Hospitality Design - May 2016 - (Page 234)
This industry is full of amazing talent, and HD Expo is bringing some of the best in
class to the stage this month. Here, we talk to six of the more than 100 speakers to
find out what they love about the business, recent projects of note, and what's next.
The lobby at Room Mate Giulia in Milan by Patricia Urquiola.
President and Founder
Room Mate Hotels
You recently launched Be Mate, an
online platform of apartment rentals
backed by hotel services. How did the
idea come about?
We have always bet on innovation. Room Mate
Hotels was born as a result of thinking not only of
our customers but also like customers. We have
developed a concept based on location, design,
[personalized] treatment, and good value-what I
call affordable luxury.
BeMate.com has been an evolution of this.
Clients' needs are changing, and we must evolve
and adapt to them. We mixed the best things of
both worlds, the freedom of an apartment with
the comfort and convenience of hotel services,
mixed with the added value of our City Mate
How does it work?
BeMate.com links travelers with hosts. Due to
our expertise in hospitality and the knowledge
May 2016 hospitalitydesign.com
of our guests, we offer a great number of extra
services through City Mate. They are local
experts who take care of the guests, before,
during, and after their stay. They welcome guests
at the apartments and manage everything they
may need (cleaning service, key pick up and
drop off, transfers, tickets for shows, best places
to visit). Also, Room Mate Hotels are available
for [the guests]: they have 24-hour concierge in
our hotels, luggage storage, and some of our most
relevant services like WiMate-wifi in all the
What's your expansion plan?
We now have around 10,000 apartments in eight
cities including New York, Miami, Amsterdam,
Istanbul, Florence, Madrid, and Barcelona. In
2016 we will be in the main capitals like Paris,
London, Milan, Rome, and Lisbon.
What has been the initial response?
We are promoting a different way of traveling
and many people who were afraid or reluctant to
stay in apartments have realized they can have
a complete experience. It's been especially wellreceived for long trips. The market was asking for
something like this.
Is it a response to Airbnb?
This is not a direct response to Airbnb but to
customer needs. We have improved the concept
of other platforms to offer confidence and
How is Airbnb affecting the hotel
industry, if at all?
It is another player and that's always good for the
industry. Competition is great; it makes products
and standards better.
What's next for Room Mate in terms of
We are living a wonderful moment at Room
Mate. We have 22 hotels opened worldwide, and
we are opening eight new hotels in 2016. We have
just launched our first hotel in Milan, and very
soon we will have new properties in Rotterdam,
Barcelona, Istanbul, Madrid, and Malaga, Spain,
among others. Paris, London, and Rome will
probably be signed this year.
Panel: European Imports, May 5th, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - May 2016
Hospitality Design - May 2016
From the Editor
People: HD Summit
People: CitySCENE Atlanta
Business Sense: Mergers
Sustainable Studio: Toscana Resort Castelfalfi
Inspiration: Zaha Hadid Superyachts
Trends: Airport Lounges
Trends: Extended Stays
Interview: Brad Wilson
Interview: Chip Conley
Interview: Alan Faena
Interview: Neil Jacobs
Interview: Pacifica Hotels
5 Questions for Dan Flannery
Profile: Thom Filicia
Trends Custom Art
HD Expo Preview
From the Show Director
Places: Las Vegas
Special Feature: Los Angeles
The Camby Hotel + Axiom Hotel
The Charmant Hotel
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge
Talde Miami Beach
Hospitality Design - May 2016