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Hospitality design projects often carry with them pressing timescales for both the design teams involved and their clients. Coordinating a project that runs smoothly, without unforeseen setbacks, often hinges on a number of things going exactly as planned. Since that scenario remains something of a unicorn, it takes a mixture of successful collaboration and careful planning to execute a project on time. Continuing from our last edition, we asked a designer and an operator to respond to each other’s question on the subject, to find out what both sides believe is important to keep in mind.

“Collaboration” might be an industry buzzword, but what does true collaboration look like to you when you are working with design teams?

For Motel One, true collaboration means working with designers and brands in our locations to create hotels that truly reflect the cities they are located in. We believe a great collaboration brings authenticity and ensures we are at our most creative when designing the interiors of our hotels. Before we even start working on a new opening, we like to brainstorm as a team to think of ways we can collaborate with local artisans and brands to create a space that brings together the location’s unique heritage in a contemporary way.

For example, when designing Motel One Freiburg, which opened last year, we wanted to ensure our One Lounge reflected the character of the German city and its location on the edge of the Black Forest. Freiburg and the Black Forest are famous for their ornate, hand-crafted cuckoo clocks. Our design team conducted lots of research and discovered the local family business of Christophe Herr, which has been crafting cuckoo clocks in its Black Forest workshop for five generations.

Christophe Herr, one of the most famous clock carvers in the country, made a selection of 13 pieces especially for us by hand, which take pride of place in the hotel lounge. This collaboration is a wonderful example of how Motel One likes to collaborate with brands, and we love that the hotel reflects the traditional heritage of Freiburg but in a truly contemporary setting – bridging the past and present.


For us, a true collaboration also means building a long-term partnership with a brand that goes beyond a one-time project. For example, we have worked with the famous German lighting designer Ingo Maurer on several of our hotels, who we know we can always rely on for stunning lighting installations, and also our regular partner Baxter, the Italian furniture designer

Collaborations are incredibly important to Motel One. We try to partner with a local artisan or designer for every new hotel opening to ensure the new project integrates into the community and fosters the talent of local creatives – and ultimately creates an engaging and interesting space for guests to drink, work or relax in our One Lounge.

Ursula Schelle-Müller: Head of Marketing and Design, Motel One