With its lean luxury philosophy, Ruby Hotels has a streamlined organisational structure and succeeds in creating a contemporary, affordable form of luxury for modern, cost and style-conscious customers. Here, RLI spends some time with Michael Struck, Founder & CEO of the company to discuss its ongoing expansion plans and sustainability efforts.
Founded in 2013, Ruby Hotels is breaking new ground with its unique ethos. By prioritising certain elements and streamlining their operation, they can offer guests what matters to them most, affordable luxury.
This concept succeeds because they accommodate these unique settings in a relatively condensed space, foregoing unnecessary services. Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, the brand plans, builds and organises itself differently from conventional hotels.
“To be specific, we plan and build in a very modular way, centralising and automating processes behind the scenes wherever possible,” explains Michael Struck, Founder & CEO, Ruby Hotels. “This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”
The business currently operates fourteen hotels across Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK, with another scheduled to open in Amsterdam in the coming weeks. Away from their current operating portfolio, nine more sites are contractually secured and under construction, which will add Italy and Ireland to their geographic portfolio.
The company also operates Ruby Workspaces, which are perfectly equipped workplaces that garner a creative atmosphere and offer an inspiring office environment. Two of these are currently operating in Germany, with three more set to open shortly in the Austria and
Recent hotel launches by Ruby Hotels include their second hotel in Munich, Ruby Rosi, and their first hotel in Geneva, Ruby Claire just a few weeks ago. One more opening meanwhile, Ruby Emma in Amsterdam, is on course to open imminently. Looking ahead they are excited to continue their expansion successfully in Ireland, Scotland and other European countries.
“We already have some exciting projects and also new markets in the pipeline for the next years. This will include cities like Dublin and Florence, but also further openings in London and Frankfurt are planned. In addition, we are of course continuously looking at other markets in Europe. Further afield, back in 2018, we established a joint venture in China together with our partner Delonix, formerly known as the Betterwood Group,” explains Struck.
When speaking about what initially attracts Ruby to new properties, the Founder & CEO immediately says location. He goes onto say that for their target group, it is key to be in the gastronomical and nightlife hotspots, those areas of a city where the creative crowd meets. At the same time, they want their guests to be well connected in terms of transport, as well as being within close reach of the central business district (CBD) and key leisure attractions.
Since the beginning, online capabilities have been a major strength of the brand and this year they are planning to relaunch their website in order to offer their customers an even better experience and a more intuitive way of booking.
“We have also expanded our content strategy for more unique stories directly from our destinations, and we launched Ruby TV, our own in-house TV channel, showing exclusive content from Ruby for our guests,” Struck highlights.
Sustainability is and has been an integral part of Ruby’s philosophy from the start. Energy efficiency is part of their technical expertise, augmented by their space efficiency. Plastic was banned from their properties a long time ago and they make sure to reduce waste by going for large-volume bindings, reusability and recyclability; with a good example of this being their self-created amenity products.
“Even in our buildings and furnishings, our focus is on re-use of the existing, rather than absorbing resources for new manufacture. We source locally, wherever possible, from suppliers who work sustainably; in foods, this means most of our products are organic. There is more, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how importantly we take sustainability,”
With their lean luxury approach, Ruby Hotels can consistently offer something new and it means the brand offers an experience others in the industry cannot. While it is a competitive concept, Struck highlights that you need smart and passionate people to bring it to life, and the team at Ruby do this with precision and he readily admits the Ruby team is the most important factor behind their success.
“As we look to the future, one challenge for Ruby will be to maintain our strategic discipline, focusing strictly on our niche and remaining true to our lean philosophy. The second one will be finding, and keeping, the right people to execute, by living and promoting Ruby’s unique culture,” Struck concludes.