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Eric Van Dyjk, COO Meininger Hotels

The German group Meininger wants to host both young people and business clientele at its hybrid accommodations concept that fall somewhere between youth hostels and business hotels. The chain, which has a network of 2,100 rooms and 7,000 beds in 16 properties in Europe (nine in Germany, one in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Salzburg and Vienna), is thus able to accommodate several types of complementary clientele.

What was the source of inspiration your product? Did you foresee a change in the market?

When Meininger was founded in 1999 its aim was to create a product that is a cross between hotel and hostel; a hybrid accomodation offering more than a hostel and cheaper than a hotel. The founders knew this was a market with great potential.

Which customer profiles does your product target?

Meininger is ideally positioned to accommodate business travellers, individual guests, families, school trips and tour groups. The share of these target groups is different from hotel to hotel. Each hotel is tailored and adapted to the particular target market the hotel caters to in a given location. Accomodations range from classic private double, twin or multibed rooms to shared hostel style dorm rooms with multiple beds.

What are the expectations of the new generation in terms of tourist accommodation? And how does your product respond to that?

The new generation needs high speed internet for free. They are digital natives travelling with one or more mobile devices. The internet is an essentail part of their lives. That is why we offer unlimited free WiFi throughout the hotel. We are steadily working on a better and faster internet connection. Furthermore we have numerous power sockets all over the hotel, under the tables in the breakfast room and lobby, USB plugs next to beds and charging stations for mobile phones in the lobby. Our guests will never run out of power.

What are the advantages of a hybrid product in terms of development and management?

With a hybrid product you are more flexible in regards to layout of public space and also rooms and room types. This makes seemingly “difficult” buildings in great location suitable for our Meininger hotel product.

Have you met any difficulties in the development of your product?

We are dealing with real estate so there are always challenges and opportunities. And each city and location might have different smaller issues which all need to be reviewed and checked. Having multi bedrooms does not always conform to the construction standards of a city. So we must ensure we have specialists on board who understand the local rules and regulations to ensure we can move forward.

Do you think you can go further with the hybrid concept?

It is our goal to bring Meininger hotels to each major city in Europe and ideas are being developed to take our concept further

Also read:

  • Foncière des Régions and Meininger Hotels agree a strategic investment partnership
  • Foncière des Régions and Meininger signed an agreement for a new hotel in Munich
  • Meininger Hotels, the tip of the Cox & Kings iceberg
  • Alternative products: 2-in 1 offers and sometimes more

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