BERLIN - With more than 35 projects in development across 11 lifestyle-driven concepts on three continents, mixed-use lifestyle operator Kerten Hospitality’s dynamic disruption of the industry is making waves. With ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and responsible community-based business practices at its core, supporting the next generation of young hospitality
leaders is a key part of the brand’s philosophy.
Recognition of this commitment has been cemented with Business Development Manager Theo Bortoluzzi winning the 2022 Young Leader Award at the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF), held in Berlin from May 3-5, 2022, where he was also a guest speaker. Previously recognized on Hotelier Middle East’s 2021 30 Under 30 list of the most promising in the industry, Bortoluzzi was selected from a list of many outstanding candidates by hotel industry leaders, and takes over the 2022 title from last year’s winner, Davina Cisier, Director of Development Luxury Hotels for Accor.
With a bachelor’s degree in Global Hotel Management from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Marbella and training stints in Barcelona and Hong Kong, Bortoluzzi joined Kerten Hospitality in March 2020 as an intern, and in just two years – at the young age of 23 – has risen to oversee the brand’s business development process, from lead generation to contract negotiation. “As one of the youngest members of our team, we’re proud to see what Theo brings, not only to our brand but also to our owners and investors. The young generation is the driving force of our entire industry, and creating opportunities to empower individuals and help them grow is at the heart of what we do,” says Marloes Knippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality. Known for her commitment to mentoring and empowering the next generation of hoteliers, Knippenberg continuously pioneers innovation through the brand’s stakeholder network, including investors, owners, academia and hospitality leadership, always with a focus on ESG.
“By creating mixed-use lifestyle destinations with ESG at their core, we are attracting new audiences of savvy consumers committed to making responsible spending decisions that have a positive impact on the communities in which we operate,” she continues. “Not only does our focus on ESG benefit our guests, it’s also a huge opportunity for property owners and investors to be at the forefront of an evolving hospitality industry.”
A shining example of ESG in action, Bortoluzzi’s professional growth is testament to Kerten Hospitality’s empowerment of youth. He has been a key figure in the signing of Kerten Hospitality’s first European project, the Cloud7 Hotel Rome, opening in 2023. An innovative, community-centric destination, the hotel aims to be a place that’s as much loved by Romans as it is by visitors to the city by fostering local connections and collaborations. With an enviable location between Via del Corso and Via di Pietra, just steps from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, the hotel will be housed in a heritage building dating back to the early 20th century that was once home to the Banco di Roma. But rather than repeat the formula of many other boutique hotels, Cloud7 Hotel Rome will be different.
“Our mixed use and community-focused approach allows us to bring something completely new to Rome,” says Bortoluzzi. “While this will undoubtedly have benefits for our hotel guests, the opportunities for owners are also huge. Our mixed-use model sees us using rooms as offices during the daytime to generate incremental revenue, and our Social Hub for product launches, pop-ups and partnerships helps us reach non-traditional audiences and diversify revenue streams.”
With properties currently operating in Jeddah and 35+ and new mixed-use lifestyle projects coming up in Jordan, Georgia, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and the UAE, Kerten Hospitality continues to disrupt the industry, creating next generation sustainable developments that will benefit guests, communities and stakeholders alike.