From hotel to Condhotel: a strategic choice or a tac c?
The condhotel is the new (for Italy) tourism structure that combines hotel rooms with bigger furnished apartments for purchase as holiday homes or rent on an outsourcing contract and managed by the same hotel. A hybrid in other words which, unbeknown to public administrators or hoteliers, cannot be of seasonal nature because it must guarantee communal services for apartment owners. However, if the interna onal regula ons (above all in the USA and Spain) are clear, in Italy, on the contrary, the condhotel project appears to be shrouded in thick, o en judicial fog. A er the entry into force of the Italian Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers which approved the start of the condhotel, each region is, in fact, trying to legislate on the subject by implemen ng its own regula ons without proper na onal coordina on (as usually occurs for the classifica on of stars). What is blatantly clear is that the condhotel formula should be used to overcome the exis ng hotel constraint (typical of Italy) which penalises numerous, even large but dated, hotels present mainly (but not only) on Italian coasts and in mature tourist des na ons. It is a poten ally vast market at which the legisla on is looking, offering the opportunity for rehabilita on, real estate redevelopment and the start of a specula ve phase, as well as for hotel management. Beyond the obvious cri cal issues in na onal legisla on, written in a hurry by inexperienced trade unionists intent on freeing hoteliers from the hotel constraint, it should be hoped that future regional regula ons will protect the logical goal of the condhotel to, first and foremost, redevelop the offer of hotel accommoda on. The regula ons must incorporate the formula and spirit of the legislator who did not want to replace hotels with condominiums or even flood tourist resorts with tourist and/or residen al apartments that could create further problems of na onal image. The condhotel must be seen as a managementmanagerial solu on for a limited and selected number of cases that must ensure and guarantee a. management con nuity and all the services of a fullservice hotel to the buyers of the accommoda on units; b. sufficient resources to the hotel owners to adapt the quality of their hospitality to the expecta ons of the interna onal market. It is an accommoda on model that, according to our assessments and exper se, can only work when the hotel structure is large enough to build apartments, whilst maintaining approximately 3,000 square meters to guarantee a further sixty fullservice rooms. Because six ty rooms is the essen al accommoda on quota to support the economic impact of a hotel with restaurant/s open all year. Only with these methods can we guarantee the kind of services capable of a rac ng quality tourists and generate added value for the apartments. It should not be forgo en that it is the hotel with its full services that is the most important part of the project and that reducing its quality and services would create an immediate legal dispute between those who sold parts of condhotel and those who bought shares of hotel hospitality.
It goes without saying that the apartments must be furnished in the same manner as the hotel accommoda on, so that they can be used in op mal condi ons both by the owner of the unit and by the hotel manager who, as established by law, can be entrusted “over me” to coordinate the features of the hotel’s rooms/suites. In a nutshell, it is clear that the correct standard that makes it possible, feasible and economically sustainable to create a condhotel is that of 5star hotels or alterna vely the 4star super, because they have the exper se, mentality and ability to offer the services required by the owners of the residences. It is, in fact, safe to say that these people are affluent, welloff and demanding in terms of food, schedules and equipment and that they would never contemplate buying an apartment at prices over ten thousand euros per square meter if there was any ques on of possible disrup on or the temporary need to cook, do the dishes and laundry. Basically, you buy a condhotel apartment to enjoy a high level of service in your own second (or third) residence available throughout the year.