Face-to-Face: Julie von Sperling, Guest Relations Manager, Nimb hotel, Copenhagen
1) Can you give our readers and overview of your hotel, its key selling points and business mix?
Nimb, as the house appears today, opened its doors in 2008 after a comprehensive refurbishment. The building originally dates back to 1909. All 13 rooms exclusive rooms are individually and elegantly designed with hand-picked antiques, the finest quality of linen, vast bathrooms with bath tubs, open fireplaces and wooden floors. The rooms also face the historic Tivoli Gardens which adds charm and makes the experience even more unique. The hotel also has a Michelin-starred restaurant, a renowned Scandinavian brasserie, a stunning bar with chandeliers and a big open fireplace, a wine bar with one of Scandinavia’s largest selectionsof wine, as well as banquet and meeting facilities. Nimb also has banquet and meeting facilities.
We aim to give our guests an experience out of the ordinary; we want to exceed our guests’ expectations and our key selling points will always be a high level of service as well as unpretentious luxury which create a seamless guest experience. The majority of our guests are from North America, but we also get many gets from the UK and France as well as Norway and Sweden. During the summer months it’s mainly leisure travelers, and during the winter is a great mix of leisure and business travellers.
2) Nimb Hotel has a strong culinary heritage, and features a Michelin-starred restaurant. How much of your business derives from the F&B sector?
We were fortunate to gain one Michelin star for Restaurant Herman in March 2009. Along with our renowned Nimb Brasserie, both outlets are ideal for business lunches as well as private dinners. This contributes to a high volume of F&B at Nimb, which generates the greater majority of our bottom line.
3) Has the hotel market in Copenhagen recovered this year, and to what extent has Nimb’s exclusive status insulated it from the downturn seen elsewhere?
The hotel market in Copenhagen is still trying to recover, especially because there have been no larger conferences in Copenhagen this year (last year we benefitted from the IOC Congress and the Climate Summit). However, Nimb is a standalone hotel of high quality and with a lovely mix of outlets to make guests feel as much at home as possible; regardless of whether they’re staying overnight or just visiting the restaurants. We of course need to adjust the rates according to the market, but we’ve also managed to maintain a high revPAR as we have a product guests value and want to pay that bit extra for.
4) Nimb is also a rather romantic hotel; have you noticed any upswing in the wedding and honeymoon market from Asian markets?
We’ve definitely noticed an increase from the Asian market. Guests fall in love with the idea of walking around in the historic Tivoli Gardens during the day or evening and spending the night in the romantic setting at Nimb, surrounded by charming features such as the chandeliers in the bar and the fire place in the room. Who doesn’t want sip Champagne or breakfast in front of the open fire? Moreover, both restaurants have strong references to Danish cuisine and you can get a complete ‘Danish experience’ at Nimb as we combine Danish and Scandinavian design with Danish food.
5) What else is Nimb Hotel doing to target the Asian market, and what initiatives can we expect to see in 2011?
We get many requests and great coverage from the Asian media who are mainly drawn to our restaurants and the Danish design-element at Nimb as a whole. Along with the interest in the Tivoli Gardens, which many Asian tourists tend to visit while in Copenhagen, it makes it natural for us to target the Asian market by working closely with the media and make bespoke packages for the Asian guests. Our plans for 2011 are yet to be confirmed, but we are planning to add a few extra hotel rooms (one will be a fantastic suite) as well as the option to add a spa and fitness facilities.