Meet Claus Sendlinger

Posted on 1 mars 2010

At a time when the notion of design has become a very common expectation among travellers from middle class to wealthy business men, in a period when it is a standard vision into the hotel industry itself, being a label that has founded its core strategy on design excellence can turn into a nightmare. Such a company might fear to be out dated ! But with about 170 hotels in the 2010 Design Hotels book, the men behind this sucessful story can keep on sleeping quiet nights. Though this is not the attitude that they chose to adopt, Design Hotels makes it better, standing in a position of future-forward visionnary, analysing the trends and not only the figures of the hospitality industry.

Founded by Claus Sendlinger (founder & CEO), the company was established in 1993 first in Sausalito (California), the headquaters were later relocated in Berlin to be clother of the epicenter of design hotels then booming industry. Sendlinger started with a selection of 10 iconic affiliated hotels, growing now up to almost 200 units. Before creating the Design Hotels company, Sendlinger started with public relations and event planning jobs, then moving to more responsabilities, later founding his own agency. These first profesionnals years were the best training he could get to later work on what was to turn into the creation of a label specific to design hotels.

Design Hotels selection has also been a reference for newcomers on the market such as mexican Grupo Habita, founded by Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha, that introduced hotels Habita in Mexico and in Monterey in 2009, the latest including a collaboration with french architect Joseph Dirand. Or Hospes Hotels, a spanish collection, that has some of its hotels referenced in the guide. Entering the Design Hotels yearly book is not only a question of how much you pay, how much you spent on design furniture or recruiting the best designers, it is more a question of lifestyle and service philosophy. Some big chains hotels’ are featured in the ‘BOOK’ (Hospes Hotels, Park Hyatt to name a few) but there is as well independant residencies.

Last year Design Hotels under the influence of Sendlinger and Gabor Thier co-founder of german creative agency mamapapacola announced a new key message and introduced the “Made by Originals” concept. The idea is to focus on people who really embody the brand’s philosophy because of who they are, what they do, their profession, their lifestyle … people although not in the funky bling bling meaning of the word.

Bernd Neff (VP, Brand, Marketing, Communications Design Hotels) : « What is important are the atmosphere and experience. These are need to be designed by people. »

Dutch designer Marcel Wander recently teamed up with Chef Peter Lute, to create a bespoke concept in the Netherlands. The two men are associated in the creation of the Lute Suites, hotel and restaurants. Off course Lute and Wanders affiliated with Design Hotels.

Marcel Wanders says : « If you’re able to be truly honest to who you are, to what your dreams are, you listen to what’s inside. You’ll find there’s something very special there. And if that doesn’t scare you off, or if it scares you off but you go ahead anyway, then you’re an original. » An annual architecture and design 3-days conferences and workshops, Future Forum will be held in Berlin in June 2010. Keep on the watch for its up coming new edition : You can also stay tunned with latest news and hospitality trends with the Future blog: Copyrights photos Design Hotels TM/ Par Andrée Fraiderik-Vertino