This article was first published in Finansavisen.
HOTELL: Att is the brand name for a new Norwegian venture that started in Oslo, but has international ambitions.
Wilhelm Hartwig (40), Emil Tingolstad (37) and Simon Weng (35) are behind the project. In September, De Riviere, the first of a planned hotel chain, will open. The opening takes place about two years after Tingolstad and other investors secured the Grims Grenka Hotel on Kvadratorn in Oslo from Asmund Haare.
targeting 15 hotels
The other building in Oslo that Att will move into is the famous Blystadvilla in Torshov in Oslo. The first guests can check in there next year.
For its first full year of operation, it is expected to have a turnover of NOK 100 million, and the Att will not compete on price, but on quality.
The real estate company Oro, in which Tingolstad is co-owner, bought both buildings. Oro will work closely with Att to find other buildings that could become hotels.
At the first stage, 15 hotels were planned, not only in Norway, but also abroad.
These days, it’s mostly about a large-scale rebuilding of the hotel in Kongens Gate, which will have 65 rooms with brand new furniture and common areas.
The trio promises that the Revier will stand out significantly, not only from its predecessor, which was a merger of New York and Tokyo, but from the rest of Oslo’s hotels.
We call our buildings homes, not hotels, says Tingolstad.
He thought long and hard about how to develop the hotel industry further and offer something new that future night guests will demand.
Att Homes will not only attract those who need a place to sleep for a night or a week, but will also become a meeting place for the neighborhood and townspeople.
– That’s why the common areas you meet first are so important. Tingolstad says we’re spending a lot of time and resources on it in the development phase.
As guests enter the Att homes, they will be met with an atmosphere, energy and pulse that defines every square meter of the building and the people who are there.
solid hotel background
What the three hotel founders are creating now depends on gut feeling as much as the experience accumulated from their careers. She is really interested in the hospitality industry and experience.
Hartwig was a hotel manager at Amerikalinjen, a hotel run by Peter Stordalen. In 2010, the man himself had so much confidence in the former receptionist of the hotel, Simin Feng, that at only the age of twenty-four he became the manager of the Comfort Hotel Xpress. Six years later, he started himself and developed several nightlife and dining venues. Now they are both co-founders of Att.
Tingulstad is less well known in Norway, but has hotel training from Switzerland. Instead of becoming a hotel manager, focus instead on designing and building hotels around the world.
Crowning Glory is a family-owned boutique resort built from the ground up in Guatemala. There, wealthy guests gather energy away from the hectic daily life. The only way to get there is by plane and boat.
space for something new
As the Tingulstad family found a market for something exclusive and unique in South America, the hotel trio believe they’ve identified a market void that could be filled with various hotels in cosmopolitan cities.
– 90 percent of the household in Oslo is controlled by three or four players, and I think most hotels are not very exciting, says Tingolstad.
Big hotel chains are often locked in their minds and usually follow a safe recipe, says Hartwig.
New entrants are not critical of competitors because they are skilled hotel operators. They just won’t follow the same template. The trio did not establish themselves to beat Stordalen, Thon, Scandic and Radisson.
“We have a vision and a dream to do something different, and we think there is an opportunity in the market for that,” says Tingolstad.
Travel in life in change
Over time, says Hartwig, there has been a change in how people travel and how they live. Now, people often stay longer in one place, where they were before they went on short city breaks.
People express a completely different desire than before, and this is not necessarily age-related. If you go to Berlin or London, you’ll feel like you’re from Berlin or London, says Hartwig.
People are renting great apartments instead of booking hotels.
Then you also connect very quickly to the local culture and the neighborhood you live in, and you want to explore it and feel a part of it, says Hartwig.
You won’t get that feeling in a 21 square meter room at the American Marriott Hotel in Berlin.
Such hotels function almost like a castle and appear to many travelers as an exotic element in the city they are visiting, says Feng.
Creates a feeling of home
But the hotel industry has struggled to crack the code that Airbnb appears to have cracked. To find a middle ground, half of the rooms at the Revier in Kvadratorn will have a kitchenette and a table where you can eat and work.
– We’re not building a residential hotel, but we want guests to feel more comfortable at home, even if they’re staying with us, says Tingolstad.
Att will always offer a great selection of food and drink experiences on the first floor of the building, working in collaboration with local chefs and restaurateurs who know how to create vibrant meeting spaces.
– In this way we invite the living to our homes. The traditional hotel restaurant is dead – once and for all, announce wing.
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