25hours The Royal Bavarian Munich

25hours Hotels – creating soulful spaces and memories

25hours Hotels is a fresh and dynamic hotel brand, which builds upon the shoulders of the traditional hotel business and searches for new answers to the demands of an urban, cosmopolitan, culturally interested and brand-aware audience. They develop individual hotels with personality in lively locations and devote themselves to creating unique destinations with soul, inspired by their sites and shaped by art, culture and stories of their surroundings. Mr Hudson speaks to Bruno Marti, Chief Brand Officer, about the 25hours Hotels brand, his role within the business, and trends in hospitality.

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Tell us about yourself

As Chief Brand Officer, I organize the development of new initiatives, services and brands within the 25hours universe and make sure they live up to our expectations towards quality and quirkiness. A particular focus lies on new restaurant brands. I have been with the company for over ten years. Initially, I was overseeing operational marketing and communications, and now, in line with the faster growth of the group, I concentrate on innovation and new surprises.

Bruno Marti 25hours Hotels

Bruno Marti | Photo: Sven Hoffmann

What does the 25hours Hotels brand stand for?

Apart from delivering an upscale hotel service, our focus lies on creating experiences and surprises. We like it quirky, colourful and loud. 25hours Hotels stand out in their respective market and always try to be an active part of their neighbourhood. A critical factor for this is the strength in food and beverage. Our restaurants and bars are attractive hot spots for locals and travellers alike – and in some destinations better known than the hotel as such.

“Apart from delivering an upscale hotel service, our focus lies on creating experiences and surprises – we like it quirky, colourful and loud”

What makes 25hours Hotels unique?

Well, the uniqueness makes them unique. “You know one, you know none”, was one of our early marketing claims. So, no cookie-cutter design! Each 25hours Hotel is developed as an individual, stand-alone boutique hotel in style, personality and attitude. Of course, there is a common quality in hardware and service, but every time you enter one of our properties, a new world opens.

25hours At MuseumsQuartier Vienna

25hours Hotel MuseumsQuartier Vienna | Photo: Stephan Lemke

25hours Altes Hafenamt Hamburg

25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt Hamburg | Photo: Stephan Lemke

What makes a great hotel?

It might sound banal, but it should feel like home. Without the household chores or the annoying family members, maybe. No, seriously: There are high-end hotels that try to support their guests’ status by being particularly obedient. This is part of a traditional image of luxury and makes this particular type of grand hotel really great. We at 25hours try to be on eye level with our guests and make them feel comfortable in any situation. That’s a more contemporary kind of great.

To what extent are your properties a reflection of their location?

Their location, city or neighbourhood always inspire 25hours Hotels. Each hotel is tailor-made to its location. Local collaborations and partnerships are particularly important. In the end, it is about being social and interacting with your neighbours. Be it a design studio or a kindergarten.

25hours Terminus Nord Paris

25hours Hotel Terminus Nord Paris | Photo: Steve Herud

How has hospitality evolved over the last decade or so?

In some ways, hospitality has not changed over several decades. Our core product – a decent bed & shower and a breakfast – has not really changed. I generally see two opposing trends or growing markets in hospitality: On the one hand, we see mushrooming of stylish budget products. A lot of new brands emerge with standardized design and limited service. On the other hand – and this is where 25hours has its roots – we find more and more boutique hotel brands with an attitude and cultural approach. There, the experience is more in focus than the hardware.

“Each 25hours Hotel is developed as an individual, stand-alone boutique hotel in style, personality and attitude”

How do you keep up with changing customer expectations?

We have never tried to concentrate too much on expectation but always focused on ideas and initiatives we (founders and management) found cool or appropriate. It is part of the success to follow our instincts and not the guest’s expectation

Who is your typical customer?

The times with easily and clearly defined target groups are long over. Depending on the destination, the customer can be more conservative or hip, more on business or leisure, more with family or alone. What they have in common is a certain interest in new things. They don’t just book an overnight stay, but a full destination experience that does not end at the doorstep.

25hours Bikini Berlin

25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin | Photo: Stephan Lemke

What is next for 25hours Hotels?

Growth is our next big issue. We have upcoming openings over the next moths in Florence, Copenhagen and – for the first time outside Europe – in Dubai. At the same time, we are working behind the scenes on cool city destinations around the globe.

What are some of your favourite places that people need to know about?

Within our hotels, it is usually the restaurant or the bar. As a workplace during the day and for the drink at night. When leaving the hotel, I am generally drawn to and into the water. Especially in summer, it is where much of the public life of many of our 25hours destinations happens. Zürich has the Lake, Hamburg has the river Elbe, Munich the Isar, Cologne the Rhine…and all these water reservoirs have their – more or less – secret spots for a bbq or a dip.

Any recommendations for our readers?

Don’t plan any minute of a vacation or hotel stay in advance. The fun lies in the serendipity. And: ask the hotel staff about those secret recommendations they would typically reserve for their friends.

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