The first 25hours hotel in the Middle East champions individuality, reverberating the mantra that 24 hours is just not enough.
When it comes to the disruption of Dubai’s hospitality scene, there is one property on everybody’s lips – 25Hours One Central. Not only is it a place to see and be seen, but a unique property where ancient Bedouin traditions are carried into modern-day Dubai. Prioritising a fun and funky approach to food, beverage wellness and accommodation over luxury, FACT sat down with General Manager Mads Wolff to talk all things 25.
What can guests expect from a stay at 25hours Hotel One Central?
25hours is an experience and an adventure. It is your home away from home without the mundane chores. We are a young, passionate team and you will encounter real people in a genuine and fun-loving atmosphere.
Please tell us about your hotel’s bedouin theming and what inspired it?
The hotel is a story of the region, from Bedouin customs to the Digital Nomad and everything in between. As you arrive inside the hotel and look up, you will be introduced to this concept through the artwork on the ceiling. Our floors grow more and more modern as you ascend each level, enhancing your journey and encouraging you to explore. I should also mention our Hakawati suite, which clocks in at 270 square meters with an outdoor balcony, two bars and a dance floor inspired by the past but infused with a fresh and modern approach.
What sets 25hours apart from its competitors in the city?
25hours is a one-of-a-kind product that is hard to compare to other properties. We are dedicated to doing things differently and pushing the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to hospitality. Our food and beverage offerings are all unique, more than 10,000 books can be found in the lobby library, and BMW Mini cars are available for guests’ use. However, what ultimately sets us apart is who we are and how we operate.
Can you please talk us through the various F&B concepts that the hotel offers and what diners can expect from each of them?
Our F&B offerings are quite extensive and still growing. Tandoor Tina is our beautiful, modern Indian-inspired restaurant with amazing cocktails and great food. Monkey Bar lies on the rooftop with a spectacular view of the Museum of the Future and a wide selection of great cocktails. You can enjoy a drink at sunset and watch the night roll in whilst the venue transforms into an unforgettable party with unstoppable DJs and a great atmosphere. Ernst Biergarten is our most recently opened venue, which transports you to a Bavarian dreamscape, ideal for enjoying a cool stein with traditional dishes from the region.
How did you start your career, and what is it about the hospitality industry that inspires you?
I started my career in the culinary field, growing up in family-run, standalone restaurants. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with several Michelin-starred restaurants around the world prior to moving into hotel management. People inspire me and I constantly want to do better and explore new things, push boundaries and grow.
You began your career as a chef before moving into hotel managerial roles. What sparked the career change?
I cherish my background as a chef. Before that, I was a professional horse rider. When I was younger, I tried out several jobs before becoming a chef. I don’t believe in staying the same and I constantly wish to improve myself. Having reached Executive Chef status, it was only natural for me to take over the full F&B department, however Hotel Management was always my goal.
My first hotel job was with W Maldives in 2012, and in this time I decided that I wanted to be the GM of a cool and happening hotel. I made a career plan over a duration of ten years, and today I have reached that goal and am ready for the next challenge.
Please tell us about your day-to-day role and what keeps it challenging and exciting?
Opening a flagship Hotel, and the first of its kind in the region, has been the most exciting and thrilling task in my career. We are constantly developing and opening new venues. There are a few more exciting projects in the works, such as the impending opening of Shisha by 25hours on the rooftop. We are also very excited to start working with Cinema Akil, and our partnership with the amazing Butheina Kazim.
As a general manager, how do you encourage trust and loyalty in your guests?
The guest experience is crucial and we want our patrons to feel at home when they stay here. I am proud of our team and the personal, warm approach we take. When we hired The Tribe, we hired people with personality and enthusiasm. Running a hotel such as this is a combined effort and I am extremely proud, especially of the people on the floor who make magic happen every day.
What is your vision for the hotel in the coming months?
Our vision is to bring to life the full potential of the property and provide a unique experience to our guests in Dubai. The team and I are super excited for the upcoming season to begin and for what we have in store.
Could you please share with us your professional goals for the rest of the year?
To be a standout hotel amongst the crowd and to have a successful second season as we head into Dubai’s busiest period since the pandemic. We have a lot going on at the hotel that we still can’t speak about, so you will have to wait and see!
Working in the industry, where do you like to stay when you have a day off? What are your favourite properties in the region?
In one of our sister properties from Ennismore, which would be Hyde or SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences. But mostly, I enjoy being outside of the city and exploring the mountains in Hatta. Enjoying the view and a night under the stars is my favourite way to spend my free time.