Keep your brand special and make sure each location is unique – that's the success formula in the luxury segment, says Thomas Willms, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels.
"You can't replicate palaces," he said, speaking at the ITB in Berlin. "But you can create standards – and give a local touch. There are now new dimensions to luxury."
Steigenberger Hotels AG, now part of Deutsche Hospitality, was founded by Albert Steigenberger in 1930 when he bought Europäischer Hof in Baden-Baden, Germany. Currently, the hotel group owns more than 130 hotels on three continents.
Willms says that it's important to know your guests, anticipate their expectations, even if those are changing with the times.
Still, one thing hasn't changed – the memorable experience that comes with deep personalization, he added.
"For example, you like this small Italian restaurant and the Italian waiter knows exactly how you like your spaghetti, remembers your name, your children's names, this waiter cares about you – this is luxury in a way," he said. "As a result, the guest will come back and also tell all his friends about this restaurant."
"If we can get this right and duplicate it in a way that doesn't seem standardized, then we are the winners," he added.
Photo: Eros Banaj
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Jabeen Bhatti is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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