launch of Moxy Berlin.” said Osama Hirzalla, Marriott International’s Vice President, Brand Marketing and ecommerce for Europe. “Working with local talent from dance, music, performance art and fashion helped us create an unforgettable event– marking Moxy’s arrival in Berlin with a bang!”
The epic event launched the brand’s cheeky global Moxy programming– activities that encourage the next generation todo all the fun stuff they would never think of doing back home, in a stylish and vibrant setting.
“Moxy Hotels bring out the local flavor and energy of the cities they are in through the bold programming that speaks to the creativity of each location,” said Vicki Poulos Global Brand Director. “A good time at Moxy NOLA will be different to a good time at Moxy New York. No two events will ever be the same at a Moxy, just like no two hotels will ever look exactly alike. Our Fun Hunters have a deep desire to make room for spontaneity and live life unscheduled even on travel.”
A Moxy Hotel is a 24/7 spot for all things fun and impromptu. Moxy’s NOW + WOW communal spaces, including its Living Rooms, game rooms and bar, come alive with a thoughtfully-crafted assemblage of spontaneous and organic happenings designed to cater to travelers and locals who like to hang-out with their friends and meet new ones, without breaking the bank. Moxy is premium in every way but price– its affordability is not a sacrifice of style, nor a loss of comfort.
“Our high-energy Living Rooms and bars are thoughtfully designed to create environments that get friends new and old to have some fun in creative and playful ways,” said Toni Stoeckl, Vice President Marriott International’s Lifestyle Hotels. “Fun-hunters create the action; our living rooms are essentially their playground.”
In Germany, they are fond of saying that all good things come in ‘threes’. This certainly applies to the latest developments at IntercityHotels, a successful Deutsche Hospitality brand which can look back over a history of nearly 30 years and has made three new announcements.
IntercityHotel is set for expansion. Before the end of the year, it will open its first hotel in Braunschweig and a further establishment in Qingdao (China). The first IntercityHotel outside Europe in Salalah (Oman) commenced operations in July.
Further hotels in Duisburg, in Esslingen, at Berlin Airport and in Saarbrücken, Dubai, s’Hertogenbosch (NL) and Leiden (NL) will all follow over the course of the next few years. There is certainly plenty in the planning pipeline and, what’s more, the upcoming IntercityHotels will feature a completely new concept.
The IntercityHotel Braunschweig, the first hotel to boast a new design developed by the Italian architect Matteo Thun, will open its doors in November. Thun will deliver a real feel-good factor by transforming the lobby into a living room and will create bright and generously proportioned spaces for guests to enjoy.
“Business life today requires extreme flexibility,” he says. “We are all travelling a lot and often only stay in the same locality for one or two nights. ‘Being at home’ is no longer tied to any particular place. It is a feeling. This is precisely what we are seeking to impart to IntercityHotel guests via our new interior concept.”
A small change has also been made to the IntercityHotel logotype. The name of the brand is being spelled with a lower case “c” with immediate effect. In addition, IntercityHotel has joined forces with the trend and restaurant expert Pierre Nierhaus to rework its culinary offerings.
Internal design is not the only area in which guests will notice a difference in future. The background technology is also changing. Guests will be able to check in and out by using the convenient “hotelbird” mobile app. They will also have the option of using their smart phone to open the door to their room and to pay the bill. This is the first time anywhere in the world that the app, which operates in conjunction with the Oracle hotel management system, will be implemented in a fully automated manner. Test runs are already taking place at the IntercityHotels in Mainz and Darmstadt.
The plan is for the concept to be rolled out across all IntercityHotels, beginning with the IntercityHotel Braunschweig.
Hansgrohe SE announces that its premium hansgrohe brand will exhibit for the first time at the LivingKitchen trade fair in Cologne from 16 to 22 January 2017.
“We will of course be celebrating our debut at this international gathering place of the kitchen world with an attractive booth, where other premieres will also take centre stage: our new hansgrohe brand image as well as another absolutely novel product in the hansgrohe kitchen range,” discloses Thorsten Klapproth, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hansgrohe SE.
Test and try: hands-on experience at the hansgrohe booth
Daily, exciting demonstrations will be staged at the hansgrohe stand where trade show visitors can discover first-hand how the brand’s kitchen innovations combine technology, design and function, and try out products for themselves.
“Using all your senses to explore the hansgrohe kitchen range is an emotive experience. This is how we will make customers at LivingKitchen even more aware of our innovative power in terms of functionality and water experience in the kitchen. Anyone planning or remodelling a top quality kitchen should have hansgrohe in mind,” explains Thorsten Klapproth.
What? hansgrohe at LivingKitchen 2017 When? 16 to 22 January 2017, Cologne Fair and Exhibition Centre Where? Hall 5.2, Stand B030
Adding to its twelve-strong portfolio of properties, The Student Hotel will open its first German location in the heart of Berlin in partnership with the European Student Housing Fund.
The 17,000-square metre space is located on Alexanderstraße, in the immediate vicinity of the iconic Alexanderplatz, an area known as the Alexanderquartier.
The project will be developed and operated in a joint venture with Triton Development GmbH, the investment adviser to the European Student Housing Fund. The Student Hotel Berlin will bring 456 new rooms to serve the thriving international student and tourist community.
Opening in 2019 The Student Hotel Berlin will add to the mixed-use character of the area. Contemporary architecture will frame the hotel and create a mix of student rooms, hotel rooms and co-living studios. The ground floor will be accessible to the public with study areas, meeting rooms, a co-working space for start-ups, games room, a gym and a garage for a 400+ bicycle fleet.
Charlie MacGregor, the company’s CEO and founder says: “The Student Hotel Berlin will connect students and start-ups, freelancers and the local neighbourhood. We are happy to start our German adventure in Berlin, a city which, like The Student Hotel, has been a shelter for a young and international community.”
The Student Hotel Group, which currently operates over 3000 rooms in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Barcelona and Paris, will open shortly in Eindhoven, Maastricht, Florence and Bologna aiming to reach 15,000 rooms by 2020 through acquisitions and development sin Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Berlin is one of the largest university cities in Europe with 165,000 students attending up to 31 universities and post-graduate academies, including Humboldt Universität, Freie Universität and Technische Universität. The number of international students is growing fast, generating demand for this new student accommodation concept.
Scott Brownrigg Interior Designs’ latest hotel-fit out for PPHE Hotel Group – Park Plaza Nuremberg has opened.
The stunning, contemporary designed 177 bed hotel brings a fresh energy to the vibrant Bavarian city. Located opposite the 19th Century central railway station in the former home of the Bavarian-American Hotel, the design has been influenced by the city’s rich cultural and medieval history.
Taking inspiration from the Renaissance Nuremberg artist and theorist Albrecht Dürer and Martin Behaim, a German mariner and astronomer, modern and metallic tones of pink gold and copper, with purple and grey hues, shimmering textures, combined with geometric shapes, light features, ceilings, furniture, artwork and sculptures create a relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere, which respects the history of the 1930’s building.
For over 50 years the Bavarian-American Hotel was one of Germany’s most famous landmarks with Park Plaza Nuremberg becoming the first official hotel to open in the building’s history. It was the residence of the prosecutors and judges during the Nuremberg trials and the US Army chose to station its officers there up until 1995. During this time the US Army launched the world renowned Radio AFN from the top floor.
Artwork and sculptures, including interpretations of Dürer’s Rhino and Behaim’s ‘Erdapfel’ globe, pay tribute to the city’s cultural legends, bringing a contemporary sophistication to Bavaria’s latest city hotspot.
Carsten Baumann, General Manager at Park Plaza Nuremberg, said of the design of the hotel, “Scott Brownrigg’s design is both vibrant and contemporary. It cleverly respects the cultural heritage of the building and the city with the use of stunning interpretations and cultural references. We believe that the design and positioning make Park Plaza Nuremberg the city’s best-connected hotel and we hope that our guests will thoroughly enjoy their experience with us.”
Of the design, Scott Brownrigg Director Una Barac said: “This is the latest hotel that we have designed for PPHE Hotel Group and we are delighted with the outcome. The setting and the unique history of the building provided us with a wonderful design opportunity. We are confident that guests will thoroughly enjoy the hotel experience that has been created”.
All bedrooms feature ultra-comfortable Park Plaza beds, a modern, contemporary design feel with integrated screen TV’s, large work desks, in-room entertainment systems and mood lighting. The hotel also features a 24-hour fitness centre and seven versatile meeting rooms, many of which benefit from natural daylight and have been designed to accommodate up to 70 delegates, providing them with state-of-the art video conferencing and on-site dining facilities.
The hotel’s destination-led restaurant, BA Beef Club has a club-like ambience, whilst its Bavarian American Bar provides a stunning environment to be enjoyed by guests and locals alike.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and NOVUM Hotel Group, one of the largest hotel groups in Germany, have both announced the signing of a Multiple Development Agreement spanning 20 hotels across Europe in markets such as Germany, Austria and Netherlands. The MDA is the first venture together between both companies.
IHG currently has over 650 hotels in Europe, including 64 hotels in Germany, and is going from strength to strength in a market that is seeing continued expansion.
Hamburg based NOVUM Hotel Group currently has 99 hotels across Germany including their own brand hotels, and those developed in partnership with IHG will be franchised.
Ron Shepherd, Chief Development Officer, IHG, Europe, said: “Europe is growing at pace and we are well positioned to take advantage of the appetite for branded growth. We cannot wait to kick off the beginning of this long-term partnership with NOVUM Group.”
Adds David Etmenan, Chief Executive Officer & Owner, NOVUM Group, “Franchise partnerships are of particular importance to our international expansion and we see IHG and its winning portfolio of brands as the optimal way to gain ground and advance our European expansion strategy.”
Looking to add to its collection of hotels unified by discerning design, SIR hotels announces three brand new properties opening in Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam.
This autumn will see the opening of Sir Savigny in Berlin, followed by Sir Adam, their second outpost in Amsterdam, and finally Sir Nikolai in Hamburg. Although each property boasts a unique design concept defined by their namesake, they all reject the traditional hotel model and instead imbue a sense of staying at the home of a close friend — albeit one with impeccable taste in city pied-à-terres.
“With three new openings, 2016 is an exciting year for us. Ever since we envisioned our first SIR hotel, we wanted to see the SIR family grow in other urban hotspots and we’re thrilled to announce it’s happening,” says Liran Wizman, Owner and Founder of Europe Hotels Private Collection.
Sir Savigny, Berlin, Germany
Sir Savigny’s eponymous host is the consummate epicurean traveler finally putting down roots in the emerging district of Charlottenburg, west Berlin. Opening in October, Sir Savigny’s traveling sense is demonstrated in the 44 luxurious guest rooms, elegantly outfitted by Amsterdam-based designer Saar Zafrir to ensure the utmost comfort and convenience.
SIR Hotels – Berlin
The fluid design of the ground-floor reception rooms has been created by award-winning interior designers Baranowitz + Kronenberg, allowing guests to slip seamlessly between perusing Sir Savigny’s book collection in The Library to sipping aperitifs fireside in the Winter Garden. The flowing space leads to The Butcher, a hip neighborhood burger bar offering haute fast food, defined by culinary craftsmanship and the finest Aberdeen Angus beef. Bookending the property is the Savigny Garden, a leafy urban retreat perfectly placed for whiling away halcyon city days amid stylized graffiti and Sir Savigny’s eclectic art collection.
Sir Adam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Innovative, award-winning New York-based agency Icrave has been entrusted with the design of SIR hotel’s second outpost in the Netherlands, the achingly chic pad of music aficionado Sir Adam. Taking to the decks at the iconic A’DAM tower in winter 2016, Sir Adam is set to become the pulse-quickening cultural hub at Amsterdam City IJ-River. The host’s love of music permeates every aspect of the hotel, from the Crosley record players and illuminated song lyrics in the 108 guestrooms to the fully comprehensive Music Library.
SIR Hotels – Amsterdam
However, music junkies will truly find their tribe at The Hub, a co-working space-meets-concept store overlooking The Butcher Social Club. Defying definition, The Butcher Social Club comprises an oh-so-cool gourmet burger joint, island bar with live DJ sets, and a living lobby complete with river terrace. From here, a spiral staircase ascends to rooftop drinking den The Beer Garden and creative studio space The Deck, boasting an unrivalled vista over the city, which is best viewed from one of its four hot tubs. When combined, the two sky-high spaces are set to play host to the capital’s hottest events.
Sir Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany
Urbane, charming, and effortlessly elegant, Sir Nikolai’s hosting skills are a lesson in philoxenia, as guests at the waterside mercantile mansion will soon discover. Opening winter 2016 on the Nikolaifleet canal in Hamburg’s old town, design agency FG Stijl have directed their award-winning nous to artfully combining the stately merchant townhouse and adjoining goods store to create Sir Nikolai’s 94-room debonair digs.
SIR Hotels – Hamburg
Extending into the glasscovered Courtyard, the patio is the beating heart of the hotel with its fluid inside/out setup playing host to both cozy fireside soirées and the eternal cocktail hours of summer. The subterranean SPA takes on an elegant yet casual vibe, taking care of body and mind in Sir Nikolai’s inimitable style. While more immediate nourishment comes courtesy of IZAKAYA, an innovative Japanese-Peruvian dining experience which pushes the boundaries of Nikkei cuisine in urban-chic surroundings.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced that the group will add five new Holiday Inn and Holiday Express hotels to its growing presence in Germany. Having signed 4,000 rooms (24 hotels) within the first half of the year, this is the company’s best signings performance since 2008.
Robert Shepherd, Chief Development Officer Europe, IHG, said: “The German hotel market is accelerating at pace and we are well positioned to take advantage of the appetite for branded growth. 57% of the market is unbranded, so there is a lot of opportunity for IHG to add value with our international brands. Several of our signings in the last few months have been with long-standing partners of IHG, who have signed multiple development agreements with the company. It’s a great start as we head into this quarter.”
The signings are confirmed to develop properties within the following regions:
As part of the MDA signed with long-standing partner TriStar, who will be the owner and franchisee of the hotel, Holiday Inn Express Pforzheim will be a new build with the advantages of our next generation design.
• Guests will enjoy the hotel’s most innovative and smart technology at every stage of their stay including a better more comfortable night’s sleep, a functional and flexible place to work and relax in the room, and a lobby that provides a welcoming space to relax or meet with friends or colleagues
• The 140-room hotel, set to open in late 2019, will be of benefit to the area given its position as an economic and cultural hub and ideal location, being situated between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart
Baden-Wuerttemberg will also benefit from two further Holiday Inn brand family hotels within Mannheim. Holiday Inn Mannheim City – Hauptbahnhof (pictured, main) is ideally located outside Mannheim train station and within walking distance of the city centre, financial district and University of Mannheim.
It will open in 2018 and has been signed in conjunction with MDA partner Primestar. The second largest city in Baden-Wurttemberg after Stuttgart, travellers will be able to enjoy the iconic Luisenpark, just twenty minutes’ walk from the hotel’s location. It will also feature an Open Lobby, a central element to the development of newly built Holiday Inn hotels. The lobby enables dwell time for our guests and the community alike. Holiday Inn Express Mannheim will be located within Mannheim City Centre. Owned and franchised by MDA partner Foremost Hospitality, the new build hotel will have 160 rooms and feature next generation design.
Holiday Inn Express Regensburg will be constructed with Hubert Haupt Immobilienmanagement GmbH. The hotel will be franchised by Success Hotel Management GmbH, a MDA partner who already license four other Holiday Inn Express hotels.
• Holiday Inn Express Regensburg will form part of a new development retail and office site and also offer the next-generation design in each of the 182 rooms and public areas
• Regensburg is a UNESCO world heritage site with a renowned Christmas market, making it popular with leisure travellers, and with several global brands including BMW, Amazon and Toshiba recently setting up bases in the city, it has confirmed itself as a business centre. The hotel will open in late 2017
Franchised by TriStar, Holiday Inn Express Oberhausen will feature next-generation design and is set to open early next year (no, will not open early next year – they have not started construction yet, will probably open early 2018). Oberhausen is a city of cultural nuances: it annually hosts the International Short Film Festival, but is also a hub for the steel industry. The hotel will have 140 rooms.
IHG has 64 hotels in Germany and 33 in the pipeline, including 53 Holiday Inn brand family hotels open with 32 in the pipeline.
Stuttgart is getting a designer business hotel – a NOVUM Style Hotel with more than 200 rooms is being created at the Pragsattel. Construction will commence in mid-2017, and the hotel is scheduled to open in 2019.
The hotel will be part of a high-rise with twelve floors. The project development is done by a joint venture between AVONIA Real Estate GmbH (Leinfelden-Echterdingen), Merkur Development Holding GmbH (Rüsselsheim) and OSWA Planen und Bauen GmbH (Ingersheim).
For the project, the property Leitzstrasse 52 was purchased at the Pragsattel. The project company Stuttgart Leitzstr. 52 GmbH has planned a hotel and office complex with an approx. 11.000 m² large overground gross floor area. Thanks to the Hamburg-based NOVUM Hotel Group, a strong hotel partner could be secured, which will operate the property as a Novum Style Hotel.
A building permit will be requested within the next weeks. “We are expecting the project to be approved in early 2017” explains Marcel Djafari, CEO of OSWA Planen und Bauen GmbH. The property with an area of more than 3.000 m² is located near the Mercedes-Benz Bank and Stuttgart’s Theaterhaus. The total investment volume amounts to about €36 million and completion is anticipated in 2019. “We are convinced that we can realize an attractive product with this lot size and utilization mixture of approx. 2/3 as a hotel and the remaining 1/3 as corporate offices.” says Marcus Hientzsch, CEO of Merkur Development Holding GmbH.
More than 200 hotel rooms will be spread among the building’s twelve floors, which will offer an incomparable view on nearby Killesberg and Stuttgart’s city centre. “We were convinced by this property right from the start, thanks to its proximity to the inner city and its exposed position,” reports David Etmenan, CEO of the NOVUM Hotel Group.
The marketing for the 4.000m² of office buildings is scheduled to begin in Q4 2016. The office areas will be located in a dedicated part of the building, divided in six overground floors, each with approx. 600 m² of rentable areas. A dual-level parking lot with over 126 parking spots will be created under the whole complex. “We are glad to be able to offer modern, connective office areas in Stuttgart, in a phase of increasing areas shortages around the city” says Reimund Sigel, CEO of AVONIA Real Estate GmbH. Colliers Stuttgart has been tasked with the leasing.
Situated on the banks of the Rhine, just moments away from Bonn’s famous Museum Mile, the Marriott Bonn World Conference Hotel is scheduled to open its doors to guests at the end of the month.
With 17 floors and 336 rooms – including 30 suites, two presidential suites and an array of modern facilities – the hotel is one of the largest in Germany and boasts a roof-top restaurant, fitness centre, spa and indoor pool.
Designed to cater to both business and leisure guests, the 19,000m2 hotel is perfectly located for both the bustling business district and the fantastic bars, restaurants and famous museums the city is renowned for.
The hotel’s interiors have been inspired by the rich history of the Bonn Republic and boast fresh, modern design with images of famous figures from the city’s political past decorating each floor.
In addition to the stunning views, gastronomic delights and beautiful interiors, the hotel also offers 662m2 of fantastic conference and banquet space including three private dining areas on the top floor of the hotel, for creative exchanges, private events and meetings.
Within the new hotel is a 1500m2 spa built around historic Roman remains that are integrated into the space itself. The spa will offer an extensive treatment menu, allowing guests to pamper themselves with tailor-made therapies, as well as having access to the indoor pool and fitness centre.
Following the news Germany’s first Premier Inn officially opened its doors to the public last month, interior designer and Partner at JSJ Design Jeremy Scarlett gives us the inside track on the project…
The project originally came about after I was approached by Patrick Dempsey; at the time he was MD of Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants (WHR) and the company had just acquired a property in Germany.
It was a big step forward in expanding Premier Inn throughout Europe and represented a brand new market. Premier Inn always had a view to bring a local designer on board; having a source of local knowledge and supplier contacts was a no-brainer. The challenge was striking the balance between what was right for the local market while communicating the existing brand.
At this point I was asked to come on board as a consultant, tasked with overseeing the German designers. I’ve worked on several Premier Inn projects over the years and have a pretty in-depth understanding of the brand. The thought was if JSJ Design were involved alongside the local designers, Premier Inn would get the best of both worlds.
That’s how it started and soon evolved into collaboration with the German designers JOI Design. We worked together to form a concept that was right for Frankfurt and the wider German market, while also representing the best elements of Premier Inn.
We also developed some elements of the brand that didn’t really exist before; in the UK Premier Inn isn’t concerned about appearing British as it’s on home turf, but in Germany it became the point of difference. For us as the designers, it was a question of how to bring across the ‘Britishness’ of the brand without being too obvious or cheesy.
The overall look and feel has been loosely described as a ‘contemporary British library’ theme, which came from an exploration of what it means to be British. Literature plays a big part in our history, from Shakespeare to Lewis Carroll, and we played with the illustratable and quotable elements of several classic texts in the design. We also incorporated traditional furniture styles such as the Chesterfield sofas, alongside accessories such as colourful porcelain versions of the iconic British Bulldog.
The reaction so far has been really good. I’ve heard some comments from German members of the Premier Inn team who say while the British elements are very subtle they are also very distinct. While its not overwhelming, people realize it’s a British hotel and the fact that is understated is what makes it work.
Frankfurt Messe Premier Inn officially opened to the public last week, marking Whitbread’s first hotel of the brand in Germany. Adopting European-style open-plan lounge, dining and reception areas, the new hotel remains true to its heritage and carries a distinct British charm.
Ensuring consistency of the look and feel of the hotel brand overseas, Whitbread employed trusted design partner, JSJ Design. Sarah Simpson, Head of Product for Premier Inn said: “JSJ led the entire design process from partner brief to detailed decision-making to final design sign-off. As one of our lead design partners, they played a critical role in ensuring successful delivery of the Frankfurt hotel with a distinctive design tailored to the German market.”
Designing many of Premier Inn’s latest UK hotel interiors, including the chain’s flagship hotel in Kings Cross and the new strand of tech-driven hub hotels, JSJ has formed a deep understanding of the brand. Tasked with adapting that knowledge to a new market was Jeremy Scarlett, Interior Designer and JSJ Design co-founder. He said: “I’ve worked on various Premier Inn projects over the last ten years and while they’re all unique, Frankfurt Messe is like no other. Setting it apart from the UK hotels, the focus for the entire ground floor was to create a versatile public space, functional through day and night. In achieving this, the brand is moving away from pure function and into a realm where customer experience is key. It will seriously raise traveller expectations of budget hotels.”
JSJ Design collaborated with Hamburg-based designers JOI Design to ensure the quintessentially English brand catered for local tastes. In addition to the open-plan communal areas, points of differentiation can be found in the bedrooms and bathrooms, where showers replace baths and an imaginative new room layout was developed to meet the expectations of the German guest.
Elsewhere, understated nods to English heritage can be found throughout the hotel, from Chesterfield sofas to the iconic British Bulldog. Scarlett commented: “Building on the subtle but distinct English sense of humour, Frankfurt Messe features an array of strategically placed accessories, typically associated with London and all things British. Embracing our quirks adds bags of character and brings a little cheekiness to the interior.”
Natural wood and dark warm tones are offset by bright shades of turquoise, sunny yellow accents and pink and purple highlights. Statement pendant lighting creates distinct areas and sets the tone for the use of space, from focused and bright in the Work Zone, to warm and cosy in the lounge and dining areas. The result is a contemporary multipurpose space that adapts to meet the changing needs of guests throughout their stay.
Marriott International announced earlier this week that it plans to open an additional five Moxy Hotels in key European cities in 2016, including Munich, Eschborn and Berlin in Germany, Oslo in Norway and Aberdeen in the UK.
As previously reported by Hotel Designs, in addition to the five European openings there will be two new openings in the United States in Tempe, Arizona in March 2016 and New Orleans in April 2016. The brand expects to offer a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels around the world within the next ten years.
Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International, Europe, said: “This is an exciting and pivotal moment for the Moxy brand as we move into the second phase of development with five new hotel openings this year and nine more expected in 2017. In 2014, Moxy Milan hit the market with a bang, as the first budget-savvy hotel brand to shake up the industry with a fun, stylish, and unexpected hospitality experience.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer this game-changing experience to more travellers in more major cities. This is just the beginning of a sensational journey for Moxy in Europe.”
In partnership with Vastint Hospitality as the owner and developer and franchise partner, Nordic Hospitality, the following Moxy hotels are expected to open by year-end 2016:
– Moxy Munich Airport, Germany — 252 rooms – located five minutes from the main terminal — March 2016
– Moxy Eschborn, Germany — 176 rooms – located 10 minutes from downtown Frankfurt and 15 minutes from Frankfurt Airport — July 2016
– Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof, Germany — 210 rooms – located in Berlin city centre five minutes walk from Ostbahnhof train station — October 2016
– Moxy Oslo Exporama, Norway — 276 rooms – located at the Exporama exhibition and conference centre — November 2016
– Moxy Aberdeen Airport, UK — 200 rooms – located seven minutes from the main terminal — December 2016
Nuremberg, Germany; home to an eclectic blend of Medieval and Renaissance architecture is welcoming the best-connected, contemporary 177-roomed Park Plaza Nuremberg in spring 2016. Bringing a fresh energy to the vibrant Bavarian city, the striking Albrecht Dürer and Martin Behaim-inspired hotel will open in an enviable location opposite Nuremberg Central Railway Station in the former home of the Bavarian-American Hotel.
Park Plaza Nuremberg has taken its inspiration from the Renaissance Nuremberg artist and theorist Albrecht Dürer and Martin Behaim, a German mariner and astronomer. All bedrooms feature Park Plaza’s bespoke beds complemented by luxurious linens and pillow sets; a modern, contemporary design feel with flat screen TV’s, large work desks, in-room entertainment systems, mood lighting and Elemis amenities throughout. The hotel also features a fitness centre and seven meeting rooms, in which a selection benefit from natural daylight, designed to connect up to 80 business minds with a video conferencing facility.
Park Plaza Nuremberg is also pleased to announce Carsten Baumann as General Manager, appointed February 2016. Bauman brings with him a wealth of international experience with seven years in the luxury hospitality industry with roles across the United Kingdom, United States, China, Hungary, Germany and Austria.
Baumann added: “My first task was to ensure that we recruit the best team members in the business and this was achieved by running a recruitment day at the hotel on Saturday 27 February. Potential team members visited the best-connected Park Plaza Nuremberg and met with myself and Thomas Borsbach, our Regional General Manager Germany & Hungary and we’re both excited to have seen first-hand a range of new talent that will ensure our hotel and outlets exceed the highest of standards and guest experience.”
Park Plaza Nuremberg will join Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte, Park Plaza Prenzlauer Berg Berlin, Park Plaza Berlin Kudamm and Park Plaza Trier in Germany, with the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand recently having added Park Plaza Arena Pula in Croatia to its portfolio and with additional openings planned in 2016 across London.
It stands almost as a symbolic icon of the recovery of Germany from past disasters. Top floors burned out, requisition by occupation forces, rebuilt and now refurbished as an exemplar of luxury, the Park-Hotel Dusseldorf is massively reassuring. In a world where provincial concepts of luxury are frequently debased versions of the real thing, where local frequently means second rate and where refurbishment often equates to safe or boring, here quality standards deliver a guest experience that is in line with the hotels five star status.
Too many of my recent trips to look at hotels at this level have proved a disappointment, with ‘safe’ design delivering short term fixes to hotels that need fundamental upgrading. Whether this comes from management that is predictable or comfortable , or from clients that lack imagination and don’t see how interiors move upmarket all the time, or from designers who are cowed into delivering safe solutions is almost irrelevant. The reasons for timidity only contribute to the slow slide downmarket that typifies so much of European (especially UK) hotel stock.
The search for luxury solutions fails to lift many hotel interiors beyond the mediocre. Some of the efforts to succeed will not be to everyone’s taste but timidity in design wins no friends, nor loyalty from guests. Steigenberger has embellished its reputation for understanding luxury with the refurbishment of the Park Hotel in Dusseldorf, not just through the revamped interior design but through operationally understanding the differentiation of areas within the hotel. It also ties itself in to the cultural life of the city, not just because it is next door to the opera, but also by having an artist in residence scheme, the results of which you will see in many of the images in this Review.
Art can embellish interiors and well chosen art can help to create the identity of an hotel, creating dramatic impact in spaces that themselves may be boring, providing strong colour against which to balance the fabrics and soft furnishings. It can also be (when not lame or cheap reproductions) an investment, increasing in value over time, maybe even an investment which can fund a future refurbishment if chosen well. It can also provide wit and be a visual thematic link running through an interior scheme. Steigenberger has recognised that Art is also part of many wealth investments so tapping in to the local art market can be a way to connect with the local affluent guests a five star seeks.
The art also however tweaks a contemporary interpretation of a luxury interiors by giving it unashamedly modern images and a bright injection of colour. The art theme is carried throughout the public space, and the fine dining restaurant makes obeisance to both the visual arts and, perhaps, the art of the opera next door with its name of ‘the Artiste’. With its linked ‘Etoile’ bar this provides fine dining in the conservatory extension on one side of the hotel frontage, with the views into neighbouring parkland and over the artificial lake.
On the other side of the entrance is the ‘Steigenberger Eck’ a social bar and eatery. To call is a bistro would be to understate its quiet luxury, defined by both its remarkable linear chandelier and it external terrace. With its own street access this has a chance to become a local bar/diner with urban chic and sophistication. The history of this Steigenberger is one of royal patronage from the start, and it has played host to the cream of Dusseldorf since. The central location enhances its attraction in a quiet position within Dusseldorf, rapidly becoming one of my favourite cities.
With the red carpet on the steps and a formal but contemporary reception lobby giving access to both lifts and a staircase, the entrance is both functional and expansively welcoming. Given focus by the large chandelier and the large floral centrepiece it gives clear sight lines to staff over all the key areas, enabling both security and control to be efficiently and discreetly exercised. All the main areas – restaurants, bars etc.- are visible to the guest on entry. In bars and restaurant staff again have easy sightlines making greeting and controlling guests a simple matter. At all levels guests are always smilingly greeted and guided to tables etc., part of efficient and effective service that is not always found in a five star hotel, but appears very much a hallmark of Steigenberger.
Soft furnishings echo the past, appropriately for an historic five star. Drapes serve a dual purpose in that they provide an effective second line of insulation against the mid-European winter cold as well as the right kind of decorative ambience. Carpets also aid in insulation against both cold and sound, and the hotel boasts in its literature that it has English carpets (they are by Brintons) showing that some people at least recognise that not only is there a good utilitarian reason for carpeting but is it also a clear mark of luxury.
Timber or tile may be appropriate in more downmarket establishment such as a trattoria or a pub where resistance to spills, cigarette burns and easy cleaning are criteria, but high quality carpet creates a luxury feel underfoot and if specified correctly will certainly give a life of use as long as many engineered timber floors. Carpet in the corridors helps to keep the bedroom areas quiet too. Stair areas have seating areas at the top and the stairs are given a presence, with fire doors on hold backs so that the staircase remains open and visible, making it an attractive route for guests. Room layouts are planned so that the awkward corner areas become the suites and interconnecting rooms (see the floor plan).
As you rise through the floors the rooms become smaller as the top floor was originally laid out for the servants the wealthy brought with them. The smaller rooms are equally luxuriously finished and furnished, but now let as single rooms to reflect their smaller size. In many UK hotels these rooms would be regarded as a normal double (see the video on the last page) as they are reasonably large until compared with the standard rooms elsewhere on the floors below.
Larger rooms have separate toilet and bidet space, and again it is noticeable how many five star continental hotels still offer bidets, something missing from the mind of many UK designers, never mind a five star having both a soaking tub and a walk in shower as they frequently do outside the UK. UK five star standards seem to me to be decaying as owners and operators go for cheap solutions, whilst in the countries most of our tourist guests come from, bathroom standards in particular continue to rise with many beginning to offer his and her bathrooms (see One and Only for example), never mind just having a walk in shower and a soaking tub, bidet and a separate toilet area. Indeed in some countries now, new build regulations requite a separating toilet space from the rest of the bathroom.
Simple things are used here to raise the perception of standards to a five star level. Tiling on the bathroom floor, for example, is chosen for dramatic effect, with inlaid tile patterns mimicking gold and mother of pearl adding to the perception of luxury. It is a simple device that need not cost a great deal more than a plain or marble effect tile, but shifts guest perception of the quality.
As with so many things in the luxury market it is how perceptions are moulded rather than a different level of reality that counts. Throughout the hotel, from corridors to major public spaces, notable is the careful control and use of lighting (much supplied by Chelsom Ltd). Often when the designer departs the hotel has one light switch position, ‘on’, but not here. Here lighting is gradated and mixed with wall and ceiling light balanced by candles for romantic effect.
Similarly in the bedrooms lighting is controllable from the desk and the bedhead, making setting the level for the task in hand easy. Rooms all have sensibly designed desk and free WiFi makes working easy, along with the generous provision of sockets. (A tip by the way – I carry an extension board of UK sockets that plugs in with the local plug hardwired on the lead. With cameras, phones, laptop etc. to charge having 4 or five UK sockets on one cable makes life easier than carrying an large number of adaptors, or forming a queue).
Design of the bedrooms is well done. With traditional dark wood and brass casegoods it is likely that the 2012 refurbishment was limited to the decorative items and soft furnishings, but the rooms have been successfully given a contemporary feel and are very comfortable both physically and visually. Indeed the whole hotel is both comfortable and contemporary. It has a classical feel yet with contemporary art and fabrics, and good lighting, it feels modern, not like a hotel stuck in a past and that in 1902 was frequented by Royalty.
As an example of the quality of the Steigenberger Group it was well chosen. The group currently has 48 hotels in Germany but with new CEO Puneet Chhatwal coming in from Rezidor where he was part of Kurt Ritter’s team that grew that group from a dozen hotels to over 600,Steigenberger are poised to grow quickly, targeting EMEA. Somebody mentioned 1,000 hotels – well I wouldn’t disbelieve that. As Chhatwal said, they aim to be the BMW of the hotel world. If the Park Hotel Dusseldorf is anything to go by, the Bentley might be a better parallel. Mind you that brand is owned by BMW isn’t it…