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Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn was joined on the Hotel Vision Stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam by Zoku’s founder Hans Meyer and Concrete’s director Rob Wagemans to discuss whether designers and hoteliers should be designing for ‘bleisure’ in mind… 

Day one at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam concluded with an engaging panel discussion, entitled Designing For Bleisure’ that aimed to disrupt the conventional hotel experience.

“A recent survey carried out by Great Hotels of The World found that 75 per cent of business travellers had extended their trips for leisure purposes,” editor Hamish Kilburn shared with the audience over on the Hotel Vision stage to kick-start the discussion. “What’s more is that in 2017, 2.2 million bleisure trips took place – that’s 10 per cent of all business trips.”

Joining Kilburn for the live debate was Rob Wagemans, the founder and director of Concrete and Hans Meyer, the founder and director of Zoku. “I actually disagree slightly with he whole ‘leisure’ terminology,” said Wagemans. “I think our industry needs to be really cautious not to package trends in this way, because it can really strip the creative process. Instead, I believe that we should be designing spaces around people and their demands.”

One man who arguably understands more than anyone what his guests require when checking in is Meyer, who spent six months ‘living like his guests’ in order to identify exactly how he should design his first property, which was Zoku Amsterdam. “I do agree with Rob,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand your demographic before designing or creating anything. When we designed Zoku, I lived like my target audience for six months to not just understand from a top level what would engage our guests, but also to experience what our guests want from a hotel. The brand was formed around what was lacking in the industry.”

Wagemans, who was a visionary behind many of the CitizenMs and a handful of W Hotels around the world, believes it is the responsibility of innovators in order to create better working spaces in hotels that are designed to last. “There are many times – too many times to count – where I have received a brief from a client, thrown it in the bin and presented something different to them,” he said. “But everything I present to a client has been thoughtfully considered to help the overall guest experience. Of course, we work towards the client’s goals, but we are also delivering a service.”

The trio went on to discuss the idea and concept of opening up the guestrooms to be more than just a bed for the night. “Will there ever come the day when the guest room in urban hotels will be used for meetings,” kilburn asked. “We actually have this already in the guestrooms at Zoku,” explained Meyer. “All areas have been created with emphasis on living and working so that the guest rooms are what you want them to be to an extent.”Wagemans, who actually designed Zoku Amsterdam with Meyer, added: “It’s about creating areas that flow into other areas. It’s down to us, designers and architects, to work with hoteliers in order to challenge what is conventional – that’s very much how we work.”

The session went on to highlight some interesting solutions, encouraging the audience to work outside the box in order to come up with new ideas. It explored how designers, hoteliers and architects alike can innovate the industry and their hotels by presenting practical working spaces. “I don’t take inspiration from other hotels necessarily, but more from other industries entirely,” added Wagemans.

As bleisure trends continue to be on the rise, it is down to the industry to figure out how best to invent new spaces that are practical, flexible and built with people in mind.

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam continues…

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam. Continuing this topic further, Hotel Designs will be with Great Hotels of The World at Hotel Summit to further discuss how to increase revenue by utilising on blesiure trends.

STR delivers engaging year in review at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
STR delivers engaging year in review at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

STR Global delivers a special report on independent hotel performance across the Benelux and Western Germany at the inaugural Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam. Editor Hamish Kilburn reports… 

Capturing an overflowing audience to kick-start the inaugural Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, STR Global delivers its findings on the most investible locations for hotel development as well as releasing the current hotel pipeline across Benelux and Western Germany.

Samantha Mardkhah, Business Development Manager at STR Global, took the stage to unveil its latest relevant findings. “Overall 2018 performance for the Benelux region re ects year-over-year growth in all three countries,” she said. “The highest RevPAR percentage change was achieved by Belgium, which led the region with almost 10 per cent more growth than 2017. This growth was supported by a healthy increase in room demand (six per cent increase), showing that the market has fully recovered after the terror attacks of March 2016. Belgium’s occupancy level of 73.8 per cent was the highest for any year in STR’s database for the country (dating back to 1996).

During the presentation, Mardkhah explained that Luxembourg is the only country in the region that ended 2018 with decreasing room demand (down three per cent), but the country achieved positive RevPAR performance thanks to moderate growth in rates (increase of two per cent). Occupancy, however, decreased by more than four per cent.

Following the same trend of the region, the Netherlands closed 2018 with a six per cent increase in RevPAR fuelled by rates, and it was the country with the highest number of new rooms coming to the market with two per cent growth in supply. “The first quarter of 2019 began with slightly negative performance,” explained Mardkhah. “Gures as the Netherlands ended Q1 with a RevPAR decline of 1.8 per cent, mainly driven by loss in rates (decrease of 1.6 per cent). While supply keeps increasing with new rooms entering the market, demand has maintained at a moderate growth level and increased 3.5 per cent in the rst three months of the year.”

Luxembourg’s room demand comparisons returned to positive territory with a four per cent rise more than the previous year, which helped the country achieve almost seven per cent growth in RevPAR to a level of EUR96.

Belgium’s booming performance continued in 2019 and RevPAR grew 6.5 per cent, fuelled by growth in rates (4.3 per cent increase), while occupancy grew by 2.1 per cent.

In addition, the report looked at the various locations’ supply and demand trends – and the future is bright from the statistics, it seems. RevPAR is expected to grow for the next three years in Brussels, which is largely fuelled primarily by ADR growth.

The session also highlighted key trends in the race between boutiques, independents and larger hotel groups. The analysis of performance for all three segments did not show any major diferences. However, it is clear that independent properties performed better in all three KPIs over both branded and boutique brands.

Looking at ADR, boutique brands held the second position after independent properties with a EUR13 difference and an overall ADR of EUR120. Brands, meanwhile, held the lowest position at EUR111.

Occupancy remained at the highest level with 75 per cent for independent hotels, while branded hotels reported similar levels around 73 per cent.

The evolution of rooms supply for boutique brands reached a peak in 2018 with 11.7 per cent growth over the previous year, followed by a similar trend in room demand, which grew by more than 12 per cent and led to positive RevPAR change.

Hotel Designs is an official and proud media partner for the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam. The show continues…

Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

Editor Hamish Kilburn is preparing to join Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer on stage at the first ever Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam…  

Hotel Designs, an official media partner for Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, is preparing to go on stage this afternoon for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Whether travelling for business or leisure, guests are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. Editor Hamish Kilburn will ask the panel – Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer -how the hospitality and design community should be reacting to the need of flexible working and living spaces in international hotel design.

About the speakers: 

Hans Meyer, Founder & Owner at Zoku

Hans Meyer is co-founder and managing director of Zoku. Facilitating global living and working, Zoku has created a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. He is responsible for innovation, culture, concept development, branding, operations and strategic partnerships for the Zoku brand. Zoku has been internationally recognized as being an innovator in the industry and was quoted by Forbes as one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world. A firm believer of value creation and innovation for the international hospitality industry, Hans previously was the initial creator and founding partner of the citizenM hotel concept and held senior corporate positions in Operations and Development for NH Hoteles and Golden Tulip, where he was responsible for projects throughout Europe, Africa, The Middle-East and Central America. Hans is also a jury member for the Accenture Innovation Awards and Ahead, the international Awards for Hospitality, Experience and Design. He was educated at Hotelschool The Hague and Cornell University in the United States.

Rob Wagemans, Founder & Director at Concrete 

Concrete develops concepts in architecture, interior design, urban development and brand development. Wagemans founded Concrete in 1997 and is the architectural visionary behind CitizenM and Zoku. The architectural firm was also behind the design of W Verbier and Ink Amsterdam.

Hotel Designs is attending Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam as a proud media partner of the show. If you would like to meet the team, head over to stand F64!

Editor of Hotel Designs confirmed to speak at IHS Amsterdam

1024 512 Katy Phillips

Editor Hamish Kilburn has been confirmed to host ‘Designing for Bleisure’ on the Hotel Vision Stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam on May 8… 

As a proud media partner of the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Designs has announced that it will take an active role in the two-day exhibition that takes place on May 8 – 9 with its editor, Hamish Kilburn, is now confirmed to moderate a unique and engaging panel discussion.

Title: Designing for Bleisure
When: Wednesday May 8

Time: 17.00 – 17.45
Where: Hotel Vision Stage, Amsterdam Rai Hall 5
Moderated by: Hamish Kilburn, Hotel Designs
Panelists: Hans Meyer, Zoku and Rob Wagemans, Concrete

Summary of session

Whether travelling for business or leisure, humans are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. Kilburn will moderate the session ‘Designing For Bleisure’ and will ask important questions such as how we should define a bleisure guest while also confronting whether or not the hospitality and design community is reacting well to this need by designing spaces for ‘bleisure’.

Joining Kilburn on the stage for the session will be one of Amsterdam’s most known, and much-admired, hoteliers Hans Meyer who is the brainchild of Zoku and Rob Wagemans who is the founder and creative director of architecture studio Concrete.

“In order to nail consumer demands so that we can then go on design better hotels and better cities, it is vital to put this topic under the magnifying glass,” said Kilburn. “Designing for bleisure is not about designing separate areas for different types of guests, but more around designing flexible spaces that are timeless, which I look forward to discussing live on stage at the Independent Hotel Show in Amsterdam.”

To resister for the show in order to secure your place in the audience at the Designing For Bleisure session, please click here. In addition to partaking in the speaker programme, Hotel Designs will also be exhibiting at the show on stand no. F64.