The European
Hotel Development


Hotel Property Award 2018

The winner of the “Hotel Property Award 2018” is the QO Amsterdam

The prize was awarded at the hotelforum’s gala evening yesterday. Andreas Martin, Managing Partner of hotelforum management GmbH: “The QO Amsterdam won the hotelforum jury over both with its consistently sustainable concept and with its high-quality standards. One might say that the building is a ‘living’ organism that behaves like a chameleon and at the same time meets the highest criteria in terms of CO2, water, energy and waste management.”


The winner of the Hotel Property Award 2018 // Photo: Walter Glück

The hotel has an innovative façade construction with a total of 819 movable aluminium panels, which are installed outside the windows and provide additional insulation as well as generating solar power. This reduces energy consumption by more than half for both cooling and heating compared to conventional air conditioning systems. The façade is also connected to an integrated building management system, enabling the building’s energy consumption to be recorded and evaluated.

Ursula Fuss, Jury member, architect and expert for barrier-free construction: “Pioneering, functional and architecturally-sound barrier-free solutions are missing from a good deal of hotel concepts. But there is a need to develop and build good spaces for all living environments! The QO Amsterdam is exemplary not only 
when it comes to sustainable energy management, but also in terms of barrier free accessibility.”

The 22nd floor of the QO Amsterdam houses a greenhouse which is part of the hotel’s own ecosystem, and in which plants and vegetables are grown for the hotel’s kitchen. Natural or local materials were used in all areas. For example, one-third of the concrete from the demolished Shell Tower, now the A´DAM Tower, was
used, and old Dutch fishing nets were recycled to make carpets.


The trophy of the Hotel Property Award 2018 // Photo: Walter Glück


Out of the 52 hotel applications from 13 European countries, this year the interdisciplinary 17-member jury selected five nominees from Germany and seven from other European countries. Three hotels were shortlisted from among these 12 nominees for the finals by a very close margin:

  • Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA (Matera, Italy)
  • QO Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • The Student Hotel Florence (Florence, Italy)

The selection was preceded by an intensive jury discussion. Jury member Prof. Dr. Burkhard von Freyberg, Professor of Hospitality Management at the Faculty of Tourism at Munich University of Applied Sciences: “Intelligent storytelling is now clearly recognised as a success factor in an increasing number of hotel developments, and is being taken up in a variety of different forms. When it comes to holiday hotels, there is an awareness that it is not enough to rely on the attractiveness of the region alone, but that there is a need to bring your own themes into the hotel and fill them with experiences. When it comes to creativity, the gap between absolute authenticity and artificiality continues to widen. The holiday hotel industry will be the new platform used by the hotel industry to reinvent itself.”

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA (Matera, Italy)
The Student Hotel Florence (Florence, Italy)

The other two finalists are tailored to meet the increasingly individualised needs of the target groups. Martin: “Matera is home to the Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA. The city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2019 and, as a World Heritage Site, is visited by large numbers of city tourists from all over the world. The cave hotel is designed as an integrated part of the village, offering its guests a unique hotel experience. The  conversion of dozens of corridors and caves that were inhabited until the middle of the last century into a high-quality hotel is impressive.”
The Student Hotel Florence is located in a palatial building from 1864 which was previously used as an office building. Today, the hotel combines student apartments with its own canteen kitchen for self-catering, a modern co-working space for innovative companies and start-ups, as well as a classic hotel for visitors to Florence and business travellers. Martin: “We were particularly impressed by the terrace around the small swimming pool on the roof, which turns into an open-air bar in the evening, overlooking Florence Cathedral. This is where students come together with Florence residents and hotel guests of all ages for an aperitif. The Student Hotel Florence is a groundbreaking example of the implementation of an alternative hotel concept spanning all the generations on the one hand, and of the successful conversion of a former office building that had stood empty for a long time on the other.”

The prospect of receiving the award appealed both to hotel developers as well as to owners and operators. Applications for the “Hotel Property Award” were received from hotels which were opened between January 2017 and July 2018. The jury’s selection was based on a successful overall approach consisting of the originality of the concept, architecture, integration into the project’s surroundings, design, innovations, aspects of sustainability and economic efficiency.


The finalists of the Hotel Property Award 2018 // Photo: Walter Glück

The winner of the “Hotel Property Award 2018”:

QO Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Owned by: CBRE Global Investment Partners and managed by Invesco Real Estate
Operated by: IHG
Project developer: Amstelside/Borealis Hotel Group
Architects: Paul de Ruiter and Mulderblauw architects
Interior design: TANK (public areas) and Conran and Partner (hotel rooms)
Type of operation/category: city hotel, full-service hotel, luxury lifestyle
Construction period: 36 months
No. of rooms: 288

The other two finalists in alphabetical order:

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA
Location: Matera, Italy
Owned by: Dierresseti
Operated by: Greenblu
Project developer and architect: Cosimo dell’Acqua and Simone Micheli architects
Interior design: Simone Micheli architect
Type of operation/category: holiday hotel, full-service hotel, 5 stars
Construction period: 5 years
No. of rooms: 35

The Student Hotel Florence
Location: Florence, Italy
Owned by: The Student Hotel
Operated by: The Student Hotel & OOO (restaurants)
Project developer: The Student Hotel
Architect: Archea & TSH Design Experience Team
Interior design: TSH Design Experience Team together with Rizoma Architetture and Qbic
Type of operation/category: city hotel, hybrid city hotel for co-working and coliving, with student apartments, full-service, 3 stars
Construction period: 24 months
No. of rooms: 390

12 nominee hotels in alphabetical order:

  • 25hours Hotel München The Royal Bavarian (Munich, Germany)
  • Alles Paletti – Karls Upcycling Hotel (Rövershagen, Germany)
  • Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA (Matera, Italy)
  • BIKINI Island & Mountain Hotel Port de Sóller (Port de Sóller, Spain)
  • Hotel Norge by Scandic (Bergen, Norway)
  • QO Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Revier Mountain Lodge (Lenzerheide, Switzerland)
  • Ruby Coco Hotel & Bar (Düsseldorf, Germany)
  • SAVONA 18 SUITES (Milan, Italy)
  • THE FONTENAY (Hamburg, Germany)
  • The Student Hotel Florence (Florence, Italy)
  • Werdenfelserei (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany)

Previous winners of the “Hotel Property Award”:
Bretterbude Heiligenhafen (2017), Reichshof Hamburg CURIO Collection by Hilton (2016), Hotel Zoo Berlin (2015), Holzhotel Forsthofalm Leogang, Salzburger Land (2014), Radisson Blu Hotel Nantes (2013), Hotel TOPAZZ Vienna (2012), 25hours HafenCity Hamburg (2011), Roomers Frankfurt (2010), Lindner Park-
Hotel Hagenbeck (2009), 25hours Frankfurt (2008), Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa & Cultural Hideaway (2007), Hotel Daniel Graz (2006), Colosseo Erlebnishotel Rust (2004), Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo Brussels and Accor Suite Hotel Hamburg (2003), Hilton Cologne (2002).

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