A&O Hostels Gets a New Look
At ITB Berlin 2018, a&o, a WYSE Travel Confederation member and Europe’s largest hostel company, presented their new design concept for the first time, with the intent of creating clear brand identity that will be recognizable throughout Europe in the future. The new design consciously invokes the original idea of a hostel, which a&o has always felt bound to, and which is captured in the company’s (new) slogan: “everyone can travel.”
The first hostel to undergo a complete redesign will be a&o Berlin Mitte, with the project expected to be finished by September 2018. It will be followed by hostels in Amsterdam, Prague, and Hamburg. By the end of 2020, all a&o hostels will have been renovated.
“We live according to the idea of a hostel, which is what makes a&o unique, and our new design is an expression of that. We remain simple and practical, but we’ve also managed to create spaces where guests and employees can feel comfortable. And, as always, the most important thing for us is to make every city easy on the wallet,” said Oliver Winter, CEO of a&o.
The concept was designed by architects from BWM, and it takes into account the needs of individual travelers as well as groups: modern, practical, with the lobby as a “living room” – a place to feel at ease, and a lively meeting place for travelers from all over the world.
The lobby, breakfast room, and outdoor area as well as all guest rooms and hallways are to be repainted and re-furnished. The rooms have been designed with comfort in mind, and special emphasis was placed on the beds, which BWM developed specifically for a&o. Other furniture elements provide colorful accents, as do the curtains and trendy pouffes.
In the lobby area, movable elements help create an overall impression of youth and playful vitality. The furniture can be arranged for a variety of uses, allowing employees to adapt the space quickly and flexibly depending on the number of visitors that show up. A graphical orientation system uses light boxes to allow guests and employees to quickly figure out where they need to go, a design element that’s used in the bar, as well as in the reception area. The exteriors of a&o hostels will still be painted in neutral colors, but will receive a new logo and lettering in the company’s new colors of blue and white.
In the future, all new a&o hostels will be planned according to this new design, and the current selection of hostels are to be renovated very soon, by the end of 2020 at the latest. This will be possible thanks to a “modular refurbishment system” that can be implemented at a location while it remains still open for business. It allows the new design to be adapted to the specific demands of each property using an incredibly wide variety of basic elements.
Source: a&o press release, 7 March 2018