Room Mate adds collection brand

After a year of consolidation in 2023, European group Room Mate is now poised to grow fast, as it seeks out smaller hotels in gateway cities of Europe to add to its portfolio.

Room Mate Hotels has launched a refreshed look, and a new brand, as it looks forward to growth in 2024 after a year of consolidation.

The company, which currently has 22 hotels across Europe, reported 2023 revenues of EUR106.5m, up 37% as business returned following the pandemic period. Having achieved ebitda of EUR15.7m in 2023, the company is targeting an improvement to EUR24.1m in fiscal year 2024, on sales grown to around EUR150m.

Milan and Barcelona additions

To expand its appeal, a new Room Mate Collection brand has been launched, aiming to sign up four star plus hotels. Two of the group’s existing hotels, the Giulia in Milan and Gerard in Barcelona, will be switched to the new brand as launch properties, but the group says it has pipeline properties to add in London, Paris, Berlin, Sicily, Rome and Milan.

Target properties have less than 80 rooms, and will be decorated in the Room Mate style of high end design, free of traditional strong hotel branding. There will also be investment in the existing properties, with around EUR16m of upgrades and refurbishments planned during 2024.

Company president Kike Sarasola says the new collection properties will offer a more personalised service and a step up in affordable luxury “without losing the other flagship qualities of the chain such as the location in the centre of the city or the tranquility of being at home, hallmarks of Room Mate throughout its history.” He has committed to growing the company’s two brands to 35 properties by the end of 2026.

US visitor appeal

Room Mate’s appeal is truly international, with 14% of revenues coming from US visitors arriving in Europe, across the portfolio. In Italy, that number rises to 23% of turnover coming from American arrivals, followed by visitors from the Middle East. Into 2024, the company says it is already seeing a spike in bookings from Chinese visitors, as well as Brazilian and Kuwaiti travellers.

The Spanish hotel group had a tough time during the pandemic, having to restructure in mid 2022 at which point investors Angelo Gordon and Westmont Hospitality backed the business. Its current portfolio includes 12 hotels in Spain, ssix in Italy, two in the Netherlands plus one each in Istanbul and London. The aim is to add hotels via purchase, rental or management deals, and Sarasola is in talks with a number of international fund backers interested in acquiring assets for Room Mate to brand and manage.