PHNX combines co-living and working plus a tree per room
Finding suitable accommodation in Hamburg can be challenging for newcomers similar to other big German cities. Yet, the standard of living in Hamburg is diverse as exemplified by the PHNX Aparthotel in Harburg. This hotel offers a mix of micro-apartments, hotel services, community offers and a co-working area as an alternative.
"Our target group is primarily generations Y and Z, i.e., young people aged from 20 to about 35 who come to Hamburg to study or for a new job," said Philip C. Sauer, founder and developer of PHNX Co-Living. The furnished living spaces offer customers flexibility and guests can stay for one night or several months and make contacts quickly and easily.
Design in a listed building
"We counter this with our community manager and events at which we introduce new tenants. The events are held digitally only due to coronavirus, Sauer pointed out. "Contacts and friendships are formed when our customers decide to go running together and people get to know each other that way." Residents of PHNX meet in the in-house restaurant, sky lounge bar or in the co-working space that was once the realm of the last CEO of Phoenix.
The 225-room aparthotel opened in July 2020 in the landmarked Phoenix rubber factory, which dates back to 1940. Hence the name PHNX i.e., Phoenix without vowels. The redesign won Best Co-Living Interior Design at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards and the European Property Award for Best New Hotel Construction & Design.
Digital living with a community aspect
Apart from the design, the PHNX co-living concept focused on digitalization and sustainability. "We offer digital living thanks to the latest hotel technology with ultra-fast Internet, smart TVs and keyless doors," Sauer pointed out. "One of our customers has just booked a train ticket from Berlin to Hamburg online and downloaded the digital key to his smartphone." That is ideal for avoiding contacts in a pandemic.
However, PHNX customers can always expect a fully-staffed reception in keeping with the community aspect. "The co-living idea originated in California and is based on the shared apartment concept. We have developed this approach further and offer a professionally managed building. Jörg Höhns, our hotel manager, was previously hotel director of Novum Hospitality," Sauer stressed.
A tree per room per month
PHNX does not, however, offer a hotel service. It deliberately avoids lavish breakfast buffets. "We have a zero-tolerance strategy to food waste and do without plastic wherever possible."
The company also supports organizations such as Hanseatic Help and Plant-for-the-Planet for a just and more sustainable world. "We plant a tree per month for each of our rooms. That makes 225 trees per month. That is paid from the rental income. So whoever stays with us indirectly plants one tree per month," Sauer noted. Given PHNX’s 80 to 90 per cent occupancy rate at present, the concept seems to be working.
Read other reports in our series on Hamburg's unusual hotels: Hard rock hotel to open in flak tower on Heiligengeistfeld