The Kastens Hotel Luisenhof was founded 165 years ago in 1856, showcasing much of the rich history that can be found within Hannover, Germany. Consisting of two separate houses, the current hotel is a rebuilt version of the original building that was destroyed by bombs near the end of World War II. As the only hotel in the entire city at that time, the hotel’s new houses were quickly reconstructed after the war.
As of 1952, the two houses were formally integrated into one hotel, which is what guests can now explore before they make a reservation through the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof’s digital twin, created by Oliver Vosshage, founder of 360-PRO.
We caught up with Oliver and Marc Biewald, Head of Sales and Marketing for the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof, to learn more about the space and what future projects will bring.
What inspired the 3D capture of this space?
Oliver: I like jobs that have a lot of history behind them. Many of my projects are more than 100 years old — they have been in business for a long time and the buildings have a historical charm.
With 360-PRO I can make these older buildings accessible forever and that’s an additional inspiration for my work.
Marc: The main focus was to enable our guests to visit the hotel from home and open up a new, interactive way of booking. Thanks to the 360-degree view, our guests can walk through a private guided tour of the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof. In addition, the tour serves as an innovative tool for our employees to present the company.
In this way, new target groups can be addressed and gained even in challenging times. The 3D tour is a pioneering step in the digitization of the 165-year-old traditional privately-owned business. When the hotel was barely occupied due to Covid-19, all public spaces and a variety of rooms could be documented and the 3D tour was created within two months.
What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?
Oliver: The historical background of the hotel runs through every floor and room like a thread. Visitors will find traces of the company's 165-year history everywhere.
Technical highlights that a visitor should explore are the Mattertags and the optimized menu, which both offer additional ways to explore the two houses. Whether you want to change floors with the elevator or move from one building to the next, you can do this via the menu — and you can also switch to the other building with the help of a Mattertag.
Another highlight to note is the immersive quality of the tour. For example, in the Junior Suite Opera, a visitor can sit in the bathtub. In other suites, they can go out onto the balcony. There are many great details like these throughout the 3D virtual tour.
Marc: We particularly recommend visiting our wine cellar which is usually not visible for our guests — outside of events. The wine cellar leaves a lasting impression and is definitely worth a visit during the 360-degree tour.
In addition, a selection of 40 rooms, thirteen meeting and event rooms, as well as the option to explore MARY’s Restaurant or Leo’s Bar will help give visitors an extensive overview of the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof. In Leo’s Bar, they can take a look around and choose their evening drink from the beverage menu. From the gym on the sixth floor, they can enjoy the view over Hanover during sunrise. They can even “enter” their room before arrival. All of this and more is possible with the Matterport 3D virtual tour.
What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring your 3D tour?
Oliver: The visitors should feel like they can move almost unrestrictedly throughout both buildings and — with the help of the well-thought-out Mattertags and menu — visit the buildings in a relaxed manner.
Marc: We would like our visitors to go on their own discovery tour and explore the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof with newfound freedom. With the implementation of the 3D tour, guests and visitors are presented an interactively walkable tour of the historical hotel in Hannover. Involving the guests, and letting them actively choose where they go, will increase the positive impact of our hotel.
How can visitors utilize the scans of the hotel?
Marc: Compared to simple photos, which only attract user attention for a short time, the tour offers the opportunity to create a spatial understanding of the hotel. Guests have the option of viewing menus, planning a meeting or booking a hotel room through several Mattertags that are included in the virtual tour.
Do you have any plans to capture more 3D experiences?
Oliver: I hope to capture many large, exciting projects in the future. But small projects also have something special and are exciting challenges that appeal to me.
Since the quality of my scans is as high and detailed as my photo work, I plan to expand my company. I have been observing for a long time what kind of projects other Matterport users are recording around the world and how they edit and publish them. This inspires me and motivates me since I know that I can contribute high-quality scans to the Matterport market.
I am already active nationwide and worldwide and would like to expand my 360-PRO company with additional employees. I am convinced that customers will appreciate the high-quality difference and that there will be a huge market for me in the future.
Anything else you would like to add?
Oliver: Like other professions, it’s not enough to just have the equipment, but the awareness of quality and the vision of having the digital twin (and especially the Dollhouse presentation) be as perfect as possible for customers and visitors.
One thing should be clear to everyone: Matterport offers us all outstanding software, great cameras, and possibilities to create ideal digital twins! It’s through my experience as a professional photographer (I've been working as an international photographer for over 30 years) that I can create 360-degree photography and virtual tours and integrate them into a highly competitive professional field. Matterport enables me to conquer a market where differences in quality are clearly visible and therefore appreciated.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Biewald for your great cooperation. The entire team from the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof helped me to implement this project all those days. One thing must be clear to everyone, such a complex project is ONLY possible if you get 100% support from the customer every day.
What you can't see, but something that is important: In order to be able to present this project in the end, we needed about 2800 scan points to create the basis. In the end it was a little more than 1900 scan points to present the project as it is online today.
Marc: The implementation of this tour is a significant step in the digitalization of the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof. Showing our guests and prospects our house from all angles and perspectives — thanks to Matterport, MpSkin and our photographer Oliver Vosshage — takes the guest experience to a new level. Our aim with the establishment of the 360-degree tour was to save resources and promote sustainability in the hotel and tourism industry.
What future do you see for Matterport users and their customers?
Oliver: Matterport is constantly evolving. With the help of their software development kit (SDK), platforms such as MPskin, etc., I can add many additional features such as staging, editing of Mattertags, menu design, and more. There’s still so much potential and this technology offers a future with a lot of creativity.
Marc: In the digital age, Matterport offers the opportunity to digitally map the world as we know it using the most intelligent technologies. Matterport can give all customers access to this reality, regardless of their location. This virtual technology significantly changes the media usage behavior of customers. Products are made easily accessible to potential customers, which then facilitates the purchase decision.