TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Monday, July 9, 2018
Raul Palomo Marugan, General Manager at nhow Berlin
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Beren Dere
The first fully musical hotel in Europe, the award-winning venue for business events and the spectacular designer hotel that carries the signature look of star designer Karim Rashid. nhow Berlin is the place that you would like to be. In order to learn more about nhow Berlin, I talked to Raul Palomo Marugan, General Manager at nhow Berlin.
Raul, before start talking about nhow Berlin, could you tell us about you?
My commitment with NH Hotel Group has been marked in two phases, one in corporate offices and in openings of hotels in different countries, such as Hungary and Romania and a second phase oriented to specialization in emotional hotels or lifestyle. Between both phases, I worked in another company in which my main function was opening lifestyle hotels in the same line as the current nhow brand. Over the last few years my main motto in my work is “Client satisfaction is about reaching each guest's expectations, but even more so, it is about establishing standards and keeping the best team motivated to ensure the level of quality is upheld throughout the customer journey” The business of our people is what motivates me most every day.
I would like to start by asking about your building which is located in the formerly important city harbor of Osthafen. Could you give us an information about the nhow Berlin building?
The music and lifestyle hotel nhow Berlin, opened in November 2010, lies on the banks of the river Spree in the 'Osthafen' (East Harbour) area. The site where trading posts once stood during the height of industrialisation, and goods were loaded onto ships with huge cranes, is now home to one of the most creative and lively neighbourhoods of the capital. Businesses predominantly from the fashion and music industries have settled here alongside the numerous bars and clubs. Contrasts are also visible in the signatures of those responsible for the design of the nhow Berlin: the clear, hard lines of Sergei Tchoban of NPS Tchoban Voss, architect BDA, meet the colour and formal bliss of the New York designer Karim Rashid.
Could you also tell us about unique interior design that nhow Berlin has? Who designed nhow Berlin interiors? What was the inspiration for the project?
The entire interior of the nhow Berlin was designed by none other than New York's Karim Rashid. A work of art in its own right, the nhow Berlin is a modern architectural and design highlight of the capital.
Upon stepping into the nhow Berlin, one becomes part of the poetic, colourful, almost surreal world of Karim Rashid. The work of the New York designer has won many design awards and been exhibited in large museums across the world, from the Museum of Modern Art to the Centre Georges Pompidou.
Karim's vision is a radical design movement, calling for a break with old ways of looking and living, and the creation of a world free from nostalgia: 'My vision engages technology, visuals, textures, colour, as well as all the needs that are intrinsic to living in a simpler less cluttered but more sensual environment. Design touches us on every level, and design can continue to define and shape our dimensional interior environments and create new progressive human behaviors and new languages. I always question whether the physical world is as experiential, as seductive, as connective, as inspiring, as personalizable, and customizable as the digital world.”
'Infosthetic', along with 'blobject' and 'technorganic', is one of the many word creations with which Karim describes his design principles. He wishes to reflect, comment on and visualise the information age with his design. Karim's digital and energetic designs infuse the whole building, from the lift area, to the wall paper in the halls, through to the floor coverings in the rooms. Through this singularity of design the designer creates an environment that inspires - as does the city, in which the nhow hotel calls home.
nhow Berlin is Europe's first music hotel. Could you tell us about nhow Berlin and your Music and Stay concept?
Nhow Berlin is born as a real alternative to the client who feels the emotions through all his senses. The music is vital in our day to day, even in the life of the corporate client and not only the leisure, but we leave aside the visual with the different decoration that does not leave indifferent to our customers.
If we focus on music, we are the first fully musical hotel in Europe. From our breakfast with a clear trend in decoration to the music, to our lobby with the only scenario inside a hotel. We have two recording studios where not only the most recognized artists are performing their works, but also the musicians who want to start their career. Definitely the studios with better views of Berlin!
Another of the characteristics that makes us different is our service Room service of guitars. The customer contacts reception and the guitar with an amplifier is taken to the room at no cost. The music is served!
In rooms of different categories, the client can find pianos and guitars to his free enjoyment.
How many types of room do you offer in nhow Berlin? What are their common features?
Our categories are from the standard room overlooking the river Spree or the city, passing by superior rooms in the same modality to the fantastic Junior Suite with size from 45 to 65 square meters. Besides we have 10 suites located in what we call the tower or outbound on the river Spree with fantastic views of the river and the Oberbaumbrucke Bridge.
We cannot finish the description of types of rooms without talking about our Suite with 258 square meters and 110 square meters of additional terrace. The room is two levels with a large pink staircase that connects both spaces.
Eat, Meet, Drink, Dance. How many different events did you host this year? Please tell us about your meeting and event spaces.
We can host any event at a uniquely spectacular location featuring 7 different functions rooms with 4,6 high ceilings and Berlin's only conference room with a direct view of the Spree River and direct terrace access. The 964 sqm. Can accommodate up to 750 guests. One of the special features of the largest conference rooms is its direct link to the nhow MUSIC Suite on the 8th floor of the crane house. This makes it possible to make a direct recording of press conferences, podium discussions or concerts in the music studio.
Our year 2018 is being really productive, surpassing the expectations marked and much higher than last year. We have held all kinds of events to date, with customers of all types of segment and in particular those that design and innovation is part of their day-to-day.
It is worth mentioning our monthly event, music Night on the stage where all kinds of live music and with great acceptance in the Berlin market are fused.
External and in-house customers come together to enjoy the best music and the best cocktails in the city.
What type of sustainability projects do you maintain for saving our nature and earth?
NH Hotel Group is currently the only hotel chain in the world with a manual that includes the environmental requirements that must be applied in the conception, design, and construction of hotels or renovations of the Group. The Hotel Ecoefficient Guide is the cornerstone for sustainable growth, which symbolizes the commitment of the NH Hotel Group and the support towards the transition to a low carbon economy and contributes to the sustainability of the destinations in which it operates. This manual contains water and energy saving strategies and sets out guidelines concerning the use of materials and construction in order to ensure that the hotels are more efficient and environmentally friendly.
More than 8,900 rooms in nearly 100 hotels NH Hotel Group have a third-party independently accredited environmental certification either ISO 14001, ISO 50001, Green Key or others. nhow Berlin is amongst those.
Which services and features of nhow Berlin make it different from other hotels?
Still have doubts about the difference with other hotels? You just have to enjoy it.
What kind of additional services do you offer for business travelers?
The business with music, good atmosphere, good decoration and perfect decoration sound better than a good piano masterpiece. If you put all this in a bag and stir, this is nhow Berlin. Welcome!
Could you explain us the recently re-launched NH Rewards system and benefits?
The renewed NH Rewards program makes it really easy for our guests to collect and redeem points. Themed "RETURN - RELIVE", the program offers much more attractive and generous benefits to reward the loyalty of our regular customers from day one. Now, the percentage of points that customers accumulate for spending on their stays is almost doubled, while at the time of redeeming them maintains a transparent and easy-to-understand mechanics, in which one point equals one euro.
The points can be redeemed for free nights, discounts and exclusive benefits in all the brands of NH Hotel Group (NH Hotels, NH Collection, Hesperia Resorts and nhow) in nearly 400 hotels present in 30 countries. As far as the programme categories are concerned, the Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels are maintained, based on the frequency of nights booked by the customer during the year. The reward in points and the benefits before, during and after the stay increase with the card level. At the same time, now it is much easier to upgrade to the next category, with the possibility of reaching the Silver category after only five nights of stay, and the update of each level is automatic.
Travelling and enjoying your business or weekend trips has never been this easy. Return and relive your experience with us!
Find out more here https://www.nh-hotels.de/nhrewards
If you have only one weekend in Berlin as a first time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?
The charm of Berlin is that you have a great fusion of ancient history, with modern history, which affects us very close.
But if there is one thing that characterizes Berlin it is its great dynamism and its life. This is what you should enjoy when you come to Berlin. The people, the restaurants, the bars, the history in the streets and the big difference that makes this city the capital of the future in Europe. It is a mixture of big European cities like London, Paris, and Madrid with the German feeling. A good beer, a big boat ride down the river, or a visit to its interesting museums make the weekend something to remember.
How do you describe Berlin in one sentence?
Berlin is European capital in constant change and a promising future.
Anything you would like to add that I haven't asked?
When you come to Berlin you could enjoy nhow Berlin as the best option on your trip.
Thank you Raul.