Kai Hollmann on the rooftop of The George in Hamburg, Germany


Whether he is targeting the well-heeled or the budget-minded, Kai Hollmann uses his unflinching instinct for hospitality to create properties that are a perfect fit.

Kai Hollmann is the consummate hotelier. His career in the industry started in Hamburg at the age of 24 when he became the youngest hotel director in Germany. At the age of 40, he fulfilled his dream of becoming his own boss and now owns five hotels in Hamburg (including two 25hours), two 25hours in Frankfurt and one in Vienna He turned an ...

“The last thing I wanted was something that screamed, ‘Here we come,’” says Hollmann. “I did not want something that would change the character of the neighborhood.”

... old municipal gasworks building in a run-down area of Hamburg into the Gastwerk, Germany's first loft-style hotel. Next came the retro design budget hotel 25hours No. 1 in the very same area and only a few steps from the Gastwerk. The successes of these properties led him to the concept for
The George in Hamburg's up-and-coming creative neighborhood St. George. Latching onto the British colonial feeling associated with the name “The George,” Hollmann endeavored to deliver something that was comfortable and traditional, yet minimalist. “The last thing I wanted was something garish that screamed, ‘Here we come,’” says Hollmann. “I distinctly did not want something that would change the colorful character of the neighborhood." Warm colors, such as cocoa and champagne, were mixed with plissé lampshades and luxurious wallpapers. Taken together, these design elements exude the feel of a traditional English social club. It’s not surprising that Hollmann’s portfolio ranges from the four-star The George to the hostel-like Superbude. He loves extremes and opposites. But beyond that, the real concern for Kai Hollmann may simply be this: What’s next? After forthcoming openings in Zurich and in his homeland he doesn’t want to jump straight into another project. Rather, he says, it’s time for a breather.

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