Welcome to our new member – City Hub
Youth travel is a serious party that accommodation providers need to recognise – an interview with CityHub’s Dennis Vermeulen
A unique and smartly designed hospitality concept with a futuristic feel is perfect for digital natives who want the privacy of a hotel without giving up the good vibes of a hostel, CityHub is the millennial’s favoured key to the city centres of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. We spoke with Dennis Vermeulen, CityHub’s General Manager, about their concept and plans for expansion.
How did CityHub get started?
CityHub started as a university project of Sem and Pieter, the two founders. During their travels they often wished for a place with the comfort and privacy of a hotel that didn’t lose the fun and casual vibe of a hostel – all within their budget, of course. This gap was the seed of the concept and start of a long phase of testing our unique sleeping unit, the Hub. The first Hubs were tested in Amsterdam and the first CityHub opened there in 2015.
Clearly you are not a typical hostel or hotel – what else should we know about CityHub?
We are far ahead of our competition when it comes to innovation and use of technology to enhance the guest experience. Our seamless technology provides a ground-breaking feel and upgrades the stay. It also frees staff from administrative tasks, giving them time to dedicate to guests as CityHosts. They are available in person and via app 24/7 to answer questions and share local knowledge. Overall, our central locations, smart design and efficient operation backed by technology allow us to meet the demands of millennial travellers, including affordability.
CityHub offers a futuristic hospitality experience to young travellers, but what does the future of the company look like?
CityHub is a unique concept globally, so changes that impact traditional hotels don’t really impact us at the moment. Even so, we want to stay one step ahead. Our goal is to remain ahead of the curve on the hospitality front, always making sure to respond to perpetually changing needs of new generations of global nomads. Also, we’ve opened a second Hub in Rotterdam and are building a few others abroad, so we are growing and will soon be an international company.
How will CityHub remain ahead of the curve while expanding?
Most people are used to traditional hotels and some need to get familiar with CityHub’s concept, but our Amsterdam hotel has been sold out every day for the last four years, so obviously we deliver a product that speaks perfectly to young travellers. It is a bit of a challenge being halfway between a hotel and a hostel – to appeal to both hostel and hotel audiences and meet the expectations of both. Informing guests properly about what to expect at CityHub is really important. Bringing attention to our product across a much wider audience through WYSE Travel Confederation will help us build partnerships and gain more revenue. Attending STAY WYSE Amsterdam and spending a few days with a select group of people who are all focussed on reaching the same goals was really interesting for us. It is the right event to attend if you have a small budget for sales and want to get the most out of your time. We look forward to WYSTC in Lisbon for the same reasons.
Pioneer in the lifestyle economy segment, CityHub aims to create a global network of smart hotels designed for curious and savvy nomads. Located in the centre of large gateway cities, they offer the best of two worlds: the privacy and comfort of a hotel with the sense of community and affordability of a hostel.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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