The Student Hotel gets €300m to supercharge expansion

The Student Hotel, Lisbon
A rendering of The Student Hotel in Lisbon. (The Student Hotel)

Insight Comment
The Student Hotel has been exploring the blurred line between traditional student accommodation and hotels since 2012 and it is coming out of the pandemic with expansion in its sights. The problem, and it’s a good problem to have, is that others will have seen the success it has had, and also want a piece of the action. The company will be banking on its significant head start as well as its tech platform to keep it in front.

Amsterdam-based The Student Hotel (TSH) has secured €300 million of funding from its current shareholders Aermont and APG as it looks to expand the brand across Europe.

The financial backing will allow the company to start building seven new hotels in key European cities, adding nearly 3,000 rooms to the existing portfolio. It will also help fund the roll-out of new technology at its hotels and  help it to pursue new investments.

Even with the Covid-19 pandemic in the background TSH has opened three new hotels over the past 18 months, in Bologna, Delft and Vienna.

TSH says it could see revenue top €100 million in 2022 with a further three hotels coming online, in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse, adding more than 1,000 rooms.

What They Say

CEO Charlie MacGregor: “We performed better than many traditional hospitality companies during the Covid pandemic. Our student, co-working and co-living customers have been very loyal and helped ensure that we were EBITDA positive at our hotels. Thanks to our hybrid operating model, we were able to quickly increase our room allocation towards students at a moment when leisure and corporate travel disappeared. 

“Despite all the restrictions on travel, the lockdowns and education disruptions for students, we achieved strong occupancy over the past 18 months even in new markets where we had just opened. This has allowed us to come through the Covid crisis stronger.”

Vincent Rouget, partner at Aermont: “The unprecedented test brought by the pandemic proved the resilience and the lower volatile nature of The Student Hotel hybrid business model thanks to its diversified sources of revenues. 

“With its unrivalled owned portfolio of prime properties across Europe and its unique community-based hospitality experience across generations, TSH emerges from the pandemic well capitalized and superbly positioned to consolidate its leadership position towards the millennial and Gen-Z audience."

What Is The Student Hotel?

TSH was founded back in 2012 and has been one of the leading proponents of the hybridisation of living spaces. 

The designs take lessons from the hotel industry and apply them to student accommodation. “When I realised that it was best to use a hotel model in the EU to host students I saw the massive added value of being able to invite parents or graduates and young professionals to also be part of this community,” MacGregor told Hospitality Insights in April this year.

All TSH properties offer a mixed-use campus with accommodation, bars, restaurants, gyms, retail shops, meeting and event spaces and co-working space.

TSH is currently active in 15 European locations with two hotels in Amsterdam and in Barcelona as well as one each in Berlin, The Hague, Delft, Vienna, Groningen, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Paris, Florence and Bologna.

Blurring the Lines

At this year’s Adjacent Spaces event at IHIF 2021 we heard from a number of operators and investors about the influence of hotels on the co-living, senior living, and student accommodation sectors. The trend is only going to continue as companies see the benefits of investing in amenities that help foster community.

Speaking on a panel discussion entitled: Adjacent Living - Shaping the New Lifestyle, Michael Griesmayr founder and chairman of Milestone Living, which offers accommodation for students and seniors, said the theory was the same.

“You have the same content lines that you have to fill up,” he said.

“The students have party rooms and the older people have community rooms to come together, they all want to come together.”