Austria’s largest hotel group will complete its repositioning on 1 February 2016 when Vienna International Hotels & Resorts becomes Vienna House. The new umbrella brand Vienna House brings together individual city and resort hotels, the design hotels “andel’s by Vienna House”, the vibrant business hotels “angelo by Vienna House” as well as the down-to-earth easy line “Vienna House Easy”. With the rebranding, a major milestone has been reached on the path set at the end of 2014 by Vienna House CEO Rupert Simoner.
‘Crucial was our answer to the question why we do what we do. We strongly believe that nothing is more refined than the simple things in life and we want to do one thing above all: inspire our guests. This is the inspiration for how we see ourselves and how we act. It is about being a great host – about being your unconcealed self – without wearing a mask. We don’t get stuck in hundreds of standards.’ says Simoner, describing the essentials of the repositioning. ‘The new brand design; the fresh colours and images and the mobile, fully responsive website follow accordingly.’
Every change at Vienna House is consistent with the guest perspective. All hotels subscribe to the principle of hospitality as well as clear, thought-out standards that give the staff a maximum of freedom and flexibility. Vienna House puts the focus on a personalised reception culture with an open, inviting lobby. Digital progress is put into practice wherever it makes sense for the guest. This includes for example free high-speed internet, web-based concierge services as well as mobile check-in/check-out.
New restaurant, bar and breakfast concepts are being introduced in each of the four hotel lines in accordance with their respective positioning. The focus will be on a clear culinary philosophy. International cuisine – in the sense of something exchangeable that can be found anywhere – is out.
The focus with regard to meetings and conferences will be on creativity. Multifunctional spaces, fresh break offerings and original, more relaxed furnishings will provide the necessary room for new ideas. The issue of mobility is being addressed through bike stations, e-vehicle charging stations and car sharing stations. A separate kids’ world is being set up at the resort hotels and family destinations. Most of the Vienna House hotels already feature top quality in the guest rooms. Additional renovation works and upgrades will be completed by the end of 2016.
Renovations are ongoing at the Vienna House Easy hotels. Vienna House Easy in Landsberg, the first to be completed, is representative of the new room design and showcases the bakery-style breakfast concept with simple yet first-rate products and a fresh bar concept with a focus on the latest trends as well as special selections. These could include a local gin or fruit juices from the farmer next door. The hotels offer a self-service menu of pillow options. In place of the usual minibar, the mini-shop in the lobby offers fresh food and beverages as well as daily necessities or stylish details. The lobby is a place for both work and entertainment. Sitting at one of the large tables is conducive to communication. Standing tables, sofas and easy chairs, as well as natural materials and modern technology, offer groups the greatest possible flexibility for their meetings. The concept for those hotels with their own restaurant is based on Vienna’s famous Naschmarkt. Guests will have the option to order for example the best pizza or coolest sushi in town from a select list of partners.
One umbrella brand – four hotel lines
The 13 hotels of the easy line stand for local hospitality characterised by contemporary straightforwardness, simple local products of the best quality and personal attention. Vienna House stands for elegant yet relaxed city and resort hotels. The hotel line combines individuality, regionality and class. andel’s by Vienna House brings together the design hotels. Design, style and modernity set the tone here. angelo by Vienna House are the vibrant business hotels. This line is characterised by a lively lobby and bar culture as well as an Asian-style room design and colour concept.
‘The name “Vienna” stands for the company’s origins and for the quality of life, joie de vivre and hospitality for which the city is famous. “House” is a place that unites, where you can be yourself, where the family comes together, and where you invite friends and guests as a host,’ says Rupert Simoner, explaining the decision behind the new brand name. ‘This feeling of contemporary, modern Vienna, combined with our shared European roots and traditions, will be reflected in all hotels, and when the opportunity arises, we will also grow in Vienna.’
Outlook on 2016
Together with Martin Ykema, COO Vienna House, and Johanna Weichselbaumer, CFO Vienna House, Simoner can look back on an intense year and has enough plans for the future: ‘In 2015 we repositioned ourselves from the inside out, invested in modern technologies, brought the employees on board and drafted the brand strategy. This process has now been brought to a close and we are heading into implementation. The foundation and the new positioning are so strong that we are on an expansion path in Europe, but I can also imagine hotels in North America or the Middle East.’
Another area of strong focus in 2016 will be employer branding. Vienna House occupies a niche between small private hotels and large – perhaps even anonymous – chain hotels. The hotels can be found in ten countries and offer employees internationality, good career opportunities and, thanks to their diversity, a broad range of experience. Vienna House presents itself as personal, direct and down-to-earth. Employees can be authentic, they have the right amount of freedom and they receive access to further training and education according to their needs. Besides the talent management programme “Victor”, the Vienna House Academy offers more than 60 training seminars in 12 different fields as well as expert training with qualified institutes in a variety of countries. A so-called micro-learning tool will also be introduced which will allow employees to receive content in small training units on their smartphones.
‘Living brand values, always acting from the guest’s perspective and making it easy – that puts the strategy of Vienna House in a nutshell.’ concludes Simoner.