When seeking employment within the hotel industry, it can be important to find the right hotel brand for your tastes, needs and preferences. Of course, for job seekers who are either based in Europe or hoping to move to Europe for work, this means gaining an understanding of the best European hotel brands to focus on and learning about what they have to offer. In this article, you can find all of this information and much more.

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What is the Hotel Industry?

Before exploring the various hotel brands that exist within Europe, it is important to first establish precisely what is meant by the hotel industry. Put simply, this is a term used to describe the part of the service industry that centres on guest accommodation, and this may include hotels, motels, holiday cottages, B&Bs, and more.

If you would like to explore the definition of the hotel industry further, or learn precisely what falls under this definition, read the “Hotel Industry: Everything You Need to Know About Hotels!” article.

Is There a Difference Between European and American Hotel Brands?

For those who are used to American hotel brands, there are some notable differences to be aware of when exploring the various European hotel brands and groups. For instance, while many of the popular American hotel chains do have hotels in Europe, many European hotels are smaller brands, with more niche appeal.

Hotel rooms in European countries are often smaller than their American counterparts, and there are always going to be unique cultural and architectural influences from one country to the next. Workers in Europe are also generally less reliant on tips for their earnings, so customer service has a more collective focus.

Why Should You Work at a Hotel Brand Abroad?

There are a number of reasons why working for an overseas hotel brand can be beneficial, but one of the most significant is the ability to gain an understanding of different cultures and their expectations. This can be invaluable for the entire duration of your career and can help to make you a more desirable candidate. It can also help to provide you with an excellent foundation to build upon if you are pursuing a hotel management career.

Demonstrating a willingness to step outside your comfort zone and try new things is another highly desirable trait for those in the hotel industry. Moreover, working abroad affords you an opportunity to travel and see the world.

What Are the Biggest European Hotel Brands You Can Work For?

When exploring the various European hotel brands out there, the following 10 serve as a good place to start, as they are among the biggest, most popular, and most successful.

1. Accor

Accor is one of the leading hotel brands in the world, and its portfolio includes more than 5,000 hotels and guest accommodation properties. These properties are divided among a number of brand names, including Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Sofitel, Novotel, Swissôtel, Mercure, Raffles Hotels, Banyan Tree Hotels, and more.

The Accor brand itself was created in 1967 in Paris, France, and its headquarters remains in France, in the commune of Issy-les-Moulineaux. In addition to hotels, it also owns hospitality management companies and other businesses in the hospitality sector, including the Gekko hotel distribution platform and the catering company Potel & Chabot.

Click here to access the Career page of Accor Hotels.

Video: Accor People Person

2. InterContinental

InterContinental Hotels Group, also known as IHG, is a hotel brand based in the United Kingdom. It owns some of the most recognisable hotel brands in Europe and the rest of the world, with examples including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Hotel Indigo.

In total, this means that InterContinental has a portfolio of more than 6,000 hotels and resorts, with hundreds more planned for opening in the near future, making it an excellent European hotel brand for job seekers to focus on. In total, the company is active in the hotel industry in more than 100 countries.

Click here to access the Career page of InterContinental Hotels.

3. Whitbread

Based in the United Kingdom, Whitbread is a multinational hotel company, which is also active in other areas of the hospitality industry. The biggest hotel chain that falls under its ownership is Premier Inn, which is also the UK’s largest hotel brand, with more than 800 hotels and more than 70,000 rooms.

In addition to the United Kingdom, the Premier Inn brand also has a presence in the Republic of Ireland and Germany. Its properties are based in a diverse range of locations, including towns and city centres, as well as in close proximity to many major airports. Whitbread also owns hospitality brands Beefeater and Brewers Fayre.

Click here to access the Career page of Whitbread Hotels.

4. NH Hotel Group

Established in 1978, the NH Hotel Group is based in Madrid, Spain, and is one of the top European hotel brands. Its hotel and guest accommodation properties are divided among three major brand names: NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow. The name NH Hotels is derived from the original Spanish name of its hotel brand, Navarra Hoteles.

Since 2018, the NH Hotel Group has operated under the wider ownership of Minor Hotels, which has its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. In total, the NH Hotel Group owns more than 380 hotels, which are found across more than 25 different countries, and it is the largest European hotel brand under the Minor Hotels umbrella.

Click here to access the Career page of NH Hotel Group.

5. Meliá Hotels International

Meliá Hotels International, S.A. is a Spanish hotel brand, with its headquarters in Palma de Mallorca. The company operates a large number of hotels and holiday resorts, and is recognised as one of the largest hotel brands in Europe. It is also Spain’s market leader when it comes to hotels situated in towns and cities.

With this in mind, Meliá is an excellent choice of brand to focus on if you are a job seeker hoping to work in urban areas in Europe. In total, the company operates more than 370 hotels, across around 40 countries.

Click here to access the Career page of Meliá Hotels International.

6. Travelodge

Travelodge Hotels Limited, also known as Travelodge UK, is the largest independent hotel brand in the United Kingdom and one of the largest hotel chains in Europe. The vast majority of its operations are based in the UK, however, the brand also has properties in the Republic of Ireland and Spain.

The chain helped to popularise the concept of the budget or value hotel, which is one of the major hotel marketing trends of recent decades. In total, there are more than 550 Travelodge hotels in the United Kingdom today. Therefore, it is a good choice for workers who are seeking employment within the UK’s hotel industry.

Click here to access the Career page of Travelodge.

7. Louvre Hotels

Louvre Hotels, or Groupe du Louvre, is a French hotel brand based in Nanterre, in the Paris suburbs. The company owns a variety of hotel chains, which are rated in every category from 1-star all the way up to 5-star.

The company’s hotel chains include Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip, which are luxury hotel brands, alongside Première Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, and Tulip Inn, which span the 1 to 3-star range. All in all, the Louvre Hotels portfolio includes more than 1,500 properties spread across more than 50 different countries.

Click here to access the Career page of Louvre Hotels.

8. Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group is a hotel brand based out of the United States, but it has a strong presence throughout Europe. In total, the company owns or operates more than 1,500 properties, and has hundreds of thousands of employees.

The brand names that fall under the wider Radisson Hotel Group umbrella include Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Radisson Collection, Park Inn by Radisson, and Radisson Individuals. Together, these form an extensive portfolio, which provides guests with various different levels of service.

Click here to access the Career page of Radisson Hotel Group.

9. TUI Group

TUI Group is one of the largest tourism brands in the world, with travel agencies, airlines and cruise ships under its ownership, in addition to its various hotel brands. These hotel brands include TUI Blue, TUI Blue for Families (formerly known as TUI Family Life), and a luxury hotel brand called TUI Sensatori.

As one of the largest employers in the entire tourism industry, TUI Group is a sensible hotel brand for job seekers to focus their efforts on. The company has a strong presence throughout Europe, as well as in other parts of the world, and is able to boast a portfolio of more than 400 hotels and resorts in total.

Click here to access the Career page of TUI Group.

10. Scandic Hotels

Founded in 1963, Scandic Hotels is a major European hotel brand, with an especially strong presence in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, along with a lesser presence in Germany and Poland.

All together, Scandic Hotels operates close to 300 hotels, spread across more than 150 destinations. The company has more than 11,000 direct employees and enjoys a strong reputation as an employer within the hotel industry. Additionally, the company is notable for being one of Europe’s most sustainable hotel brands, and this is one of the most significant hotel trends because customers are becoming more aware of sustainability as an issue.

Click here to access the Career page of Scandic Hotels.

Hospitality Jobs: Channels for Finding Work with Hotel Brands

Knowing the various hotel brands on the market is a crucial first step to finding work in the industry. However, to explore the vacancies that exist, it is important to utilise the full range of hospitality job channels available, including hotel websites, hospitality job boards, and hospitality-focused recruitment agencies.

Read “Hospitality Jobs: Overview of All Channels to Find Your Next Job” to find out more about the various channels that are available and how they can assist you with your job search process.

European hotel brands have a lot to offer job seekers in the hotel industry, and there is a wide range of options to choose from. The 10 European hotel companies outlined are among the biggest and best employers in the industry.

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