5 Questions for Florian KollenzFebruary 15, 2018
Why is Dubai—25hours’ first property outside Europe—a good fit for the brand?
The fact that Dubai is going to be the first one was more a coincidence than a strategic decision. We came across an exceptional project at the Dubai World Trade Center early in 2017 and seized the opportunity. Dubai is currently dominated by traditional brands, but now it is ripe for new concepts. Being a first mover in Dubai in our niche was an exciting prospect to us.
What do you look for in a target city?
Barcelona is one of our top markets, but due to the current policies and laws in place that limit new hotel supply that lead to a significant increase in hotel real estate prices, we are not spending a lot of time on sourcing projects there. Copenhagen, on the other hand, is appreciating new hotel supply, trying to attract new brands, and shows a promising economic outlook.
Tell us about Extra Hour Lab, an incubator that focuses on hotel concept and design development.
We compiled a group of people who pool different areas of expertise, such as design, psychology, anthropology, and cultural research. The lab mainly concentrates on our pipeline projects, where it takes the lead in creating the hotel’s narrative, serves as a sparring partner for the designer, and sources local partners for collaborations.
How do you choose design firms to work with?
Sometimes we already have a certain designer in mind. In Munich, we knew [Augsburg, Germany’s] Dreimeta would be a perfect fit. In other cases, we [invite bids from] a limited number of designers like we did in Düsseldorf, where we ended up working with Stylt Trampoli [from Göteborg, Sweden]. It is important to us that we are on the same wavelength as the designer. If the chemistry is not right, we would not work with a design studio, no matter how good their references are.
Where does 25hours see itself in 10 years?
We will probably have a portfolio of 40 to 50 hotels spread over the globe and will hopefully still be considered one of the innovators in the hotel market.