Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Rooms 75   Architecture Martin Borch   Interior Design Wingårdhs Architects
The Original Alessandro Catenacci

Hotels Facts & Figures
Rooms
75
Architecture
Martin Borch
Interior
Design Wingårdhs Architects
The Original Alessandro Catenacci

Alessandro Catenacci

The Best of Both Worlds

The driving force behind many of Stockholm’s top hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs isn’t Swedish at all. It’s Italian-born Alessandro Catenacci.

Alessandro Catennaci is a man who inspires awe. As he stands at the helm of a Scandinavian hospitality empire that he’s spent over 30 years tweaking into evermore perfection, Catennacci is as irreverent as ever: “I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘Am I really good at anything, or was it just luck?’” Despite five top-tier hotels, world-class restaurants, and nightspots in his home city of Stockholm, one hotel in Copenhagen, and more in the making, Catenacci exhibits an ease that makes his success look as if luck were indeed a factor. Actually, his success is the result of a long-term vision, hard work, and an intuitive business sense. His company philosophy, in many ways, combines the best of his Italian heritage—a heady approach to fine food and a keen eye for quality—with the utmost in Scandinavian understatement.

You can’t standardize feeling and this is also what we are selling in a restaurant, bar, or hotel.

ALESSANDRO CATENACCI

You can’t standardize feeling and this is also what we are selling in a restaurant, bar, or hotel.

ALESSANDRO CATENACCI

To what do you attribute the success of the Nobis brand?

If you have 200 hotels, you can’t run around to all the hotels and look at all the details. So it’s something to consider while moving forward: How many hotels can you have, yet still keep the personality of the brand? All the details are important. In sports, it’s the same. If you watch ski competitions, the difference between the guy who wins and number 10 is maybe two-tenth of a second, which is four meters. But this decides if you’re number one or 10. So it’s always the last percentage close to perfection that makes the difference.

 

So what is that magic number?

 

It is not a matter of a number, it’s about being ambitious, always wanting to be better, and having that energy every day. I sat for 40 hours just to check the playlist of the restaurant we refurbished in the Nobis Hotel Stockholm. Maybe this isn’t my job, but I want to have it in my way and the only way to do it is to listen to every song—not just for 10 seconds but 30-40 seconds until I knew whether it’s good or not. I listened to 1,600 tracks. You could just go to Spotify and buy an ambient playlist but not all of them are good. So, if you want it to be good then you have to listen to every single song! You can’t standardize feeling and this is also what we are selling in a restaurant, bar, or hotel.

Do you have “wow, I can’t believe I did this” moments?

I have those every day. In one way it’s a weakness. I think I’ve been lucky in my life. But it also may be a strength because I don’t think I am the best in the world. I have short moments when I’m sitting in the lounge of Nobis Hotel (Stockholm) which is very beautiful or at the bar in Copenhagen and think, wow I made this. But then 10 or 20 seconds after that I go back to normal. I can never stop and just feel good about what I’ve done. I always want to make it better. I see 10 things that are not working instead of the 20 that are. I even notice when a painting is not straight.

So you’re a stickler for details!

I see all the small things. My daughter Alessia jokes with me and asks if I’m a bit compulsive. She knows in my wardrobe, I only have tailormade clothes and shoes. And it goes even further: I have the white shirts, then the light blue, and then the bright shirts, and if you put the blue shirts in between the white ones, it makes me feel bad. Another thing that is important to me is that if I build a wall, for example, I have to make it good from the beginning. If the groundwork isn’t good, then I will always think I have to take down this wall and remake it. It’s the same with my clothing. I always have to start with nice socks. I could never put on socks with a small hole or something because then no matter how nice my clothes are, I will always feel bad about the hole. You have to feel good the whole way. It’s the same in my hotels.

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