Exclusive: Hotel Epoque in Bucharest expects up to EUR 1.4 mln revenues a year from 2013
The five-star boutique hotel Epoque in Bucharest, which has been opened earlier this year expects to post around EUR 700,000 in sales for this year, while from 2013, it should reach around EUR 1.2 million to EUR 1.4 million. “We run at an occupancy rate of 45 percent. 2012 will be an intermediate year for us and from 2013 we will run full speed,” Antoni Kuhnen, the hotel's general manager told Romania-Insider.com.
The occupancy rate on the market is of about 60 percent, on an average, while new hotels usually run under the market average.
The 45-suites hotel has been opened following an investment of EUR 8 million and is owned by D&M Perfect Real Estate, a company run by businessman Alex Oproiu. “I estimate the investment to be recovered in eight years. It is not a long period, if you think that on other European markets, it would take 16 years to recover the same investment, as the competition is higher,” Kuhnen explains.
The cheapest suites in the hotel go for EUR 149 + VAT, but Hotel Epoque has come up with promotional offers, hoping to attract more people in. For the George Enescu festival in fall, it has put together a package which includes three nights of stay, six tickets for the festival, a city tour and a day trip to Sinaia, for EUR 249. The package was launched three months ago, but 'nobody signed in yet', said Kuhnen. “It is difficult to attract tourists to the country. We have our own offers for the week-end, as the week is fairly well covered by business travelers. We have cultural week-end promotions and spa offers for the week-end,” says Kuhnen. "We also plan to soon bring two butlers from India, as it is fairly hard to train local staff to be a butler," he adds.
75 percent of the hotel's guests are foreigners, most of them coming from European countries. The average stay is between 3 and 4 nights, while the average spending is of EUR 200, without VAT. This includes the room, as well as food and wine in the hotel's restaurant, called Bistro Epoque. The restaurant was opened under the signature of two-Michelin stars chef Guy Martin, who created the menu and who has a five-year contract for this restaurant.
Kuhnen, who has been in Romania since 1997, has seen the Romanian hotel market changing from an owners' market, to a buyers' market. In 1997, he was leading the Sofitel hotel (now called Pullman). “Back then, we could have charged anything for a room. It was USD 240 per room. We had a sales department and even a refusal department,” Kuhnen remembers. Times were different, travelers were mostly tourists and the number of available rooms in the city was much smaller. “We made a lot of money back then, the yearly profits reached EUR 1.5 million,” he remembers.
Hotel Epoque is located downtown Bucharest, close to Cismigiu park. It was a greenfield investment and Antoni Kuhnen came onboard of the project in fall last year, after running his hospitality consultancy business here in Romania.
Corina Saceanu, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo sources: Hotel Epoque, Corina Saceanu/Romania-Insider.com)