In 2012, we wrote about Berlin-based Chris Laugsch’s new concept in travel: Welcome Beyond. He and his brother founded their company two years earlier, believing that where you stay when you travel is as vital to your experience as what you see and do. Welcome Beyond hand-picks places to stay around the globe. Each is truly original. Some border on quirky, and others might be posh. A few might be called downright rustic. But all are exclusive. A+A interviewed Chris via email about Welcome Beyond and today, it’s being reprised.
When was the company established? Why?
Welcome Beyond was founded in October 2010 in Berlin. It was always our dream to start a business together, to do something a bit more meaningful and rewarding with our lives. Both my brother and I were at a point where we were fed-up with our jobs and Welcome Beyond really was the result of our favorite past-times. We have both lived many years abroad, we love to travel and we have a passion for good design and architecture. So it only seemed natural to combine these elements in one place.
What does the company specialize in?
Welcome Beyond is a carefully curated collection of some of the most beautiful and unique vacation homes and small boutique hotels worldwide – all of them artfully decorated by owners who are passionate about creating a unique and restful retreat.
Who are its clientele?
We target style-conscious travelers who regard shelter as a meaningful part of their experience. We want to reach people from around the world who value design and architecture and appreciate the individual character of each property.
What would be the hallmark of the properties you represent?
Authenticity, and often a reflection of the individual owner’s personality. You can’t steal or copy authenticity, that’s the beauty of it – they are all unique in their own way. One of our owners put it this way: “There are so many little details that together form a language. Now you don’t see all this, but you can feel it.” That’s what we look for in each property, almost like a work of art.
Where are they located?
While the majority is in Europe, our properties are located in every part of the world. You can explore Norway’s harsh wilderness through huge panoramic windows in a property that has won many awards for its architecture, stay at a grand residence of a Venetian aristocratic family, discover breathtaking beaches in Brazil, watch turtles nest in the South Pacific or cook some delicious pasta a with a typical Italian mama.
Many of them are not located in the typical tourist hotspots, so hopefully you won’t find yourself among crowds of people with cameras around their necks. We believe that’s a good thing. Rather, you get to be part of the local culture, being around locals doing what locals do.
How many do you represent?
We represent around 115 properties in 35 countries and growing.
For more information, go to http://www.welcomebeyond.com/