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What do you do and how did you get here?
I am CEO and Partner of the 25hours Hotel Company. The company was founded in 2005 together with Kai Hollmann, Ardi Goldman and Stephan Gerhard. We currently have eight Hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Five more are in the planning stage. The recent partnership with AccorHotels opens new international perspectives for the near future.
What makes the 25hours Hotel concept stand out?
We are adventurous. Atmosphere and design elements surprise and stimulate. Each hotel has its own character closely interwoven with the local vibe and culture. We see ourselves as an orchestrating element.
What’s the next big thing in the travel/hotel industry?
The industry has been growing cookie-cutter style in the last decades. Now is the time for individuality and character.
What makes a great hotel?
Great staff; employees are empathetic hosts, greeting me and noticing me with real interest. An open fireplace and warm, welcoming atmosphere do the rest.
Favourite hotel and why?
Tricky question. I like a lot of hotels and I do not want to disadvantage any colleagues. But if I have to choose one it might be Schloss Elmau in southern Germany. Dieter Müller-Elmau found the perfect balance between contemporary luxury and genuine culture.
What is your dream hotel project?
With all of our urban and busy hotels, I sometimes dream of a small quiet hotel in southern France with an extraordinary farm-to-table restaurant.
Who do you admire in the industry?
Many hoteliers have formed the industry with their personality. I recently came across the biography of Isadore Sharp of Four Seasons Hotels. He quite impresses me.
What’s the most memorable journey you’ve ever been on?
It’s not a single destination. The last ten years have been an incredible journey. I have seen so many places and met inspiring people. I am thankful for that.
What advice do you have for aspiring hoteliers?
Be yourself and work hard. Sounds simple, it is not always.
What will you be doing a few years from now?
I am not that old! I hope I will be developing a few more hotels with atmosphere around the world over the next years.
All of your hotels have excellent bars. What will we find you sipping on there?
Together with our Partner Joerg Meyer and the Boilerman Team we have specialized in Highballs recently. So you might see me with a Gin Basil Highball.
If you could throw a dream party for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be for and what would the party look like?
That’s a tough one; there would be so many people on the list. Let’s start with my dear family and close friends and everyone who works with me at 25hours. Also I would love to have guys like Leonard Cohen or David Bowie around and I would ask them to play a few songs. I would not mind a few intellectual heroes like Oscar Wilde, Hermann Hesse and Ernest Hemingway. Interesting combination to deal with.
Where will you be in your next day off?
I am traveling more than 250 days per year, so a day off in my hometown Hamburg is a real treat. My not-so-secret hideaway is a short train ride from here on the island of Sylt or way up in the Swiss Mountains.