Revolutionising The Hospitality Industry: A Conversation With Mikail Goek Of Urban Hospitality Concepts
Mikail is the Founder & CEO of Urban Hospitality Concepts, a boutique consultancy firm that specialises in new members clubs, unique hospitality and hybrid concepts. He has personally overseen the conception, implementation, and execution of some of London’s most prestigious members-only establishments. Here, the Mikail Goek sits down with Luxsphere to talk about his journey in the industry and his latest venture.
• Tell us more about your career and the journey so far.
I have always been fascinated by the vibrant and dynamic hospitality industry, ever since I was 16 years old and growing up in West Berlin. Starting with a three-year hotel management apprenticeship, I began my journey working as a bartender, where I discovered my true passion for this industry.
In pursuit of new challenges and opportunities, I made the decision to relocate to London at the age of 25. I brought my passion and experience with me, which helped me rise through the ranks and open and manage several highly acclaimed hotels and members’ clubs, such as The South Kensington Club, The Mandrake, Maslow’s Mortimer House, and The House of Koko. It has been an exciting journey so far, and I look forward to what the future holds as I have some exciting projects in the pipeline.
• Your career in the hospitality sector spans over 25 years, and you have worked with some of the most iconic prestigious brands – what advice do you have for anyone just starting out?
A few things, I wasn’t always ambitious and driven. You’ve got to transform yourself first. Forget career and money, it starts with you first if you really want to be transformed.
Most people don’t live their life, they accept their life. To go uphill you have to set off intentionally. Nobody ever went uphill by accident. I have never seen anyone dedicate themselves to something completely and fail. I have never seen someone eat right, go to the gym and train hard and were not in shape. The universe is extremely giving. I failed many times, but I started looking at failure differently, and my advice to those out there is this: You can’t learn anything from success, you learn from failure. You learn how to not fail next time.
Most people aren’t obsessed with their goals because they think they aren’t worthy of them. It is easy to dream about what you want, but in between where you are and what you want, there is a tremendous amount you’ve got to change.
• Your latest venture, Urban Hospitality Concepts is a niche concept, can you tell us more about it and where the idea came from? –
My latest venture, Urban Hospitality Concepts, is a niche advisory business that specialises in creating Members’ only clubs, concept boutique hotels, and hybrid workspaces that offer a one-of-a-kind guest experience by effectively bringing together multiple disciplines.
The idea for this business came from my experience working with exceptional founders who create hybrid concepts combining fitness, wellness, social, workspace, and events.
These are complex projects to execute due to the various revenue streams. Bringing 3 industries under one roof is a challenge and requires proper due diligence and thought. It’s not like a hotel or restaurant business.
I recognised the need for an advisory service that could cater to this niche market and differentiate myself from existing hotel and restaurant consultants, allowing me to create and execute complex projects in a constantly evolving city like London. Hence, Urban Hospitality Concepts was born, with an edge in concept hotels, members’ only clubs, and hybrid workspaces.
Our range of services includes concept development, modeling and feasibility, deep commercial planning, efficient cost control, project planning, and project execution. We are the only agency that focuses on this type of business, and we aim to support unique ideas and help transform them into reality from start to finish.
Pictured: House of Koko
• What are some of the recent projects you have worked on?
I have had the privilege of working with some exceptional brands over the past three years. One of my largest and most complex projects was The House of Koko, where we created an immersive series of spaces consisting of three concept restaurants, eight bars, and multiple event spaces across six floors totalling 50,000 square feet. Our primary responsibility was to de-risk the major new opening and execute a well-planned and phased launch strategy.
In addition, we provided our expertise to Six Senses by curating their members’ club offering, advising on capacity, membership tier structure, and cultural programming, ensuring seamless integration with the hotel.
We also supported Hauser & Wirth on the financial side, developing budgets and working closely with the Operations Director on critical path strategy for a multi-outlet operation spanning four floors.
Most recently, we worked with LIO, setting up the business backbone in a challenging venue, providing leadership coaching to the management team, and preparing them for the launch.
Currently, I am working on two confidential boutique hotel concepts where I collaborate with real estate investors and architects to create innovative layouts and concepts.
• After growing up in Berlin, what are the main differences you notice about the two cities, and what do you miss about Berlin and love about London?
I left Berlin in 2008 to start a professional management career in London. I miss Berlin especially the relaxed vibe, the pace is a lot slower, it’s very multicultural – Berlin is very ungerman, just like me. Growing up in Berlin in the 80s and 90s was fab. East and West merged into one since 1989 and both parts, very contrary have complete different vibes, like Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Berlin is a smaller version of London which made the transition to London for me smooth. I felt home immediately in London. What do I miss about Berlin, German kebabs – like nowhere in the world!
Pictured: Lio London
• How do you continually execute new ideas and stay motivated for each project you undertake within this ever changing industry?
We are very forward thinking, what people need and want constantly evolved as the world evolves. We create ideas that suit people’s lifestyles. The most important factor is time. So we focus on bringing everything you require under one roof. By thinking outside the box, we see opportunities everywhere.
• You also offer career coaching programme tell us more about that?
I have been mentoring and advising people in the industry for many years, everyone requires a mentor, no matter what position – I also have one. I found that my journey was full of up and downs and I help people overcoming and climbing hurdles.
My sessions are often touching base around life in general not necessarily work as everything we handle day to day is intertwined. Typically, by discussing a personal situation, the challenge at work is resolved. We help on a competency level for example being financially more savvy as many lack this. We help to resolve conflict situations and politics. Our sessions are high effective as they are an open dialogue and not your typical 1:1 career chat. The aim is to support HR departments and GMs shaping up their teams with this well structured program.
Learn More: Urban-hospitality-concepts.com