After a long time I was sitting on a bench at Heumarkt again today. So very close to our café lounge, where you will also find the Friends of CityClass. Around me there were almost only families who were also enjoying the sun. I especially had to smile about a little boy who announced that he would become a Lego farmer when he grew up.

I had to smile and think about the conversation with Pascal Marquigny, the CEO of CityClass Hotels. It was also about the family and the CityClass Hotels as a family business.

Cologne means family – since 1995

“I have always been in love with the hotel industry. I inherited my passion from my mother, who founded CityClass Hotels in 1995 and managed to establish a local hotel chain despite all the competition.”

I can tell right away how passionate he is about the smallest details of his hotels.

“We used to have the Savoy in Haan. But we decided to close it in order to focus all our energy on the locations in Cologne,” he reveals to me and announces: “If you could only travel to one place in Germany, it should definitely be Cologne!”

I agree. Cologne glitters and shines, but is not satisfied with a clean image. Again and again I discover loud, exciting corners… a short time later I stumble into a small, sleepy bookshop and have to laugh at the contrasts. But I think that’s exactly the Cologne feeling that I and many others love so much. But enough raving, back to Pascal.

I’m interested in how he came to take over his mother’s work:

 “My sister and I were equally exposed to the hospitality industry and yet it took a very different path. I traveled extensively and received most of my education in London hotels. After my return, it seemed like the next logical step to take on initial responsibilities in our hotels.”

He is now responsible all by himself and I ask him what a typical working day for a hotel CEO looks like. You can find out in the second part of the blog what he answers and what exciting projects he is currently planning for the CityClass Hotels.

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