a&o Florence: Berlin-based hostel chain to open House No. 40 in the heart of Tuscany in Spring 2024.
BERLIN, GERMANY – Centrally located at the Campo di Marte train station, the future a&o Florence is just a half-hour walk from the Piazza del Duomo in the historic city center. In the spring of 2024, house No. 40 of the Berlin based hostel group will open here in the heart of Tuscany with 121 rooms. The conversion work on the former administrative building at Via Mannelli 119 is currently in full swing. The historic facade of the building, which dates back to 1963, will be preserved.
a&o founder and CEO Oliver Winter shares, “We’ve had our eyes on Florence for quite some time and are eager to launch the concept for this hostel. In line with our brand and other accommodations across Europe, a&o Florence will have numerous sustainable measures in place as we work towards our goal of being net zero by 2025.” A long-term lease has been signed for the a&o Florence. The energy-efficient measures include the use of gray water for toilet flushing, central heat recovery to preheat the showers and self-regulation of the air-conditioning systems by window sensors. There are also plans to generate electricity using a photovoltaic system on the roof of the five-story building. This would also benefit the neighborhood supply instead of payment. Instead of being fed into the public power grid, unused electricity is considered a municipal contribution in Italy. ”
Sustainable growth picks up speed “responsibly”
“Our credo applies again: at least two new houses every year,” Oliver Winter explains with a view to further expansion. “As we pick up the speed on our expansion plans, we will continue to do so responsibly.” With currently 39 houses in nine European countries, a&o is the world’s largest hostel chain. As a&o Hostels continues to expand, the brand is eyeing other popular European travel markets including London, Dublin and Paris. “We are growing sustainably and will continue to drastically optimize the energy efficiency of our buildings, generate electricity exclusively from renewable energy and implement a&o standards for responsible and ethically-sustainable procurement and supply chain.” Collaboration with local service providers and producers is also a priority in Florence.
According to recent analysis, the calculated CO2 emissions per a&o guest per night is 3.73 kilograms, up to 80 percent lower than the competition. The aim is to be Europe’s first net zero hostel group by 2025. Winter believes it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions to less than 2.5 kilograms per overnight stay. The remainder will be offset. As of this June, direct bookers can compensate voluntarily online.
Florence – capital of the Italian region Tuscany and “La Bella”
The city on the Arno is home to numerous Renaissance masterpieces of art and architecture. Highlights include the Duomo, Michelangelo’s “David” in the Galleria dell’Accademia, and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” in the Uffizi Gallery. The opening of the a&o Florence was already planned for 2022 but was delayed due to the pandemic. Oliver Winter is all the more pleased that the renovation work is now “proceeding in a very committed and motivated manner.” The former administration building lay empty for several years. “The cooperation with the city was and is extremely positive.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.