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AccorHotels’ investment and buying spree continues.
After closing its acquisitions of alternative accommodations provider onefinestay and luxury hotel brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel earlier this year, the company announced it has taken a 30 percent stake in 25hours Hotels, a Hamburg-based boutique hotel chain.
Accor’s investment is aimed at helping 25hours Hotels expand globally. The company, which has seven hotels in various cities throughout Germany and Austria, plans to open five more hotels in Germany and Paris over the next two years.
It’s expected that with Accor’s backing, the 25hours Hotels can also pursue expansion beyond Europe in destinations that include Melbourne, Miami, or Milan. The company’s CEO, Christoph Hoffman, will continue to run 25hours and the transaction is still subject to regulatory approval from authorities in Germany and Austria.
In a statement, Christoph Hoffmann, CEO of 25hours said, “Loyal partners have supported our growth in the German-speaking market for the past 10 years and we now also have the opportunity to conquer the world with a global partner. This strategic partnership represents a key milestone in our company’s history and a new adventure we are looking forward to.”
Sébastien Bazin, AccorHotels chairman and CEO added, “This alliance came about because we were immediately attracted by these individual, design-oriented boutique hotels that are a great workplace for urban nomads and an ideal starting point for outings into key cities. Through this partnership, AccorHotels is investing further in one of the fastest growing segments in the industry and enriching its offer to achieve scale in this segment. Today, we are going one step further in our strategy to be a global leader in lifestyle hotels.”
Building AccorHotels’ Boutique Hostel Portfolio
AccorHotels has pursued a number of strategic investments in a variety of companies within the last year, many of them involved in the sharing economy. In February, it announced it acquired a 30 percent stake in Miami-based Oasis, an alternative accommodations provider, and a 49-percent stake in Squarebreak, a French high-end vacation rental startup.
In September, the company also announced the debut of its newest brand, Jo&Joe, which follows a model closely related to Generator Hostels in that it’s a design-forward, co-living-like take on the contemporary hostel.
To create Jo&Joe, AccorHotels undertook an “excubation” project, led by the company’s Marketing Innovation Lab, which reached out to guests, experts, students, and various members of AccorHotels executive team and departments. Together, they worked with UK design firm Penson and “territory designing agency,” W, to bring Jo&Joe to life.
Based on the press statement issued by AccorHotels, it also appears that this investment in 25hours Hotels will provide the company with some creative capital, too. The 25hours team is currently in the process of building a creative design lab called the “Extra Hour Lab” to “carry out off-the-wall experiments and design new, exciting creations that are detached from its day-to-day business, and unconventional for the industry,” said Hoffman.
The plans for 25hours’ Extra Hour Lab seem to echo what Accor did with the development of its Jo&Joe brand. Although 25hours isn’t a hostel brand, per se, its emphasis on creative design and social spaces has a strong parallel to what AccorHotels has planned for its new Jo&Joe brand. 25hours also complements AccorHotels’ existing Mama Shelter boutique hotel brand.