CEO & President
Design Hotels AG
Born in Augsburg, Germany, in 1963. Claus looks back on many years of experience in the event and travel industry as well as marketing of lifestyle hotels. Following a degree in public relations, Claus embarked on a career in event planning and PR for hotels and clubs. This opened doors to the lifestyle market and at the age of 23 Claus founded CO ORDINATES GmbH, an incentives and events agency. In 1991 he laid the foundation for design hotels™ with Travel Trends, a label providing high-end and innovative lifestyle vacations.
In 1993 Claus co-founded Design Hotels Inc. in Sausalito, California, which began as a marketing agency for hotels and later incorporated a reservations system servicing a growing portfolio of member hotels. The company continued to expand, tapping into new markets across the globe as lifestyle tourism picked up momentum.
The creative network and services generated through design hotels™ then formed the basis for the foundation of lebensart global networks AG, a marketing, service, and technology company specialized in hospitality, which was also co-founded by Claus.
In 1999, the Executive Board of lebensart global networks AG, chaired by Claus as CEO, took the company public. The share is traded at the major German stock markets.
In 2004, the holding company was renamed design hotels AG. The company, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, is managed by Claus as CEO, together with an Executive Management Team consisting of industry professionals. Claus mainly concentrates on the strategic and creative development of the company.
Claus is often invited to speak at industry conferences and summits as a prominent and influential expert on lifestyle hospitality. In 2002, Condé Nast Traveller placed him in their Top 50 list of world tourism experts, in the category of most creative and innovative international tourism entrepreneurs.