Falkensteiner Hotels

Falkensteiner Hotels – Current Feature – Issue 125


Born in the region of South Tyrol at the crossroads between two worlds, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences prides itself on making guests feel at home away from home. RLI speaks with CEO Otmar Michaeler to discuss what the future holds as the company looks to expand…

The history of Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences can be traced to the opening of a small guest house in the Pustertal Valley of South Tyrol in 1957 by Maria and Josef Falkensteiner. Fast forward 60 years and the company has become a real European success story. The small family hotel has matured into a successful hotel group with over 2,000 employees in its 32 hotels and residences. Its properties currently operate across Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Serbia and Slovakia. The last 12 months have been a particularly busy and productive time for Falkensteiner. In this time they have signed an important joint venture deal with Morgan Stanley to advance their expansion plans, sold five hotels to the Austrian private investor Huemer Invest and launched a redeveloped and restructured five-star hotel in the well-known luxury destination of Sardinia.

“There are various projects in Austria, and we would like to expand to Germany as it is a very important market where we have a lot of customers.”

Otmar Michaeler, Chief Executive Officer, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences

Looking forward, CEO of Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Otmar Michaeler is eyeing further expansion over the coming months. “There are various projects in Austria, and we would like to expand to Germany as it is a very important market where we have a lot of customers, he says. “Additional expansion will also occur in Italy and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic in particular is an interesting market for us, as we develop new projects for investors as well as acting as an operator. As a company we can run hotels but we can also develop them together with partners,” explains Michaeler. While there are further locations within Croatia and Italy which still excite, the company is to focus next on setting up operations across Germany and Greece, which are both considered important future markets.


A HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Location is the most considered factor when Falkensteiner is looking at new properties, it is required that it is a site that matches the group’s spirit and its four- or five-star standards. A long-term operation contract is also a necessity, normally one in the region of 15-20 years. So what is done to ensure properties remain attractive and exciting? “We are permanently on the lookout to improve and optimise our services day and night. We include our kids concept Falky across all our hotels, we are always working on our F&B offering and we are looking to include new features such as hotels featuring adult only areas,” explains Michaeler. Having a very family driven philosophy is something that has kept guests coming back to the company’s hotels throughout its 60 years of operation.

“Our experience in serving our guests is what makes us different, and we have created a brand which has a clear focus on premium products so that when customers visit our hotels.”

Otmar Michaeler, Chief Executive Officer, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences

In line with how e-commerce and social media is becoming a pivotal part of the modern brand, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences has responded by putting in place a very strong online and e-commerce team. Of the groups €200M revenue in the last year, more than 60 per cent of this has come through the group’s own booking channels and additional online reservation services. The group continues to work on making the most of social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Michaeler believes that whilst this is the new type of media, there is still a place for what he calls traditional marketing.


For the full article, please see the July/August 2017 issue or subscribe here