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Keeping It Local: Amano Hotels GROUP

Amano co-founder Ariel Schiff on the secret to his hotel group’s success.

Keeping It Local: Amano Hotels GROUP

Amano hotels launched in 2009 and very quickly made a name for themselves in Germany. Today, they have a property in central Dusseldorf as well as three in Berlin, with two more due to open this year and another two by 2018. United by tasteful, contemporary design, but each with a unique vibe, the hotels’ bars, restaurants and rooftops have become a hub for Europe’s trendsetters. We chatted with co-founder Ariel Schiff about the secret of his hotel group’s success.

 

One secret of Amano’s success is a focus on and understanding of local nuance that appeals to locals as well as visitors. Can you expand on this strategy?

It’s a simple secret. The fact is, we are locals. I didn’t just hire employees based on years of working in a hotel. I took people without hotel experience; they came from totally different fields but understand the meaning of lifestyle - and what it means to Berliners. Our secret is not to be like a normal hotel, like the big brands who make all their hotels alike, no matter where they are located. There are a lot of such hotels in Berlin, with the same concept all over the world. Our hotels are not just for visitors, but also for Berliners. They come to our restaurants, our bars... to have the Amano experience.

 

Suite

Credit: Suite at Amano Grand Central by Jens Bösenberg

 

Amano_Apartment

Credit: Apartment at Amano Grand Central by Jens Bösenberg

 

You are due to open four more properties by 2018. How have you planned this and what can we expect?

On Monday, 15th February 2016, we opened the Zoe at Hackescher Markt. In terms of size it’s between the Amano and the Mani and has 110 rooms. It fits in with the definition of a boutique hotel - very cosy - and we’ll also have a new G&T bar there. We will close the G&T Bar on Friedrichstrasse on Sunday as we’re starting construction of a new hotel on that site. The Zoe will have an Amano bar and small rooftop with incredible view.

 

On 15th May we’ll open the Amano Home. As a group we already have conferencing, a club, bars, restaurants... but to date we don’t have an apartment hotel. The apart hotel will consist just of apartments with kitchens. There’s no restaurant or breakfast room, but there is hotel service. You can choose to have your room cleaned once a day, twice a week etc. If you need grocery shopping, we’ll do it. So you get the whole service but you’re in your own apartment. If you want a bar or rooftop, the Amano is a 5-minute walk away.

 

The next hotel will be in Friedrichstraße where our G&T bar was. This will open in two years’ time and will be something special. Everything there is in the basement: reception, bar, breakfast room. Guests will enter into a courtyard with an outdoor bar and be brought down to the lobby by an elevator.Finally, we’re planning a larger project in Stralauer Strasse with 250 rooms. We’re not finished with the details yet, so I can’t tell you more. The construction will start next year.

 

Amano_Chairs

Credit: Bistro at Amano Grand Central  // Apartment Bar at Amano Grand Central by Jens Bösenberg

 

Amano_Bistro_Lounge

Credit: Bistro Lounge at Amano Grand Central by Jens Bösenberg

 

Design is clearly a crucial element of all your hotels. As you expand, how do you balance individuality with a consistent brand identity?

Our aim is not to be a brand with the same style in all our hotels. So we work with a different interior designer for each property. The designers consult with me and we work together. So there’s always an Amano feel with its own individual style.

 

What are the most important value-adds for millennials when it comes to accommodation?

Our value adds are more about the bars, rooftops, restaurants. It’s about the environment. Our rooms are perfect, but for the Amano feel, you have to be in the communal areas. That’s why locals come.

 

 

We are particularly excited by the recent opening of Amano Grand Central. Hauptbahnhof has long lacked decent accommodation options. How do you decide on new locations and what challenges are involved?

As I mentioned, we are locals, so we know what places are in need of hotels. For us, it’s easy because we know Berlin.

 

Amano_Interior

Credit: Lobby at Amano Grand Central by Jens Bösenberg

 

Amano_Rooftop

Credit: The Rooftop at Amano Grand Central by Stjepan Sedler 

24 / 03 / 2016 // by LigaStudios Team

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