SA Awards winner interview: Ole Kloth, Soulmade Hotels

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Ole Kloth, director of development at Soulmade Hotels, talks to SAN about winning the SA award for Best architecture / external design.

  •  What did it mean to Soulmade Hotels and to your staff to win a Serviced Apartment Award for Best Architecture / external design?

We are extremely honoured to be receiving such an important award - especially since every other nominee in our category was as capable if not more, of winning this award. As a prototype in hospitality with a very strong focus on sustainablity in building and operating this clearly shows that we are heading in the right direction and will be noticed.

  • What do you believe makes your architecture and external design stand out against the other hotels that were shortlisted? 

We are dedicated to leaving a positive impact, both in the way we build and run our businesses. We believe it's time for a new kind of domicile.  One that refuses to be categorised and continually evolves. Soulmade is more than just a progressive hospitality concept. It is a unique innovation in modular business hotel construction. Built almost entirely from wood and utilizing a whole new level of prefabrication techniques, Soulmade pushes the boundaries of sustainable and serial architecture. It is a place that reflects our vision of creating a positive and sustainable future.

  • How do you cater for both short-term stay guests and guests staying for over 30 days at the same time? 

The question is: How can we truly connect with the people and places we encounter, amidst an ever-increasing pace? And how can we do so without leaving a footprint that's unfavourable to future generations? Soulmade wants to become a true living space, a point of contact and a source of community. By combining home-like apartments with full hotel services, premium amenities and co-working spaces, we are able to offer a more vibrant and more functional space that equally addresses both social and private needs. Our warm wooden apartments are surrounded by an open and green architecture that is designed for interaction, be it in the large 1.000 m2 pocket park, its outdoor terrace or in the spacious Living Room that features a library, work space and shared kitchen area. That's how Soulmade becomes both a sheltered home and a hub to connect - and not just a place to sleep.

  • What is your thinking behind having lounges with sofas rather than a conventional front desk?

We're constantly on the move, both digitally and physically. In a world where the conditions of how we live and work are changing, so does our idea of what a home should be - even if this home is only temporary, like a serviced apartment. We do not believe in categories anymore, but in needs. So who needs a front desk? We created a physical space that is as agile and curious as we are, that can equally become a home, or simply a hub in which to share inspiring ideas. Co-Living meets Hotel meets Co-Working.

  • How are you trying to attract new visitors and new types of travellers to your hotels?

At Soulmade Hotels we mainly talk about ambitious ideas and how they can change the way we work and live in the future.  And by the future, we mean now.  And by change we mean sustainable. If you are not in to these topics you might not like us - that's okay, but if you like us, you will tell everybody! It is kind of liberating to have a strong opinion on something - and guests love it - well the most of them. So there is no new type of traveller  - there is just the like-minded one.

  • What are your plans to expand or grow the business further?

We had to learn that growing slow is no failure. For that reason, we are very specific towards new plots.  Right now, we are looking at the Scandinavian market and Benelux as options for expansion and growth.



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