Cristina Paini, CEO and Owner of LHM Hotel Management Company joined MR&H 2018 for the Agora Hour. For the past 11 years Cristina has focused on developing a new hotel management format in the hotel industry on the domestic market, cooperating with all major international hotel brands and capitalising on the experience of hotels and condo-hotels, advising hotel owners. Read her Q&A below.
1. What would you say are the major trends in hotel investment and development in Italy?
The Italian Hotel Market has experienced an increase by 14.6% compared to 2016, and in 2018 is keeping the same pace, with a 13% growth (source: Scenari Immobiliari). This new wave of both international and domestic investors, is boosting new developments focused on: energy efficient buildings, a more flexible organization of common areas inside Hotel (“social spaces”) fit to be lived, state of the art technology buildings and rooms, attention to environment. Also apartments are a new trend as part of the Hotel inventory proposal, more than serviced apartments: hotel pampered apartments.
One last trend I would like to mention is over tourism that some Italian destination are facing: Venice, some areas of Rome, Capri, etc … this trend is now leading to re-think the destination itself and also to discover and develop new destinations: we’re hence assisting to the rise of both resort and city hotels, not just in prime location but also in new and emerging locations combining business and leisure features.
2. What markets (destinations and asset classes) are you focusing on?
Prime and secondary locations in Italy: Milan, Rome, Venice, Florence, Turin, Verona, Bologna.
Four Star Hotels and Mixed used Hotels.
3. What emerging destinations are catching your attention in Italy or in the Mediterranean?
Talking about secondary cities, I would mention: Verona, Bologna, Trieste, I’m also confident that Genova will have a new renaissance. In terms of leisure destination: Apulia that keeps on growing its presence on the international touristic market, Sicily as a whole, lakes (Lake Garda, Lake Como) also are a growing destination.
4. Tell us about the project you’ll be presenting at MR&H?
Venice is more than what we usually know, Venice is also luxury surroundings where all the aristocratic families used to stay, living in astonishing villas facing the Naviglio del Brenta. Nowadays this is not just a historic area, but also an area where manufacturing is at its utmost, with the high end of “made in Italy” in terms of fashion, manufacturing, design, etc.
In this environment will be developed a huge mixed-use complex that will feature different hallmarks:
- Convention Centre
- and of course a Resort
The Resort will introduce a new concept of hospitality in the area and will be perfectly embodied in the environment, energy saving wise. Here’s main features:
- 150 rooms
- Conference Center
- Fitness Area
- Park surrounded by Naviglio, with private dock
5. What are the major challenges or requirements when working on a development that includes hotel, retail, offices and more?
Working to promote the destination as a whole, the challenge is keeping the different souls of the development but working together.
6. What or who inspires you in the hospitality world?
Every single little person that puts his creativity and passion in this wonderful sector … I happens to travel a lot and to be positively surprised about the details, the attention and care that some hoteliers put in their work and environment. The human factor appeals to me a lot in our industry and it will be a key feature for our future to build on, especially with more and more AI emerging also in Hotel Management.
7. What is your ideal holiday experience?
Relax, discover the destination and live in my new environment.
8. What are you most looking forward to at MR&H this year?
Introduce our new project and philosophy to a selected investor audience and find new partners for our new projects.