Austria’s second IntercityHotel opens in Graz
229 new rooms in the Styrian State Capital designed by Matteo Thun
A new opening in the City of Design: Graz followed in the footsteps of Vienna to become the second location in Austria with an IntercityHotel when the IntercityHotel Graz opened its doors on 13 November 2020. As usual, the hotel occupies a central site right next to the main railway station. This new four-star IntercityHotel offers 229 rooms spread over five floors and is currently the largest hotel in the city.
The hotel features a modern and comfortable interior design by the Italian architect Matteo Thun and thus fits in perfectly with a city which is well known for its major creative scene. Graz is one of UNESCO’s designated Design Cities, a status which means it forms part of an international Creative Cities Network. It has numerous museums, galleries and festivals as well as being home to four universities and two Universities of Applied Sciences which offer courses of study in disciplines such as Industrial Design, Information Design, Media and Interaction Design and Exhibition and Museum Design.
“We have wanted to open an IntercityHotel in Graz for some considerable time,” said Christian Kaschner, Managing Director of IntercityHotel GmbH. “Graz is an economic hub and a city of culture and science all rolled into one. This is an ideal location for the kind of modern and sustainable hotel that IntercityHotels are able to deliver. Mr. Kaschner went on: “We would like to extend our thanks to our partner, the GBI Company Group, for making this venture possible.”
In its capacity as project developer, GBI has created a mixed-use concept building on Finkengasse within the immediate vicinity of the railway station. This summer, 187 apartments for students have already been completed adjacent to the hotel under the group’s own SMARTments brand. Deka Immobilien secured a purchase contract to acquire the IntercityHotel in Graz prior to the commencement of construction works in the spring of 2019 and placed it in WestInvest’s special TargetSelect fund. The launch of the IntercityHotel Graz represents GBI’s first hotel opening in Austria, although the company has been the most significant developer in this segment in Germany for several years. “As the capital of Styria, Graz is both a strong economic engine and a popular tourist destination,” stressed Reiner Nittka, CEO of GBI Holding AG. “It is a highly appropriate and impressive location for our debut on the Austrian market, especially given the hotel’s great central position.” The current effects of the corona pandemic will not impair the attractiveness of the city in the medium and long term. “We evaluate this type of requirement over a period of decades,” stressed GBI’s Project Manager Ditia Edalati. “For this reason, we do not harbour any doubts about an up and coming metropolis such as Graz.”
“The whole of the team at the IntercityHotel Graz is looking forward to hosting our guests at the new property in this fantastic city”, stated Stefan Willensdorfer, General Manager of the IntercityHotel Graz. “As well as meeting the needs of business travellers, the IntercityHotel Graz will also provide a unique base for cultural enthusiasts and leisure visitors. The old quarter of the city is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can easily access this district on foot or via public transport, which they can use free of charge thanks to the FreeCityTicket scheme included in the cost of their overnight accommodation. The IntercityHotel App allows contactless check-in and creates a digital room key.” The new hotel at Finkengasse 2 will also offer a restaurant, a BistroLounge, a Smokers’ Lounge and four conference rooms.
“Kunsträume” at the IntercityHotel Graz
The photographic art project “Kunsträume” (“Art Rooms”) came into being following the conclusion of a cooperation agreement with Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. Works by young artists with local links are now being displayed at selected hotels which operate under the IntercityHotel brand. The IntercityHotel Graz will form the backdrop for images by Simon Grunert and Georg Barbe, whose exhibition entitled “Traces” takes a photographic look at Graz and Styria and invites observers to consider the city and the region from their perspective.
IntercityHotel is a Deutsche Hospitality brand which stands for modern upper mid-range urban hotels. IntercityHotels are located within easy walking distance of airports or railway stations. Guests also benefit from a “FreeCityTicket” scheme, which enables them to use local public transport free of charge. The IntercityHotels portfolio includes more than 40 hotels in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Oman and China, and 20 further properties are currently at the development stage. Deutsche Hospitality operates four further brands. Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts boast 60 hotels housed in historic traditional buildings and lively city residences and also offer health and beauty oases set at the very heart of nature. MAXX by Steigenberger is a new and charismatic concept which places the focus on the essential in accordance with its motto “MAXXimize your stay”, whilst Jaz in the City branded hotels reflect metropolitan lifestyle and draw upon the local music and cultural scene. Zleep Hotels provide quality and design at an affordable price in Denmark and Sweden.
About GBI AG and GBI Wohnungsbau GmbH:
GBI AG and its sister company GBI Wohnungsbau GmbH develop hotel, apartment and residential projects. On its own or with partners, the company has been able to sell or place real estate in Germany and Austria with a volume of around €1.9 billion since its foundation in 2001. The hotel project developments of GBI AG comprise around 14,600 rooms. The company is active for all relevant national and international brands in the segments from budget to upscale. The long-stay segment has grown particularly strongly. Since 2010, under the brand umbrella SMARTments ®, the company has intensified its involvement in the development and operation of micro-apartments for students, business travellers and private individuals. In the commercial sector of SMARTments business, the project list includes locations with 752 apartments in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna in operation. In addition, around 700 apartments are under construction and in planning in Mannheim, Frankfurt a.M., Hamburg and Vienna.
GBI Wohnungsbau GmbH is active nationwide in the area of SMARTments student, SMARTments living, as well as in the classic subsidised housing construction. So far, 3,947 student apartment places have been completed or are under construction in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt/M., Cologne, Darmstadt, Mainz, Freiburg, Erlangen, Essen, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Kaiserslautern, Vienna and Graz. In addition, there is the development of new SMARTments living projects in Hamburg and Wiesbaden. A significantly growing area of activity is the development of privately financed and subsidised rental housing with currently around 1000 residential units at 18 locations.
The parent company of GBI AG and GBI Wohnungsbau GmbH is the GBI Holding AG, a 100 % subsidiary of the Moses Mendelssohn Foundation.