26 October, Il Sole 24 Ore
The German group specialised in budget hotels opens in Milan and Rome
It’s the new frontier of hospitality, addressing the needs of who want to travel on a budget.
They’re called budget hotels and they combine together hotels and hostels, reaching in this way a wider target range that goes from school groups to who travels for business, big families and travellers not seeking luxury.
This is the philosophy of the Meininger group, operating all over Europe and now also in Italy.
From a real estate point of view, these are big chains that can bring new life to the market, recovering and renovating buildings in less central areas of the cities but well- connected with public transportation and that are currently struggling to be placed in the market.
The plan for Italy is aggressive. “Some deals have already been signed – says Veronica Sagliaschi, Meininger development manager – “and negotiations are currently in process. The next opening is in Rome in Piazza Indipendenza, the construction site will start in November and the inauguration is expected by January 2018. There are then two projects in Milan, one in the Garibaldi area (80 rooms) that will open by December 2017, the second is in the Lambrate neighbourhood (130 rooms). This latter originates from the agreement with Beni Stabili Siiq. It implies the reconversion of some existing buildings to turn them into hospitality facilities. The investment is made by the property owner, while we take care of the furnishing”.
Meininger generally signs agreements for the duration of 20 years, a guarantee for the owners.
The group is based in Berlin and is owned by Holidaybreak Ltd, a tour operator active in international travel with a particular attention on the segment constituted by young people and students, and owned by the group Cox & Kings, one of the oldest tourism companies in Europe. The target of school groups comes from its tour operator division, Meininger host the students in six-beds dormitories.
“We look for buildings with dimensions comprised between 3,500 and 12 thousand Sq m– continues Sagliaschi – and that are open to being remodelled according to our standards.
The group currently has 17 hotels in Europe for a total of 8,400 beds, but there are other 15 projects for which a preliminary agreement has been signed.
“In Italy, there are current negotiations to open in Turin and Naples – continues the manager – while it’s difficult to find buildings suitable to our requirements in Venice after the attempt to open in Marghera had failed. One of the reasons is that, according to our model, we never go below 80 rooms”. There are other cities in Italy the group is researching on such as Bologna, Verona and Genoa.
In Europe, the group has just signed an agreement to open a hotel in Bordeaux. The growth of the brand is also due to the partnership started in 2014 with Foncière des Règions through its subsidiary Foncière des Murs.
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi