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A new spirit is emerging in hotel architecture and management: In future, luxury will be less of a matter of size or price , but will have much more to do with personal freedom and staying in original, authentic places. The Boutique Hotel Ruby Sofie in Vienna shows how it is done. On an optimised area it provides functional design and minimum use of personnel at an affordable price. And this isn't the only new feature: For the first time, Dialock, the well-tried identification and access control system from Häfele is being used for a reliable and quick self check-in. Häfele hotel room doors provide planning and functional reliability as an individually configured overall system.
For the Hotel Ruby Sofie in Vienna, founder Michael Struck deliberately chose a location with history, and is therefore relying on atmosphere rather than splendour: The Sofiensäle, a protected structure that was built in the 19th century and destroyed down to its foundations in a fire in 2001, were restored at considerable expense in 2013. A remarkable real estate project emerged from the burnt-out ruins: Architect Albert Wimmer planned a U-shaped annex to the historical main building, with offices, apartments, a fitness studio, a restaurant and the new hotel.
The Ruby Sofie takes advantage of the “Sofiensäle” location as a Viennese institution. Modern cosmopolitans now live temporarily in the place where Strauß and Liszt used to première and hold their concerts. Rooms with top quality furnishings in an extremely small space, deliberate reduction in services and operating convenience, but equipped with the luxury that big city nomads really appreciate nowadays. Individuality, inspiration and freedom are the new values that appeal to the young, dynamic and self-confident target group. “Lean Luxury” is the hotel recipe for the average budget: You book and pay online, and off you go on your trip!
The yacht as a model
Designing something that feels like 5-star luxury in a small space requires special planning skill from the architects and interior architects. In addition to a feel for room solutions that are both practical and top quality, and selecting the right materials in suitable locations, high-quality and harmonious solutions must be found at an early stage of planning which support the optimisation of the space that is available. With its 360° comprehensive project solutions and its wide range of products, Häfele is technically and creatively a competent partner for this task. The sooner the comprehensive Häfele know-how is involved by the planner, the more integrated and better the result.
During the design and interior layout of the 77 Ruby hotel rooms, Struck and Bachhuber Hoteleinrichtungen oriented the hotel furnishings to the design principles of modern yachts, which have to provide outstanding comfort in an extremely small space. Quality materials and bright colours characterise the compatible furnishing concept, which can be adapted to different room sizes and customisations, and get by with a minimum room width of 2 metres in extreme cases. In order to prevent the room from making a cramped and convoluted impression, the sanitary module consisting of the shower and toilet is implemented as a transparent unit in the room. The partition walls are glazed, but can be visually screened off from the room with a curtain. The handbasin sits on a filigree sideboard that crosses over into a cabinet and desk along the wall of the room. Classical wood panelling made from old wood contrasts with the glossy white furniture. Floors made from varnished oak floorboards and the carefully assembled vintage furniture and design classics make the rooms, which have been equipped to HD level with regard to multimedia, cosy and unmistakeable. Original accessories and historical details about the Sofiensälen make each room unique.
The ventilation system, which is situated in the area above the bathroom module, provides a good climate in the room, making this the only location in which the ceiling has to be suspended, leaving the rest of room spacious and expansive.
Häfele hotel room doors - individual, versatile and secure
Häfele hotel room doors provide the crossover to the subtly illuminated hotel corridors, with their shades of black and grey. The doors have been individually designed for the Ruby Sofie, with black on the outside and white on the inside. They have been equipped with components that are perfectly coordinated from a technical point of view and constitute a reliably functioning overall system. The certified system also provides extraordinary security and cost-effectiveness in planning, installation and during operation. The perfect functionality of the door – such as the protection that it provides in the event of a fire (fire resistance EI 30 in accordance with EN 1634-1 and smoke control in accordance with EN 1634-3) – has been proven. The structural unit of the door and the Dialock DT Lite door terminal also provides a high level of security from forced entry.
The planners can individually combine steel frames, fittings, electronic access control systems, door leaves and finishes. As far as architects, builders and operators are concerned, this means that they do not order all of the components individually and have to assemble them during installation on site when implementing hotel doors, but receive the fully assembled hotel door from Häfele.
Secure check-in: Why not in the hotel as well?
Area efficiency is only one part of the successful Ruby business model. In the second stage, the operators threw popular but expensive hotel clichés such as laundry service and room service and the mini bar overboard. And that's not all: In the Ruby Sofie the classic reception has also disappeared, because the modern generation of hotel guests is already accustomed to autonomous check-ins – they have been at the airport for a long time, and now they can be found in hotels as well. Why waste valuable time queuing at a reception when an exciting city is waiting to be explored?
In spite of the slimmed-down procedures – no cut-backs have been made with regard to security when checking in. There are three terminals in the Ruby Sofie lobby for hotel guests to do a quick self check-in. Together with hetras, Häfele's partner in the hotel management software area, the hardware specialist from Nagold has developed a comprehensive check-in concept in which the main role is played by Dialock, the electronic, transponder-based access control and identification system. This innovation is soon going to be used in many other hotels: If the name of the guest is entered on a touch screen embedded in the counter, the relevant booking data appears. All that needs to be done now is add a signature on the electronic pad, and the Dialock identification card, printed with the room number, the departure date and the WiFi code, is deposited in the dispenser on the front of the counter.
It couldn't be quicker or easier! The card designed with the CI of the hotel can simply be kept as a souvenir after the stay. Checking out is no longer required.
If the Dialock check-in card is lost, it can be blocked quickly and be replaced cost-effectively. Access managers can quickly obtain an overview of all locking operations, and locking authorisations are easily organised and can be changed in a jiffy if necessary. The high quality of the components assures reliably operation. The all-round service with remote maintenance or service on site provides additional security. “Do not disturb” or a mechanical emergency opening function, access control for wellness areas, connections to cashless billing systems and integration in multi-functional guest and tourism cards, ski passes and electronic bus tickets are also possible.
The example of Ruby Sofie shows: Successful hotel planning is a question of clever organisation, the use of synergies and the efficient use of resources. The incorporation of competent planning and product partners such as Häfele at an early stage helps when doing this.