Recently been awarded as the winner of Corporate Hotelier APAC from Stelliers, Markus Engel, is the successful co-founder and CEO of Urban Resort Concepts (URC).

His company’s philosophy ensures that they pay homage to each location’s heritage in as many aspects as possible. Intuitiveness and a guest centric philosophy ensures that guests feel an intimate connection with the place that they’re staying. Engel’s eventful career spans over 25 years.

Whilst working at senior management positions across the globe, he was able to experience and appreciate different cultures, engaging with people of many backgrounds, allowing him to establish a good reputation in the hotel market.

When speaking about launching his company:

“It has always been a dream to create something of depth, quality and longevity that isn’t specific to one particular dream, profession or calling. It’s something that is real and that people positively engage in. We create a canvas where people can have exchanges, conversations, personal growth and development. Hospitality is one of these expressions and importantly allows me to create and cultivate a meaningful experience for our guests, my colleagues and the industry at large.

The idea for URC was born out of the belief that conventional and established luxury hotel groups at the time were neither embracing the local context of the destination enough in their product, nor were they really overly concerned in returning to the origins of a truly guest-centric luxury hotel experience.”

We asked him what makes his company “unique” in today’s competitive market:

“Contrary to other hotel brands, we do not believe in propagating one brand, but rather in developing hotels that evolve to become individual brands in their own right. Knowledge has become the new currency of those who consume luxury goods, and it is therefore important to stand out through individual product quality and to not simply make hollow and repetitive brand promises that are generally not kept.

The sense of ‘place’ that we instill in each of our properties makes our hotels very individual and bespoke while at the same time binding them together through our commitment to Hostmanship™ and a guest experience that is consistent throughout all our properties and recognizably URC.”

He continues:

“Delivering Hostmanship™; the central premise of the URC guest experience is the exclusive focus on our guests on all levels.” “This means creating an environment that is more personal, more generous, more intuitive and more engaging.” “This is achieved through a corporate culture in which staff are truly empowered and custodian of the guest experience.” “Additionally, systems and processes of the hotel are adapted to our guests and vice versa.” “This means the elimination of any undue bureaucracy and petty charges and our hotels therefore included in their rates.” he stated upon three key differentiators between URC and its competitors

When asked as to why he thought he was chosen as a recipient of the Stelliar’s award, Engel tells us:

“I have always believed that running a hotel is an artisanal craft that requires talent, training, skill, passion, dedication, commitment, the right tools and materials and an expertise that is acquired over long periods of experience. My focus is exclusively guest and quality-centric. I try to create something with depth, longevity and that also has a disruptive quality to it. My obligation is to the stakeholders, owners and myself.

The thought of applying for the Stelliers had never crossed my mind until it was suggested to me, and I thought, why not give it a go. While this award is certainly a fantastic recognition that I am headed in the right direction, the journey never stops as we continue to evolve our notion of luxury hospitality in this fast-paced, ever changing world.”

The URC pipeline holds a variety of different properties in cities spanning across the globe including properties in Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Hangzhou,  Xi’an, Sanya, Haikou, Moganshan, Kunming and Yunnan. Given its uniqueness, affordability and quality URC looks to have a great future and we look forward to following their progress in the coming years.