Stylish Europe in a Budget – Generator Hostels

Generator’s history
Generator started life as a family-owned business back in 1995, and was acquired by Patron Capital in August 2007; the two properties at that time, which were both in key youth travel cities (London and Berlin) inspired the new owners and it is there that the revolutionary concept began: to create a worldwide portfolio of achingly fashionable, urban design hostels, that are stylish and contemporary, central, safe and very affordable.

Immediately, Patron Capital’s Hospitality & Leisure Partner, Josh Wyatt began refashioning Generator, leading the strategic, creative and financial strategies of the business enabling the platform and brand to grow from two properties in 2007 to eight – as of autumn 2013.

To facilitate the growth of the brand, in 2011, Carl Michel joined as Generator’s Executive Chairman following years of extensive experience in the travel and aviation industry for companies such as BA, Opodo and Holidaybreak. Together Patron and the Generator team have been working to dispel the ordinary hostel myth by actively replacing all the unflattering aspects of old style hostelling with bespoke design, innovation, creativity, culture, technology and extremely vibrant social spaces.

Following a rejuvenating rebrand in 2012, Generator became the fastest growing hostel group in Europe. Bed stock grew to 3900 and then again to 5200 (a 33% increase) in 2013. Not content with stopping there, the portfolio will grow to 6425 (a 23.5% increase) beds by the end of 2014 with the goal of between 8-10,000 beds by 2015 (another min 24.5% increase).

This calendar year Generator will achieve a new record for the group when it exceeds 1 million bed nights. However, Generator is about so much more than growing ‘numbers’. More detail on the differentiation and dispelling of the hostel myth can be found in the next section. Suffice to say, the Generator teams have invested a huge amount of thought and hard work into creating an excellent (not satisfactory, not mediocre, not tolerable) sleep and social experience within each and every Generator.

Generator’s offering

Urban Design Hostels
We’re talking cutting-edge design from the award-winning Anwar Mekhayech from The Design Agency. Think what some of the luxury hotel brands have done for the boutique hotel space in their quest to be desirable and stylish – well that is what Generator is doing for hostels – just without the price tag. It might sound like a big statement, but simply step inside any Generator to realize it is true.

The design of each Generator property is individual to its location, expertly created to reflect its surrounding neighborhood and culture – in Generator’s words, “we aim to respect the soul of the city we are in”.

The use of the social spaces is also key to the philosophy of Generator. Whether travelling alone, on business or with a partner, all Generators are places with gregarious spaces, designed to instigate social serendipity. Axiomatically, Anwar’s design draws people into the gloriously furnished social spaces where they lounge, surf, chat, play games, eat and drink, relax, read, watch TV and see great live entertainment.

Location
Locations are chosen by virtue of proximity to public transport in areas where there is a creative, community buzz. Cities are chosen on the basis of youth travel appeal and must have an artistic or cultural trend that makes it an interesting and exciting place for the travelling cognoscenti.

Generator currently has nine design-led properties with nearly 6200 beds across seven countries. The properties attract guests from over 75 nationalities. In alphabetical order, here’s the top line on those properties:

Generator Barcelona is located in the trendy Gràcia district in an iconic corner office building. As Generator’s only hotel and hostel combination, its top floors offer private terraces, complete with striking views across the city skyline from the Sagrada Familia to the Mediterranean.
Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg is based in a refurbished retro office building with traditional East German characteristics in the ϋber-cool Prenzlauer Berg district.
Generator Berlin Mitte is in the heart of one of Berlin’s most buzzing neighborhoods with a historic, listed interior courtyard. Artwork by legendary Berlin Wall street artist Thierry Noir adds to the hostel’s Bohemian character.
Generator Copenhagen is a former Philippe Starck residential development which combines some of the original furniture with a welcoming, urban-inspired design.
Generator Dublin was the former Irish folk-dancing hall in the fashionable Smithfield Square neighborhood and is connected to the famous Jameson distillery.
Generator Hamburg is in Klockmann Haus, the city’s first skyscraper. Once a famous department store, the Beatles recorded one of their first songs during their Hamburg years (October 1960) in a private acoustic studio on the 5th floor.
Generator London was once a police station set in antique London Mews and, keeping true to its roots, many original features and signage is still visible.
Generator Paris Paris, like all other Generators, evolves the hostel concept into a lifestyle experience for discerning travelers who want to explore the real city with style, comfort and the right price tag.
Generator Venice is located on the island of Giudecca in an old grain warehouse, just across the water from St Mark’s Square. As the only hostel in the Venetian Archipelago, it is an ideal base for exploring the beautiful historic city.

Music, Technology and Events
Each property has free Wi-Fi and 24-hour security with welcoming, knowledgeable staff on hand around the clock to provide advice on exploring the local area and other tips for a memorable city stay.

Generator’s philosophy, location and design effortlessly attract unique collaborations with local artists, musicians and international brands and, to strengthen this authenticity, each hostel has an event coordinator who is efficiently plugged into the scene and coordinates parties, classes, fashion and art exhibitions and music activities. Take the artist in residence programme at Venice and Berlin, Joss Akesson’s live show at Generator during Copenhagen Fashion Week or Red Bull sponsored events as an example. The list is never ending; photos, videos and comments of these experiences seem to flow on Generator’s Twitter and Facebook pages. It’s no wonder Generator is the leading hostel brand on Facebook.

Aside from these uniquely designed events, music plays a significant part of the culture, identity and social experience of guests and is therefore a key element of Generator’s social spaces; from in-property concerts to its carefully curated brand sound that every guest can influence and take home.

Because of this fresh approach Generator’s demand is increasing, attracting those discerning travellers who are in tune with the ‘contemporary design at affordable prices’ message. Every Generator property is naturally young, soulful, smart and energetic.

Beds
And so what kind of bed do you get for €10 per night? Surely there can be nothing left after all of the modern lighting, furnishing, art installations etc.? A comprehensive range of room styles, all immaculate, modern and stylish – including female only dorms and en-suite rooms with free bed-linen and towels – are offered at competitive rates so there is something suitable for every budget and traveller type.

Regardless of whether you’re sharing an eight dorm or in a private en-suite, all of Generator’s spaces are designed to instantly make you feel like you are home, regardless of where you are in the world.

Guests can instantly book a bed with Generator Hostels’ via the website generatorhostels.com

Coming soon…
Generator aims to have 15 locations by 2015 and Patron Capital has invested an additional €150 million into the business in order to realise its ambitious growth plans; these include further sites in Europe as well as expansion into the US. The two most immediate acquisitions are Rome and Amsterdam, which will open late 2015.

Generator Rome
Built in the 1900’s as an elegant residential building on Via Principe Amedeo, Generator Rome is perfectly positioned, located within a short walking distance of the Colosseum amphitheatre, Termini Station and Metro to the main Roman attractions.

Set over seven floors with 80 rooms the building will accommodate over 200 guests and will include a cave, bar and lounge. There will also be a rooftop terrace that will be open to all guests, commanding breath-taking views across Rome.

Generator Amsterdam
The new Generator will be located in the University of Amsterdam’s former health sciences and zoological department, and will accommodate up to 566 guests in 168 twin and quadruple rooms with park or garden views and en-suite bathrooms. An exclusive luxury apartment overlooking Oosterpark will be fitted for six people and include self-catering facilities. The building is an imposing brick structure completed in 1917 and features elegant, grand spaces and very high ceilings throughout. Two new floors with all glass facades will be added, marrying modern architecture with the unique heritage of the property.

Roger Ramirez
PURPLE | 27-29 Glasshouse Street | London | W1B 5DF | +44 7984 471449 | www.purplepr.com

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