At Mestre, the satellite city, 10 minutes by train from Venice Canal City, is now viable the first A & O Hotel and hostel in Venice Mestre. This is the first A & O German structure in Italy, new in its concept: Italian design to suit Italian taste, said the CEO Oliver Winter.
A twin structure is being planned under the supervision of architect Sandro Binà whose opening is expected in 2018, it will add 800 beds to the current 986 distributed in 309 rooms, mainly for family use, and always with a large ensuite bathroom. The A&O also has a garage for 30 cars.
Design, convenience, easy to reach location, affordable rates. The prices of the accommodations depend on the assignment. These are the characteristics of the new hotel, spartan but beautiful, marking an important milestone in the Group’s expansion strategy, founded in 2000 and now counting 33 accommodation facilities in 22 European cities between Germany, Austria, Prague, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, with the favorite being the A & O Hamburg City with 2 thousand beds.
The average overnight stay is 2-3 nights for the Italian client who especially loves the facilities of Munich, Amsterdam, and Berlin and prefers the double room with breakfast included. However, unlike foreigners, Italians book through the travel agency rather than via the Internet or directly at aohostels.com where discounted prices may be found.
The choice of the lagoon city is due to a chain expansion policy that, says Winter, “Favors the potential of a full tourist destination and crowns the personal love of my partner in Venice. With the new AO Hotel Venezia Mestre, we aim mainly for short stays, such as school trips and study stays, and with about 300,000 nights per year, we aim at a maximum of 80% occupancy. This year we are talking about 50,000 nights.”
All in all, the Group counts 3.6 million overnight stays in 2016, and this year the chain is already at 3.2, with the customer profile becoming increasingly flexible in its choices, in line with the continued demand of low-cost hospitality in design hotels, so does the family segment as well, but the core business is always that of groups and school children (under 18 children and teenagers do not pay).
Twenty-seven million euros in the overall investment value, for 18 months working with an Italian architect and companies: “It’s cheaper to work on the site without counting the superior quality of it,” stated Winter. “The style here is different from anyone else of the chain hostels: there is more design, because in Italy, you love beautiful.”
The Venice-Mestre 9-story structure reflects the new look of the Group: modern, minimal, yet of high quality even in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency. Everywhere inside the clients can connect to a high-speed Wi-fi network, and the rooms come with tablets and USB ports. And room locks, which work with coded magnetic concatenators, are ready for future hotel evolution, with opening by smartphone.
Design elements that recall the typical décor of Venice, especially with Murano glass, run in the façade, reception, bar, breakfast room (for 300 guests, also available for events), and in individual rooms. For greater privacy, single bunk beds of family rooms include LED reading lights, tablet supports, and USB ports.
The agreement, then, with a local firm allows to rent bicycles, but the future is in the train-shuttle from Mestre to Venice, with a dedicated track, an alternative project system for public transport for tourists, currently under study between the Municipality and Rfi so as not to congest the already delicate transport system in use by residents.
Finally, Italy’s AO Hotels and Hostel’s operation does not end here: “We are currently working on other projects on Milan, Florence, Rome, Bologna, Genoa, and Siena,” concluded Winter.