Kerten Hospitality Introduces “Pipeline with a Purpose” into North Africa

New properties in Rome and Marrakesh follow recent openings in Tbilisi and Istanbul

Following on from the much-lauded opening of The House Hotel Old Tbilisi in July this year, mixed-use ESG-focused lifestyle operator Kerten Hospitality is ramping up development, with more than 40 purpose-driven projects across 12 brand concepts in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the CIS region.

Between now and the end of 2022, Kerten Hospitality will open one new concept a month, a robust pipeline-with-a-purpose that puts the brand’s strong commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and responsible community-based business practices in the spotlight, with every opening aiming to have a long-term positive impact on the community in which it operates. Upcoming openings include hotels in Rome, Kuwait and AlUla which will be closely followed by a new opening in Marrakech later this year. The brand’s mixed-use developments focus on connecting travellers and residents, with collaborations and own-brand projects in the food and beverage, entertainment, art and wellness spheres. More than simply opening a hotel or restaurant, Kerten Hospitality builds community-centric destinations and ecosystems where business and leisure combine to create vibrant mini-economies.

Marloes Knippenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Kerten Hospitality, believes that the brand’s active development pipeline will bring benefits to both guests and investors. “As we ramp up our developments, we’re creating jobs in each destination we enter, proactively hiring locally and creating opportunities for those looking for career development. We’re also supporting businesses by purchasing locally wherever possible,” she says. “More developers are seeking to connect with operators to look jointly at creating something that brings not only a long-term ROI, but that also connects to the neighbourhood through mixed-use projects that drive year-round footfall. At Kerten Hospitality, we’re in the perfect position to drive forward more of these projects with a purpose.”

A collection of ESG-focused hospitality brands
Kerten Hospitality’s diverse range of brands currently includes:

• The House Hotels – The House Hotel are laid-back luxury properties in prime locations that marry cultural elements with classic and contemporary styles, offering tailored destination experiences that connect to the community. Currently open are the House Hotel City Yard Jeddah, an energetic and stylishly designed lifestyle hotel connected to some of the city’s most exciting food and beverage concepts, and The House Hotel Old Tbilisi, a restored traditional merchant’s house in the Georgian capital’s historical heart, with hand-painted murals by Musya Qeburia in each of the rooms. Upcoming projects are well underway in Egypt, Kuwait and Turkey.

• Cloud 7 Hotels – A young-at-heart lifestyle brand, Cloud7 focuses on punchy, colourful design, and shakes up the concept of what it means to be a hotel. Deskless check-in, lobbies that function as social hubs, healthy grab-and-go food, and boutiques selling locally made products are all part of what makes Cloud7 much more than just another mid-scale hotel. Currently operating in Ayla Aqaba in Jordan, and StaySO by Cloud7 in Istanbul’s Bomonti neighbourhood, with upcoming projects in prime locations in Egypt, Italy, Jordan and the UAE.

• The House and Cloud7 Residences – Both the House and Cloud7 brands incorporate residences and serviced apartments for short- or long-term stays, connecting guests to the local community with communal spaces, brand collaborations and buzzing dining venues. They have plenty to offer investors too, with the combined benefits of the brands’ trademarks, full services and facility management leading to premium selling prices.

• Nakhati – Just opened in August in Riyadh, Nakhati, meaning “my flavour” in Arabic, is Kerten Hospitality’s purpose-driven premium gelato brand offering more than just deliciously unexpected flavours and local Saudi ingredients. Nakhati offers fledgling Saudi entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch their own franchises with access to initial funding, a range of options from a simple gelato cart to kiosk or fully-fledged store, and a comprehensive suite of high-quality business tools and mentorship programmes to support the growth and empowerment of franchisees.

• Ouspace – Ouspace brings a collaborative working space environment to each of Kerten Hospitality’s residential developments, replacing the traditional meeting rooms and business centres of the past with a future-looking solution. The spaces are blank canvases, offering flexible space for events, social scenes for those who like to be part of something bigger, and efficient, functional workplaces for when something just needs to get done. It’s the future of business. Upcoming openings planned in Jeddah and Tbilisi.

A development pipeline with a purpose

Kerten Hospitality’s ambitious pipeline of upcoming projects spans ten openings in the next eight months, with ten additional signings in progress and a total of more than 45 projects in development. Upcoming projects include openings in Egypt, Georgia, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and range from urban to resort projects in locations both familiar and emerging.

Much of the brand’s purpose is built on the ESG initiative UBBU – United. Building a Better Universe. Inspired by the Butterfly Effect, based on the fact that small actions, especially when done by many, have the power to prompt global impact and change, the brand’s UBBU philosophy drives every project from the beginning to completion. From early steps, such as a commitment to hiring staff locally and using local materials, to decisions around supporting social causes, creating markets for local artists and artisans, to making simple adjustments to heat, water and air-filtering systems, UBBU is the foundation on which every project is built.

“ESG is more than a nice-to-have for Kerten Hospitality,” says Knippenberg. “It drives everything we do, from a social to an environmental level. Our belief in UBBU is shared by every member of our team, and that drive to bring only positive impacts on the destinations in which we operate is one of the key foundations of our business.”

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