More and more Germans prefer vacation at home to long long-distance trips - now it is over 50 percent. The reason for this is not only the trend towards environmentally conscious living and so-called slow living, but also the fact that word is getting around that Germany is in no way inferior to other holiday destinations. In just a few hours in the car or train, we hike through lake landscapes that can compete with the fjords of Norway, discover mountains and valleys of the Alps, Harz or Saxon Switzerland, let the coastal wind ruffle our hair and walk in the large and small cities of the country on the trail of our history.
The Michel Hotels have been observing this trend since the company was founded in 2009. And just as guests are discovering the beauty of the country more and more, we have now found a home in almost every corner of Germany.
In Heppenheim in southern Hesse, for example, between the vineyards of the Bergstrasse and the deep green hills of the Odenwald, in Hodenhagen in Lower Saxony in the middle of the species-rich landscape park of the Lüneburg Heath, in Monschau a stone's throw from the border with Belgium in the heart of the impressive Eifel National Park and in the varied landscape of the Bavarian Forest in Waldkirchen in Lower Bavaria.
Our goal in each of our houses is to give our guests a feeling of being at home - a “home away from home” - regardless of whether they are on business or with family. Simply because we know the feeling of home just as well as we are homesick. And because we love the challenge of fulfilling individual wishes.
Interview with CEO Ido Michel
And how did you come about as a career changer in the hotel business?
It was actually more coincidental than actually planned. Some time ago I had acquired some real estate, including a hotel, which was leased to the operators at the time. When the lease ended after a while, we were faced with the decision of how to proceed with the hotel and decided to run the hotel ourselves. It quickly became clear to me that the Michel Hotel was going to become something bigger.
After more than 10 years as a hotelier: What are the key challenges in 2019?
An exciting topic for us at the moment is the trend towards environmentally conscious and “green” action. In recent years, this has given us the challenge of reacting quickly and providing charging stations for e-vehicles, for example for our conference guests, which we can already score points with some hotels. In addition, the trend is of course also playing into our cards: For example because many people - especially families - decide to discover their home country instead of long-distance travel. With our family-friendly Michel & Friends Hotels, we offer great opportunities.
You grew up in the Mediterranean port city of Haifa and lived in New York and Singapore. What do you like about your adopted country of Germany as a travel destination?
For me, Germany offers an incredible variety that can be reached over very short distances - and often in places where you might not expect it at first. Actually, no matter where you are, you can just sit in the car or train for an hour or two and get off at a place that has potential for that holiday feeling. It doesn't have to be the classic holiday regions like the Alps or the Baltic Sea. My personal favorite regions are mainly in the south of the country.
The interview with Ido Michel was conducted by Sandra Kathe, a freelance journalist. June 2019 in Frankfurt-Maintal