Our founder story
In just a few years, Hotelbird has set a change in the hotel industry that was long overdue: instead of accepting long lines at the front desk, more and more guests now check in online via the web or an app, unlock their hotel room with their own smartphone and simply pay the bill on the go when they check out.
The idea for Hotelbird came to founder Juan A. Sanmiguel during a trip to the USA. After a long flight, he had to wait in line at the front desk of a hotel in Miami. “There has to be a different way to check in” – this thought matured into the decision to launch his biggest venture to date. Back in Germany, he threw himself into talks with hoteliers, developers and industry experts. In Korbinian Hackl he found the perfect co-founder. Juan’s strengths in business development and marketing paired with Korbinian’s expertise in modern technologies and IT formed the foundation for the Hotelbird adventure, which was officially launched in April 2015.
In the meantime, hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland use the solutions from Hotelbird, more than 87,000 hotel rooms have been contracted, and the trend is rising. The starting signal was given by the Jaz in the City in Amsterdam, which was the first hotel to be equipped with the innovative Hotelbird technology. Other well-known hotels were to follow: in 2016, Hotelbird concluded the first framework agreement with InterCity Hotels, which rolled out the Hotelbird technology in its properties. The fact that a hotel operation can also function completely digitally has been proven since 2019 by Koncept Hotels, which completely do without a reception desk in their properties and instead offer their guests full flexibility. 2020 marked the beginning of the cooperation with the renowned Intercontinental Hotel Group. Today, Hotelbird works with leading hotel chains in Germany such as Achat Hotels, Amano Hotels, Arcotel Hotels, Azimut Hotels, Best Western, Brera, Dorint Hotels, Falkensteiner Hotels, Gorgeous Smiling Hotels, Koncept Hotels, Lindner Hotels, Meininger Hotels, Motel One or Super 8 Hotels.
A new system with many service channels for hotel guests
To enable hotels to offer their guests customized solutions, Hotelbird relies on a strong system with multiple service channels. Today, guests can choose between several ways of digital check-in. In 2016, the Hotelbird app was launched, and two years later, the offering was expanded to include a web progressive app. In 2019, Hotelbird introduced the Self-Service Terminal, another way to check-in and check-out conveniently and independently in the lobby. Together with the world’s leading booking platform Booking.com, Hotelbird created a solution to allow travelers to check-in via the Booking.com app and website. Hotelbird is now also represented on the world’s leading global distribution platform, Amadeus.
Hotelbird’s success is largely based on strong partnerships. Hotelbird specializes in interface development and has been working with the leading property management systems, locking system providers, payment service providers and booking platforms for many years. In this way, Hotelbird ensures seamless data exchange and makes it easier for hoteliers to use the software. Thus, Hotelbird gives every host the chance to increase the operational success and to inspire guests with a digital travel experience.
Juan A. Sanmiguel
Founder & CEO Hotelbird
Juan A. Sanmiguel is an entrepreneur and technology enthusiast. After studying marketing and communications at the Bavarian Academy of Business Communication (BAW), he founded his first e-commerce company at the age of 21. An experience in a hotel in Miami then gave the decisive impulse for the founding of Hotelbird in 2014: after a long and exhausting flight, Juan stood in the hotel check-in queue for over half an hour; the idea of digital check-in/out was born. Together with his co-founder, Korbinian Hackl, he launched Hotelbird in April 2015. Since then, he has been leading the technology company as CEO. With his expertise, Hotelbird became the German market leader in the field of digital check-in/out for hotels within a few years.
Founder & CTO Hotelbird
Korbinian Hackl is an entrepreneur and IT visionary. He discovered his enthusiasm for modern technologies and product development at an early age. While studying business administration and computer science, he founded his first company at the age of 23. He accompanied more than 300 software projects of companies of various sizes from conception and architecture to programming and management. Since 2015, he is the founder and CTO behind the Hotelbird technology. A full stack developer and software architect for cloud software, he immerses himself in new technology trends and develops products in a customer-centric way using the Lean Startup strategy. The software used on the Hotelbird Platform today is considered one of the best solutions for digital reception services on the market and thus forms the core of the company’s success.