BEST Party Hostel in EU!

Just launched over here at HostelBookers is our latest campaign…Time to find the ‘best party hostel’ in Europe!

There are nine property entrants from eight key EU cities. Properties include:
PLUS Florence, One80 Berlin, Generator Dublin, The Dictionary London, Clink78 London, ‘fusion prague’, U Hostels Madrid, The Yellow Rome and St. Christophers Barcelona.

Each property has pitched their individual party proposal. By utilising their own social media, press and vote canvassing strategies, the winners will get 5K to blow on a huge bash and be crowned the ultimate party hostel!

Can’t wait to see who wins next month… we announce the property winner mid June. Even our customers get a chance at winning, if their property (voted for) wins. Imagine you and three mates getting free accommodation at the winning property, being part of the planned party, having flights paid for, spending money and a few days to explore the city?! Cool huh 🙂


For full details, check out the HostelBookers landing page here:

Get voting for your chance to win… Good luck!


ONE80º Hostel Berlin (Alexanderplatz) – photos

One80 Hostel Berlin - photos 19r 31r 46r 58 1082 Bad_4Bett_b Bad_6Bett Dusche_6Bett Gem_Bad_a Gem_Bad_b Gem_Bad_c Gem_Bad_d lobby1 lobby2 ONE80-¦ Hostel Alexanderplatz inhouse club One80Facade

One80° Hostel Berlin win ‘Best Newcomer’


One80° Hostel have picked up yet another award – this time from Hostelbookers in their recent Awards for Excellence. I met up with some of their managers at ITB today to congratulate them of their win. Stella Lindemann, Guest Relations Manager for the property says of the win, ‘Wow, we did not expect to win anything, being new and not established….but now it feels like we made it! All the work, the blood and sweat, it all makes sense!’

Asked about the brand philosophy of One80°, she continues, ‘We are all a team. We all live and breathe One80°…it is love, positivity, kindness. It is a love for Berlin that comes from the staff, the knowledge….being informative and helpful.’

Walking into One80°, one could easily expect to be in a hotel. High spec finishes, high quality materials, vast communal spaces and am amazing basement nightclub and band room. Part of the Azure hotel group, they are quick to add, ‘we are definetly a hostel! This is part of the philosophy. We are a hostel, but from a hotel background. We bring a different perspective – a high customer focus but easy atmosphere’. Stella should know, her title says it all… Its not something that a typical hostel provides, but something found in four and five star hotels.

Asked about the biggest challenge faced when opening, Stella says, ‘It was to get people to see and recognise something new. For OTA’s to see us as a serious player. That, and the size – over seven hundred beds is big..we were so surprised at how many beds we sold…. A huge amount…even before we had opened. It was a high anxious energy when we opened. The first few days, all of a sudden it was all hands on deck….there was chaos, but in a beautiful way, where everyone worked together and it just became normal…it gelled.’

Already under an investor group of hotels, I ask if the One80° ‘hostel’ concept will be pushed further. I’m happy to know that their investors are already scouting for other locations. Where this will be is anyone’s guess, although Prague and London seem to denote a positive response. Wherever it is, the location must be central to attract a young and funky crowd – something which lent to the success of the current stand alone property in the heart of the city, Alexanderplatz. You know you are in Berlin when the looming view is the iconic TV tower ‘Fernsehturm!’

‘What about the name – there must be something in that?’, I ask. Of course there is a story which encompasses the response already given. Stella states, ‘Yes – One80° was thought of by the investors…. As they worked in hotels and wanted to open a boutique conceptual hostel, it was a one eighty degree turn on what they did, on what they thought a modern hostel should now offer…a hotel approach in a hostel environment…so, the brand is born!’

Brand?! Yes, confirming the brand again is exciting – a brand that is set to grow quickly off the back of the current success of one of the best new hostels opened in recent years. Not just in Europe, but worldwide. A feat that all Berliners should be proud of – party and highly desirable travel capital of Germany.

Get your photo taken in their photobooth after partying in their nightclub!

Get your photo taken in their photobooth after partying in their nightclub!

So what next for the current product? What has been missed that could be introduced? What other strategy is there for 2013? Both girls giggle and talk of how cool it would be to have a rooftop terrace, an infinity pool or rooftop lap pool, but these are most likely ideas for the next hostels. For now, the concept is perfect. The strategy revolves more around pushing the club facilities and promoting bands and dj’s, who they are happy to give a few free nights stay to in exchange for service and talent.

Julia Schroeder, Sales Manager adds, ‘All of us, the owners and investors, are really happy with the awards we receive. To see everything come together, from the design, to the customers, to the atmosphere created in our communal spaces where people are working, socialising, having fun….its amazing! We just didn’t realise the affect it would have.’

Chatting with the girls, I can see the passion and enthusiasm they have for the business. Julia has excellent experience in hospitality management, which she studied and worked in places such as the London Ritz Carlton and the Holiday Inn Berlin, before being snapped up by the Azure group. On the other hand, Stella comes from a teacher background, bringing the nurturing and caring side into the customer relations mix. They are a dynamic duo, riding a high wave of celebrated success.

So, who knows what is next? It seems like anything is possible for the One80° concept. Philosophy and strategy aligned, the Azure group’s next projects sound set to be touched and turned to gold…this could be the new brand to take on the likes of current ‘best chain’ winners Generator, PLUS and Equity Point in future years! Congrats!

For a full list of HostelBookers ‘Awards for Excellence’ 2013 winners – view here

Grand Hostel Berlin win ‘Best Staff’ award

Grand Berlin - logo

Hostelbookers ‘Awards for Excellence’ has awarded Grand Hostel Berlin a ‘Best Staff’ award within Western Europe. The property has won numerous awards from a variety of OTAs since opening, making it one of the more wider known and respected hostels in Berlin’s saturated market. As I am here for ITB, I managed to visit the property for a tour and a catch up with the owners and managers.

Of the win, hostel manager Clara Rueter states ‘Wow! This means we are doing it right! Our staff are all very individual, all very natural with people. We are roughly 17 people, all speaking different languages from all over the world. While all different, we are all in harmony – and the guests pick up on that’.

The reception staff are all well trained and have excellent experience in hospitality management. The trend in the industry is that a lot of staff that work in hostels actually come from four and five star hotel backgrounds. This is also the case with Grand Hostel Berlin.

Adding to reasons for their win for Best Staff, Clara goes on to say ‘We have very entertaining staff. Every day we offer something, a different nightly event. We are a medium size property, so the customers really get to know the staff…. and we, the customers. We fulfil the needs of our guests. We are not a party hostel. We are more boutique. Our product is comfort, relaxation and a good nights sleep. We bring customers together…we are their home when they stay with us’.

Nina Geserick, a new manager to Grand, says ‘I noticed straight away the difference here. You can see the customers are not just a number. I have worked at larger hostels where this easily happens… Here, everyone knows each other on first name basis. The property size is manageable with just over one hundred beds. It is a friendly, medium size… Not a crazy party. We leave that to the others!’

Nina should know, she has a wealth of experience in the industry, having worked in Berlin hostels such as the Generator and One80 – both properties also having won awards in this years Hostelbookers Awards for Excellence. Generator for ‘Best Chain’, One80 ‘Best Newcomer’.

Award winning boutique Berlin hostel

Award winning boutique Berlin hostel

Jorg, part owner, talks about the introduction of their restaurant ‘Grand ma’s’. ‘We had so many customers asking where they could go for proper German food, there was no where great close by. We want them to stay with us, or have even more reason to come back to us after a long day out….so we created our restaurant with more traditional and affordable German dishes. Customers love it. The local businesses even come to us for lunch. Our strategy is to really get the evening service established, looking after our customers needs even more’.

Whatever Grand is doing, it is getting it right! The place is immaculate, the staff attentive, friendly and well spoken. They range from countries such as Australia, South Africa and Kazakhstan….some speak up to seven languages fluently. This worldly combination obviously suits the industry and product – it really is true and I hear it time and time  again, that great staff are invaluable – they either make or break the business. In Grand’s case, business is well and truly booming! Congrats

For a full list of HostelBookers ‘Awards for Excellence’ 2013 winners – view here