The DEMO Hotel in Rimini is not a hotel but a multi-concept project that has become a multifunctional space. Above all, it is an absolute dream and an incredible experience.
This visionary idea has materialised on the shores of the Romagna coastline, next to the long, wide, hospitable beaches of Rimini.
After recovering a disused local guesthouse, the project involved fourteen architecture studios called upon to rethink and reorganise the spaces, creating a hub of hospitality experimentation consisting of 9 spokes – that is, suites – each with its inspiration and idea of hospitality. It is, therefore, an eclectic space that brings together different design figures under the banner of connection and uniqueness and is already a benchmark for the sector.
The traditional and technological partners of the DEMO Hotel project
As hotel host Piero Marini, with whom I had a friendly conversation, tells us, the furnishings, accessories and services partners were about a hundred, and they are among Italy’s most influential architecture, engineering and IT firms. The technology partners are at the forefront: the 9 ‘concepts’ include the IoT (Internet of Things).
L’IoT – Internet of Things
But what are IoTs? They are cutting-edge products in the world of hospitality: they are real objects connected to the internet. The IoT is a set of technologies that allows any device to be connected to the internet. These types of solutions are basically to monitor, control and transfer information and then carry out consequent actions.
Demo Hotel is the first facility to use IoT in Italy, making it a genuinely state-of-the-art hospitality venue.
Birth of the term IoT
Kevin Ashton a researcher at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first used the term IoT (Internet of Things). Although the term is new, these concepts have been talked about for a long time, since the internet’s birth and the semantic web (a web made of ‘things’, not lines of code: things, not strings).
Interview with DEMO Hotel host Piero Marini
The kind and helpful host, Piero Marini, told me about the birth and development of the project.
How the idea of DEMO Hotel was born
Q: “How and when was the idea of Demo Hotel Design born?”
A: “The idea was born after the experience we had for two years at the SIA – the Hospitality Design Fair – in Rimini, where we created a “Rooms” division involving several architecture studios and companies, creating 10 sample rooms to show to the public. We then thought that it was neither logical nor did it make sense to do so much planning, studying, setting up and dismantling for just three days (the duration of the trade fair); we, therefore, thought of making a permanent and always-on hotel showroom, a place where we could test hospitality products and services: in a word, a DEMOstration. We bought a 1,000 m2 guesthouse and built the DEMO, completely renovating the building’.
The actors and timing of the DEMO Hotel project
The actors in this beautiful experiment,’ Marini continues, ‘are Mauro Santinato, founder of Teamwork, and myself and 20 professionals, including architects and technicians.
With such a varied, solid and valid team, implementation times were rapid. For the plan, the contacts, and the commissioning, the time taken was about 18 months. A short time when you think of the beauty and complexity of the project!
The DEMO Hotel project partners
Q: “Who are your partners, and how does the partnership work?
A: “On the website – https://www.demohotel.space/ – you can see our approximately 100 partners: these companies offer services, equipment and anything else for the hotel sector. We have made an extensive partnership agreement with them.
Technology in DEMO Hotels
Q: ‘Technology is an important and precipitous element of this project. What are the devices and tools inside the hotel’?
A: ‘DEMO is fully automated: you go to the site, the guest chooses and books the desired suite and automatically receives the confirmation. Then, two days before arrival, he receives an email for web check-in and an access code for parking, entry into DEMO and entry into the booked suite. Once arrived, the person scans the document in the lobby area totem, pays with a credit card and takes possession of the suite’. Magic that seems to come from the future!
The DEMO Hotel’s target clientele
Q: ‘What, if any, is your target audience?
A: “The target audience is vast: there are hoteliers who stay with us to get inspiration for their hotel, freelancers from the sector and others, tourists, the curious, guests in search of beauty and a stay that is an emotional experience. Many repeat guests choose a different suite with each visit.
The success of the DEMO Hotel project
Q: “How is this interesting gamble going, in economic and image terms”?
A: ‘We are delighted: the results are above expectations; we did not expect so much success in such a short time!
We have an excellent brand reputation, high scores on OTAs (online travel agencies), and great reviews on Tripadvisor and Google Business.
Ambitions and the future
Q: ‘What are your goals, your future ambitions’?
A: ‘We will realise another special and unique structure. We have already purchased the building next to the DEMO: it will be a project that will focus on the theme of sustainability and will be called MODE’.
That’s all Piero Marini tells me about this new adventure, which will undoubtedly be as impressive as the first one! And I say this from first-hand experience, having seen and experienced this marvellous reality of absolute comfort and intriguing avant-garde, just a stone’s throw from the Romagna seaside and the many proposals that the Riviera has to offer!