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Vienna International to Enter UK Hotel Market

Vienna International to Enter UK Hotel Market

Vienna International Hotels & Resorts, Austria’s largest hotel operator with 12 hotels in Germany under the Arcadia, andel’s and Angelo brands (as well as 26 hotels and resorts in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Belarus) is to enter the UK hotel market.

Rupert Simoner, Chief Executive, Vienna International Hotels & Resorts

Rupert Simoner, Chief Executive, Vienna International Hotels & Resorts

 

Speaking at the fifth anniversary celebrations of the andel’s Hotel Łódź this weekend in Łódź, Poland’s third largest city, Rupert Simoner, Vienna International’s newly appointed Chief Executive, said: “My first task is to learn what the existing VI brands and hotels are all about and to consider how and where we are to develop them further. Yes, we will be expanding into the UK – which is a place you have to be for a hotel brand to make its mark if you plan to spread through Europe.”

Rupert took over the role of Chief Executive on 1st September 2014, having previously been Senior Vice President of Kempinski Europe, General Manager at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains St Moritz, and having represented the Kempinski hotel group throughout Asia, Africa and Europe.

Vienna International hotels include the Dream Castle Hotel and Magic Circus Hotel at Disneyland Resort Paris, France, the andel’s Hotel in Berlin, Germany, and five hotels in Prague, Czech Republic.

4-star andel’s Hotel Łódź in Poland’s third largest city

4-star andel’s Hotel Łódź in Poland’s third largest city

Asked by Irish Travel Trade News, immediately after his first quick tour of the andel’s Hotel Łódź, what had surprised him most about the hotel and what, if anything, he had made a note of to have changed, he quickly replied: “I am surprised at how well the architect has combined the old and new and has integrated all the floor levels – and I will be sending Anna Olszynska, the General Manager, a friendly email tomorrow suggesting provision in each guest room of a visitor’s guide to what to see and do in Łódź.”

Hotel lobby with light wells visually integrating upper floor levels

Hotel lobby with light wells visually integrating upper floor levels

andel’s Hotel Łódź

Five years ago, the industrialist Izrael Poznanski’s 19th-century textile factory was restored and converted into a 21st-century luxury hotel. Combining architectural heritage with modern amenities and design, and creating a ‘domestic/hotel’ feel in such large-scale industrial spaces, are difficult tasks and both have been well accomplished, as has been the visual integration of the various floor levels, including use of soft, slowly changing coloured lighting strips around the light wells.

Strip lighting around the light wells slowly change colours

Strip lighting around the light wells slowly change colours

Franz Jurkowitsch, Chief Executive of developer Warimpex of Vienna, said: “Monument protection regulations often suffocate the possibilities for new life in old buildings, but in creating the andel’s Hotel Łódź the architects, Op Architekten of Vienna, have done very good work.”

Although it has a 4-star rating, the andel’s Hotel Łódź is a 5-star hotel in location, ambience, facilities and staff service levels. Vienna International keeps it at 4-star in order to continue attracting companies and organisations that exclude the use of 5-star hotels in their corporate travel policies.

The guest rooms are also well designed, particularly the bathrooms with their glass doors to WC and shower units (there is a separate bath with shower), undercounter strip light, and immaculate tiling.

Top floor swimming pool in the skySPAce spa overlooks the Manufaktura shopping centre and plaza

Top floor swimming pool in the skySPAce spa overlooks the Manufaktura shopping centre and plaza

A beautifully designed top floor pool in the skySPAce spa and fitness centre overlooks the Manufaktura shopping centre and plaza – and has been created out of the old factory’s original fire prevention system water tank!

Visitor Attractions in Łódź

The hotel is just a short walk from pl. Wolnosci and the start of Piotrkowska, the 5km-long pedestrianised street through the centre of Łódź. Your clients should rest their legs, take a cycle rickshaw (for 5 zloty per person from one end to the other) and, with their hands free, take lots of photos!

Visits to the nearby Manufaktura and History of Łódź Museum, and to the Museum of Cinematography, as well as Radergast Station and the Park of Survival (two venues that mark the Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945) are also highly recommended.

If/when your clients want a good, English-speaking tour guide to the city of Łódź, contact archivist Maciej Kronenberg, email kronenberg@iso.edu.pl .

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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