How has your company been weathering the current pandemic? To what extent your hotels were affected?
The effect of the covid crisis was and still is universal. However we can already detect some interesting patterns in how the pandemic has changed the reality for the protagonists in our industry. Nikki Beach has been building its business for more than 20 years on a strong communication with its very loyal core target group and since we have been the providers of great memories and moments during all this time. Our positioning has always been niche and exclusive. Additionally we avoided any mass-market affiliation. This has clearly assisted us in these times as the trust in the brand, its responsible way of operating and the deep connection that we share with our customer base allowed us to rebound rather strongly. Obviously this rebound shows geographic variations, however all operating locations are profitable and are achieving very strong customer feed-back even though we had to adjust to the new normal.
What are the positives and the opportunities which you have been gather from the pandemic ?
I am convinced that the pandemic has heightened our senses in regards to the responsibility we yield as luxury and lifestyle operators. Not only in regards to hygiene and cleanliness but as providers of social environments where people from all over the globe arrive to congregate. From a brand view I believe that we developed an even closer relationship to our core clients. On a corporate level we approached a more holistic view, returned to our roots and simply bonded as a stronger team altogether.
How would describe the DNA of your brand? How is your brand positioned if related to luxury?
Nikki Beach is the epiphany of the barefoot luxury life style. We celebrate life and all that comes with it. Positivity is our key driver which is currently more important than ever. Our approach to luxury is based on simplicity and base values. We don’t not intend to impress or overwhelm our clients but to provide them with spaces and environments that are custom-made, respectful and allow like-minded people to meet. The Nikki Beach family is a selection of global nomads that love to connect and celebrate together. The hotels and resort provide the perfect back drop to unwind and relax whereas our beach clubs energize and inspire. We believe that luxury is something very subjective and personal which cannot be applied to a mass production process hence we remain focused on our mission as a boutique operator with a global reach.
What is your operational model? Is there an ideal profile of a hotel owner / developer / investor?
We are lifestyle operators that love to join forces with investors who understand and embrace our brand. We do not differentiate between the type of investors but between their mindsets. We see relationships between operator and owner as something deeper than the application of a brand to an asset. We seek to transform spaces and sometimes entire areas of a destination through our presence. We want to add meaning and a long term vision to a project when we collaborate which automatically becomes a selection criteria. A well-executed development is always profitable and our expertise in adding measurable food and beverage income through our selection of concepts strengthens this trend.
With the pandemic far from over, what are your anticipations (general) about business this year? How has the profile of your guests changed, if un any way?
We are just at the beginning of this special season but the first indicators are showing a much better picture than what we expected. However we remain humble and flexible in our outlook as the current constellation is unique and hardly predictable. The profile of our guests has been concentrating even stronger on our long-term fans and followers and has arguably become even more exclusive. In some areas we can see how the local community has become a very important part of our business which we love, as it shows that we are a valued and respected neighbor wherever we operate.
What has been tour approach about ensuring utmost safety and hygiene of both your staff and guests
Obviously the operational life has changed for us in the past 4-5 months and we have educated ourselves thoroughly. But we believe that embracing these new standards is not something negative but much more an evolution of what we do. In other words we turn these new measures into an extension of the guest journey to make the stay safer but also even more enjoyable at the same time. From small touches to thoughtfully designed signages and digital applications there’s is a lot of research and development that we invested into during the past months to fully integrate our properties to the new normality.
Tell us about your upcoming openings.
2020 has been extremely active in terms of development and thankfully none of our projects has been closed or cancelled due to the pandemic. We are growing gradually and we will remain extremely selective on where we can provide real added value to a destination. 20 years of experience around the globe have provided us with a strong understanding on where our brand matters. We don’t believe in the fight for world-wide coverage, however our pipeline is extremely strong these days. Some of the key destinations for future openings are currently: Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Oman, Thailand and Latin America.
Are you targeting any specific regions / countries in your expansion?
Yes. However we don’t follow yield curves as we want to cover tomorrows destinations and not todays. The nature of travel will transform and the pandemic will furthermore accelerate this process. As experiential operators we need to stay ahead of this curve in order to set the trends that our clients expect from us. Additionally we want to keep a certain level unpredictability for us as well.
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