Every 25hours Hotel, from the food and drink to the interior design concepts, go far beyond the usual hotel styling. Here, RLI sits down with CEO & Partner Christoph Hoffmann to discuss what makes them stand out from the crowd and what the future holds for the company.
A fresh and dynamic hotel brand, 25hours Hotels builds upon the shoulders of traditional hotel businesses and searches for new answers to the ever-changing demands of an urban, cosmopolitan and culturally interested and brand aware audience.
They develop individual, made-to-measure hotels, with personality in lively locations with concepts that are based on dynamism, surprise and a touch of adventure, with each development having its focal points. The business fully devotes itself to creating unique destinations with soul, which are inspired by their locations and shaped by art, culture and stories of their surroundings.
The business currently operates 12 properties in Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.
“All of our properties are based in cities with a high percentage of corporate travel which obviously decreased drastically. Like most of our colleagues in hospitality, we have had a difficult year,” explains Christoph Hoffmann, CEO & Partner of 25hours Hotels. “However, we are looking to the future because we believe in the future of hospitality and we want to further focus on individuality, localisation, experience and soulful locations.”
25hours is expanding and targeting new destinations. In the development pipeline are hotels in Dubai, Florence, Melbourne, Sydney, two locations in Copenhagen and a number of deals that are due to be signed.
Hoffmann explains that it is more about the destinations than the markets. More so than before the pandemic, the team is searching for destinations which offer additional amenities rather than simply being a corporate hub. They want to be in locations with a wide range of things to do and sites with a narrative and the possibility of having leisure experiences in a city destination.
“What attracts us to new properties is the excitement of creating a new location with lots of experiences for our guests. This is how we remain innovative, by becoming inspired by the project, the people involved and of course the destination as well.”
For their current portfolio, the brand ensures these destinations remain attractive and exciting by involving unique concepts and content, concentrating on ambiance and design and always offering customer service that includes personality, honesty and authenticity. Finally, the sites always retain a sense of locality. Whenever 25hours are creating a new concept an aim is to focus on the locals and the neighbourhood to offer guests a sense of the area in which they are staying.
During the pandemic, the company has always maintained they should stay open and operating when at all possible, to offer shelter for those not travelling and those that have been able to travel. It is small things like this, showing the determination to remain open to assist with customers’ needs even when things are difficult that make 25hours Hotels stand out in the packed hotel sector and retain customer loyalty.
Having enjoyed a successful operation to date, what does Hoffmann consider the key drivers behind this to be?
“Through our expansion and growth, we have maintained the core values within our team. I believe trust, freedom, imperfections, not taking yourself too seriously and just a touch of anarchy are important. Last but not least, we believe in just creating hotels that possess character and soul,” explains Hoffmann.
As we near the end of the interview the topic turns towards e-commerce and social media and the part it now plays in the customer experience, and when we ask Hoffmann about how the company has adapted to the increasing importance of online retailing and social media channels, he explains that these are not new concepts in hospitality or with 25hours Hotels, as 80 per cent of their rooms are currently sold online via their own website, platforms or online travel agents. As for social media, they are not of critical importance but Instagram has become the relevant platform for them for brand building through owned and earned content.
On the horizon is a partnership between Accor & Ennismore, whose merging within the hospitality sector will offer 25hours a new platform to operate from and new avenues to pursue
“This will be a great opportunity for us to grow globally. Of course we have to be careful that the brand DNA adapts in a healthy way but this opportunity looks set to be a great opportunity to 25hours Hotels truly alive and kicking for a long time to come,” concludes Hoffmann.