Kurt R. Bredenbeck B.A. (Hons), M.A., M.B.A.
Kurt is a founder of three of the best known and most successful new hotel projects to debut in London over the past two decades. His specialty is the creation, development and operational management of innovative, landmark new hotel concepts. He is the Founder, Creator and former Owner of the hugely-successful Hoxton Hotel (www.thehoxtonhotel.com) which is based upon the ground-breaking ‘luxury-budget’ concept that he created. Earlier in his career, he was a founding director and investor in London’s very first contemporary hotel project, the five-star luxury hotel conversion, One Aldwych.
Currently Kurt Bredenbeck is the Chairman of Green Rooms, the UK's first independent Social Enterprise Hotel for the Arts, the country's first bespoke Hotel for the Arts and a uniquely successful example of Public Sector and Private Sector partnership.
Kurt was educated in both the United States and the United Kingdom. An American by birth and a European by family background, Kurt has lived most of his adult life in London. He earned his Bachelors degree from the prestigious Ivy League University, Dartmouth College, where he graduated with a magna cum laude honors majoring in Economics. He later studied at University of Chicago, America’s premier institution for economics and finance where he achieved his MBA in Economics and Marketing. In 1984 Kurt came to London to participate in a joint degree programme between the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics.
Prior to his work as an entrepreneur in the hotel industry, he was a specialist in Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions in New York, London, and Frankfurt, working with American investment bank Merrill Lynch and later the British merchant bank, Kleinwort Benson. His speciality was the property and leisure industries in the UK. During the economic recession of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Kurt worked with quoted leisure clients such as Whitbread and with various hard hit property companies, both large and small, to restructure and refinance their businesses.
Kurt eventually left Kleinwort Benson to work as a quasi-director and advisor for one of his favourite property clients. Working with the existing management team, he re-launched the business with further investment from abroad and a complex debt-to-equity swap investment from the company’s banks to become one of the first quoted property vehicles to successfully refinance near the end of the early 1990’s recession. He later worked with the management of a private restaurant business to finance and achieve a management buy-out and thereafter became involved as a director, principal and/or consultant with a number of quoted and private businesses, principally in the leisure-related and property areas.
In late 1992 Kurt began working on the idea to create London’s first ‘designer’ or ‘boutique’ hotel. Having seen the start of the ‘design’ hotel idea while living in New York in the mid-to-late 1980’s Kurt believed strongly that the concept could also work in similar large metropolitan centres, such as London. At the time, the concept had not been seen in the UK and most property owners and funders had no idea what he was talking about. After undertaking world-wide research on the idea, Kurt met and began to work with two other UK-based individuals on a project which eventually became the One Aldwych hotel. Kurt became a director and investor in Hemisphere Hotels Limited, the company which was created to found the project. In 1995 the company raised close to £1 million in private investment to acquire an option on the One Aldwych property from the Prudential and to fund the initial development, planning and finance process. Hemisphere successfully funded the development through the back-to-back acquisition and sale of the project to the Kansagra family with a large initial payment and with further pay-outs to Hemisphere Hotels upon and after opening. The hotel opened in 1998 as one of the very first of the new wave of concept hotels in the UK. It remains one of London’s most successful and profitable luxury hotels (www.onealdwych.com).
For several years thereafter Kurt specialized in the creation and development of new hotel concepts. Working both for his own account, and in advising various large property companies and financial institutions such as Frogmore Estates, NatWest Bank, and Standard Life on the possibilities to create a hotel on their various existing property assets or on sites which the funders and he planned to acquire together in joint venture.
Kurt formed Quest Hotels (www.questhotels.co.uk) in 1999 as the vehicle for his new partnership with another well-known entrepreneur. The company became the development and management vehicle for The Hoxton project. The Hoxton Hotel (www.thehoxtonhotel.com) is very much Kurt’s concept and creation. The hotel has 205 bedrooms and was custom-designed and built from scratch for approximately £18 million on what was previously a small industrial site and parking lot.
In addition to Kurt’s expertise in the corporate world, and in particular, the hotel industry, he is also considered to be a leading authority on design and style, and has been featured on the BBC and Channel 4 as well as in various periodicals including GQ magazine, The Guardian, and The Evening Standard, along with a large number of interiors and design books such as ‘Retro Modern’, ‘Urban Living’ and ‘City Living’.