NH Hotels will present one of its projects to REbuild and participants will be asked to suggest innovative actions and compose a new implementation approach. “Even though, so far, we haven’t yet planned refurbishments or new openings with this innovative idea, I believe that off-site construction might really be considered one of the most interesting alternatives to traditional building – states Marco Gilardi, Operations Director of NH Hotel. Without doubt, it would be a “new way,” with a strong push towards innovation and sustainability, which are at the core of the NH Hotel Group’s beliefs. It would be the most efficient solution for reducing costs and building site time, thanks to technologically advanced tools. I think it’s very important to understand how this could be applied to many existing buildings, not just to new constructions.”
What are the developments and real estate operations that NH Hotels will be facing over the next few years in Italy?
The expansion of the company will continue to be a key element over the next few years. At the moment, the Group has a portfolio of signed projects for 30 hotels and over 5,000 rooms to be opened in the coming years. As far as Italy is concerned, we have an ambitious plan for 2018, that is to upgrade our portfolio, refurbish some hotels and open other new ones. And, obviously, to increase the company’s visibility. New entries in the pipeline are Venice and Milan. On April 27th, we inaugurated a new four-star hotel in Venice – the NH Rio Nuovo. By 2020, we will also open an NH Collection Hotel on the island of Murano – an interesting project which will involve the creation of this hotel within an ex glass-works. Then there will be a new hotel branded NH Hotels in Corso Buenos Aires, Milan.
The real key word of our strategic plan, however, is re-positioning and at the upper end of the market. The first step has already been taken with the two NH Collection hotels – Milan President and Florence Porta Rossa, which have recently been awarded five stars. Next on the list is the NH Milan Verdi, which will become NH Collection Milan Porta Nuova and NH Leonardo da Vinci which, by summer, will become the NH Collection Rome Centro. As a company, we have gambled a lot, in Italy too, on our top end brand ‘NH Collection,’ which was started in 2014 and already has 74 hotels throughout the world in 49 cities and 15 countries. This brand aims to provide an unforgettable stay, the outcome of the perfect combination of careful attention to detail, service and extremely high-quality products, modern technology and selected gourmet products.
What are the characteristics of your real estate product compared to the market of reference?
The truth is, that we are very flexible, even within our own market sector. For example, in Venice, we have a ‘Collection’ hotel in a historical building and an NH Hotel in a building dating back to the 1950s with a very modern style. In reality, the architecture of the NH Hotel Group aims at increasing our clients’ knowledge regarding the various product and service options offered by the company. For this reason, the Group’s hotel portfolio is structured in three brands: NH Collection, NH Hotels and NHOW. The NH Collection, which is in the premium hotel segment, has hotels situated in the major capitals of Europe and Latin America. These are hotels that wow their guests and exceed their expectations, in unique, authentic buildings which retain local character and inspire guests. We pay great attention to detail to ensure that ‘special experience,’ which is our aim, offering more than the guest actually expects. These hotels are often in historical locations, such as the Hotel Convento Di Amalfi or the Porta Rossa in Florence, carefully designed for guests who really want to make the most of their stay. There are the 4-star NH Urban Hotels, for the business or leisure traveller looking for an excellent position and the best value for money, with comfortable, functional bedrooms and services and buildings suitable for both of these two client types. We also offer the best solutions for the MICE segment
NHOW is a group of buildings that are unique creations. New forms of contemporary architecture, design and luxury by prestigious architects and interior designers, such as Matteo Thun, Rem Koolhaas and Karim Rashid. Each one has its own personality, inspired by the city in which it is located, becoming a distinctive point of reference both for the guests and also for the residents of the city. For those who want a bit of adventure and enjoy an unforgettable experience in chameleonic, creative, audacious and unusual environments.
In the session in Riva del Garda, you will present a project type that enables comparison between off-site and traditional construction and the community will be involved in the analysis and quest for solutions. What do you expect from this meeting with the REbuild community?
I would like to see a different approach to the problem, a different solution to those that have, up until now, guided our various works. Maybe the ability to think about working performance in shorter timescales but with the same quality and less disturbance to guests.