What kind of guests are you attracting to Steel House Copenhagen?
“When we look at the target group for Steel House Copenhagen, it’s wider than we had anticipated. It’s a bit like Norwegian [low-cost airline, ed.]. They also have an incredibly wide target group. Steel House mainly has guests in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
“There is a large group of people who travel to destinations to where there are cheap flight connections and where there should also preferably be cheap accommodation. That has been lacking here in Copenhagen. The life of the city itself is the most important asset; that’s what people travel for.
“Many travel around without having decided how long they want to stay at the individual destinations, so we often see guests extend their stay. It’s a different way to travel. To be honest, Steel House Copenhagen is also an attempt to recapture a bite of what Airbnb has taken from hotels. Today, Airbnb has about one million room nights out of the four million room nights that are sold each year in Copenhagen.”
What does the social aspect of the hostel mean to your business?
“Conceptually, it has been important for us to create common areas that invite you to stay, make your own food, drink a cup of coffee or enjoy a beer and simply hang out. We have succeeded beyond all expectations. Earnings-wise, this is also an important contribution to the hotel’s operation that one cannot ignore. In popular terms, the success of a hotel concept like Steel House Copenhagen can be measured in the bar.
“For us, Steel House has been about developing a new product that caters to the generation that likes to share, the millennials. If we look to the future, we believe that the social aspect where you get to know each other, eat together, etc., is something that all hotel guests will demand. And we’ll take note of that at our other hotels. It shouldn’t be like at a hostel, but there are elements that can be copied.
“We believe it can be introduced as a spice, but to a limited extent, depending on the hotel. Overall, there is a movement in that direction – a good example is Hotel Hornbækhus where the new owner, Lennart Lajboschitz [founder of the Flying Tiger Copenhagen stores, ed.] has introduced communal dining and with good success.”