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Dine like the Duke

Portrait

Ellington Hotel was opened in 2007 after a rather turbulent building and restoration phase. “During the build we discovered a suspended ceiling, so we spontaneously changed our initial plans and turned this room into a hall for events,” explains Tina Brack.

The Managing Director of Nürnberger Straße Hotel-Betriebs-GmbH has been involved since these early days and has been putting her heart and soul into the hotel ever since. “We had originally aimed for a three star superior standard, but after the grand opening that didn’t seem quite right, so we opted for four stars instead – a status important for the conference business.”

Another novelty development was the restaurant, which was also not originally planned in its current form. “We planned the concept throughout the first year and continuously developed it further,” Ms. Brack adds.

It is exactly this openness to new things and developments, this spontaneity and ability to react quickly, that is still a vital part of the Ellington Hotel today. Currently, its portfolio consists of accommodation, which at 60% makes up the main part of business, events at 30% and the restaurant at 10%.

“We actually place a focus on events – around 300 people is the optimum we are able to cater for – as the two other parts tend to be covered, too,” Ms. Brack states. “We are particularly strong in fashion, lifestyle and beauty culture, but we also host events for banks, large companies or federal associations.”

The Ellington Hotel also welcomes tourists, mainly families and individual travellers, especially during the holiday seasons. “We advertise in Italy, France and Spain, but also in Berlin,” Ms. Brack explains. “Twice a year we publish an event calendar.”

Furthermore, the company is present at trade fairs such as the ITB and invites agencies to the hotel. “We offer tours of Berlin and incentives for agencies across Germany,” Ms. Brack continues. Competition in Berlin is intense, and the Managing Director sees the current development with a certain worry.

“There are many, many hotel chains here. In my opinion, that is not a good development as the balance is lost,” she explains. “Unfortunately there is no regulation through politics at all, so as soon as a building, any building, is available, it gets turned into a hotel.”

The company’s response to this development is its very active approach. “We offer diversified services, employ more staff. We are also very present in social media and have recently relaunched our website,” the Managing Director says.

The skills shortage is another problem. 130 members of staff work at Nürnberger Straße Hotel-Betriebs-GmbH. “We have a good reputation and would rather search for longer in order to get the right people for the position,” Ms. Brack states. “And we place great emphasis on having an open door culture. Staff are always welcome to make suggestions, and we offer various training courses.”

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