How did you come up with the idea of setting up Sunset Hospitality Group? What are the pillars of the company, and what is your philosophy and process of launching a brand from scratch?
Sunset Hospitality Group (SHG) was founded in 2011 with a vision to create unique hospitality experiences around the world, ranging from resorts and beach clubs to restaurants and nightlife. The group has since rapidly grown to become a leading hospitality investment and management company developing pioneering concepts and acclaimed multinational brands.
SHG has a presence in nine countries across 26 brands with a proven record in delivering a blend of high-quality services at exceptional locations. The group’s portfolio includes METT Hotels & Resorts and renowned destinations such as Azure Resort and Beach Club, Black Tap, Luigia, Goldfish, Ammos, Drift Beach Club, and multiple additional ventures in 2021, including Aura, SUSHISAMBA, MOTT 32, and many more.
We create brands with a common goal: bring people together to celebrate life. This philosophy runs throughout all our brands and has fueled the process of creating and launching all our brands since we created Sunset.
Who would you consider as your direct competitors?
We do not have a direct competitor, our portfolio and approach are quite unique; we have a blend of brands and experiences in different areas such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, lounges, night clubs, beach clubs, gyms and clubhouses.
In that sense, we do not compete but complement many other great companies that offer similar experiences.
What is the unique selling proposition of your company?
We put our customers at the center of everything we do and empower our teams to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible experiences.
In the past years, due to the international economic context and now with the pandemic, launching novel and desirable hospitality concepts is more challenging. Is it only because consumers are less loyal and less patient, seeking something new all the time?
The pandemic changed the way consumers shop, communicate, entertain, and more, but it did not change the drive for memorable experiences. Today, people have moved away from collecting “things” in favor of collecting “experiences.” Those experiences can range from a simple night out at a new restaurant with family or friends to a holiday in a resort.
Socializing will always be an essential element of our culture, getting together with our friends, with our families will always be key to our society.
People will go out for a truly memorable experience where they feel safe and can get together. The creativity that we provide collectively will keep the hospitality industry ready and strong to take the opportunities or overcome the hurdles that come our way in the future.
Which have been your most successful brands? How important is consistency when implementing any of your concepts?
In their respective categories, each brand in our portfolio is successful. Our team commitment and our focus on quality are key to drive that success.
Of course, every brand delivers different experiences, each concept is unique, but consistency in quality is key to our success.
With the METT Bodrum, you diversified into hotels, operating accommodations too. Why now? Why Bodrum?
The hospitality industry has transformed immensely in the last five years, and we believe that this is the right time to venture into the hotel business with our lifestyle brand. METT is a unique concept focusing on entertainment, dining, and experiences, which complements the existing offering of the other more traditional hotel brands.
The property promises to be a dining destination in itself, with four independent venues in itself, including the Mediterranean FOLIE Restaurant & Sea; Italian Ristorante and Lounge ISOLA; Asian lifestyle lounge Mood and OTTO, a contemporary Turkish restaurant.
Why Bodrum? Bodrum is the hottest destination of the Turkish Riviera and competes with some of the best destinations around the Mediterranean. The opening of international and luxury hotels, restaurants, and retail brands makes it a destination that will continue to grow. Our mission of bringing people together to celebrate life blends perfectly with Bodrum’s positioning and makes it a fantastic destination to open our first of many METT Hotels & Resorts.
How would you define the METT brand? – upscale, luxury, lifestyle? Is there an international hotel brand(s) you would consider as comp set or as a reference in positioning?
METT is a collection of refined, authentic, and laid-back lifestyle hotels & resorts found in some of the world’s most unique locations. It draws like-minded guests looking for an enriching escape that blends modern minimalism and easy living, all within a stunning environment. The service style is discreet and precise but without frills or fuss. Each interaction comes with an open attitude that encourages the art of conversation to flow freely—sophisticated, refreshing, and comfortable.
Regardless of the pandemic, Bodrum has proven to hold challenges even for international luxury hotel operators. What is your take?
The destination is stronger than the challenges. People are craving to go out and experience a great meal or be entertained alongside friends and family outside of their homes. Bodrum has such a great appeal to both local and international travelers and has some of the most luxurious brands in the world and hence continues to attract an excellent quality of clientele.
What has been your approach to ensuring a high customer service standard at METT Bodrum?
Our colleagues in Bodrum have embraced the brand very rapidly and understood the concept of relaxed luxury. By being themselves, they can connect with each guest without having this feeling of service being forced. This is not something you can teach, but instead, you need to employ talents with a deep passion for hospitality and make people feel happy.
Tell us more about the guest profile you are targeting at METT Bodrum this season and which are the absolute novelties you are introducing in Bodrum?
METT is conceived for the traveler of today looking for an ideal place to celebrate life and unwind. We believe some of the best memories are created when taking the time to sit back and socialise around dining experiences. At METT Bodrum, we have spent a lot of time and effort curating the offering of our four different restaurants to cater to both the local and international clientele we see in Bodrum. It’s a favorite destination for Turkish guests looking for a weekend getaway or a long summer by the sea, as well as an attractive destination to Europeans, CIS countries, and Gulf countries.
What are your expansion plans for the METT brand? Which is the business model you are seeking? (franchise, management etc.)
We plan to ramp up over the next three years at least ten more properties with Spain, Greece, Italy, and Dubai openings. We are looking at multiple models depending on the destinations, such as acquisitions, leases, or management agreements.
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