One is a graduate of France’s elite Ecole Normale Supérieure, the other is a designer. It was their shared passion which brought them together around an innovative project: the creation of a new hotel chain. Okko Hotels combine simplicity and interior design for greater efficiency and informality. It was Olivier Devys who had the great idea to shake up the codes of overnight hotels. The idea was to slim down the different steps in the booking process to make it as simple as possible and to offer a relaxing space where everything is self-service. Naturally, it goes without saying that nothing was left to chance from the interior design point of view. Patrick Norguet is the man behind it and the result is breathtaking!
Patrick Norguet, could you tell us about the concept?
We sell sleep! The bedrooms are the business model for our project. Our aim was to create a brand, not a hotel. We started by developing a room concept and then we started in the city of Nantes on the first hotel.
And the secret behind it?
The idea is to go back to basics. We did away with the functions that weigh down hotel services and the result is an informal space, a space for living where people can get together.
How does it work?
Booking is done online, there’s no check-in and no receptionist. It’s all on your phone via a QR Code.
Where are they?
All the Okko hotels are in city centres, near railway stations. The rates are mid-range and good value with the added extra: a free breakfast and an italian-style aperitivo in the evening.
What does Okko mean?
We wanted to go for an Asiatic-sounding name. Okko was the obvious choice – 0-K-K-O. It evokes a faraway world and a place to chill-out.
Where does the furniture come from?
We have a mixture of items from Cassina, Tolix, for example, brands that I work with. No two hotels are alike. They’re all different, apart from the principles behind them and the functionalities, which are identical. The envelope and the codes change depending on the city.
Where will the next Okko hotels be opening?
Nantes was a strategic location and so was Lyon. The next two will be in Cannes and Paris.
What’s the early feedback been like?
A genuine feeling of wellbeing. People are coming back. It creates discussion and links.
How much does it cost to get in?
Rates start at 150 euros.
Credits: Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily