On 20 February, it was announced that Eva Bachmann Director of Acquisitions and Strategy at MEININGER Hotels, was chosen as the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Young Leader Award by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF).
Eva received the award on 7th March at the InterContinental Berlin during the 20th edition conference programme of IHIF.
On learning that she had won the award, Eva had this to say: “My enthusiasm for the hospitality industry is what drives me to continue learning and progress. My role requires delicate co-ordination of development, legal and commercial angles in order to achieve successful transactions and this continues to provide me with exciting challenges on a daily basis. I am very humbled and also hugely excited to receive this award and look forward to meeting my colleagues across the industry at IHIF next month”.
“We couldn't be more pleased to recognise Eva for her career accomplishments and strategic growth of MEININGER Hotels. As a young professional who is as dedicated to the hospitality industry as we are, we look forward to seeing the impact Eva has on the industry for many years to come. We contribute the success of the Young Leader Award programme to our mutual mission of advancing the hospitality industry, and are humbled by the incredible nominations of young leaders we receive each year and by our partners and colleagues who help make this possible,” noted Andrea Belfanti, executive director of ISHC.
From luxury hotels to hostels
A 2009 graduate of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Eva began her career with KPMG in Zurich, before joining the sales & marketing team in the head office of the Victoria Jungfrau Collection.
In late 2010, she joined CBRE Hotels in London where she spent the following 3 years in the asset management and consultancy team. In this capacity, she looked after approximately 4’000 hotel rooms in the UK and Continental Europe and she represented owners of hotel real estate with respect to acquisition support, investment advisory and sourcing of new hotel investment opportunities.
She also carried out operational and strategic reviews of hotels, conducted operator selections and contract negotiations, as well as capital expenditure assessments and feasibility studies for new hotel projects and hotel extensions.
With this substantial and varied experience under her belt, she joined MEININGER as development manager in Berlin in September 2013.
At the beginning of 2015, she became an acquisition and strategy manager, dividing her time between Berlin and London, and, in June 2016, she was promoted to her present position of director acquisitions and strategy.
MEININGER is part of the innovative branded hostel segment which has developed particularly in German-speaking Europe.
The first MEININGER property opened for business on Meininger Strasse in Berlin in 1999 and, since then, the chain has grown to include 18 operating hostels located in twelve European cities..
MEININGER is fully owned by Holidaybreak Limited, which is active in the UK educational and adventure travel market. Holidaybreak Limited is owned by Cox & Kings, one of the oldest tour operators in the world.
Although the price per bed is relatively low, branded hostels typically generate an elevated level of revenue and profit per square metre of space due to the high average density of beds per room. This makes it possible to locate the hostels in expensive centre city locations.
MEININGER aims to triple the size of its portfolio within the next 3 years.
In terms of property specifications, MEININGER properties should fulfil the following requirements:
- Central, city centre location;
- Excellent transport connections;
- 2,000 to 7,000 sq m gross area;
- New building or converted office buildings;
- Differences in room sizes and layouts possible;
- No special requirements regarding visibility, and
- Integration in mixed-used concepts possible, access also from the 1st or 2nd floor.
In terms of asset management structure, MEININGER seeks to sign long-term lease contracts (20-25 years) for its properties.
This gives the chain a particular advantage for expansion in many European markets (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, France and even in the UK, where most budget hotels are freeholds or leaseholds).
However, the group can also make strategic acquisitions and has also recently signed its first management contract.