Frequently asked questions
Who is Charlie MacGregor?
Charlie MacGregor is a Scottish entrepreneur, CEO and founder of the Netherlands-headquartered hybrid hospitality investor, developer, and operator The Social Hub. Beyond The Social Hub, Charlie focuses on his work improving refugee camps through a humanitarian NGO he founded in 2015. Called Movement on the Ground (MOTG), it recently began supporting people from Ukraine ‘on the ground’ in Poland. Alongside his work, Charlie is part of the Tuscany Business Advisory, a group of business leaders who work with the regional Government to help secure inward investment in Tuscany, Italy.
How did Charlie start his career?
Charlie started his career at the age of 16 working on building sites, and since then has developed into a strong business professional. Charlie followed the footsteps of his father who built the first-ever student housing building in 1980 for the University of Edinburgh. In his first foray as a property entrepreneur, he purchased a small student accommodation company at the age of 25, which he sold 10 years later. After spending time in London, MacGregor relocated to Amsterdam in 2006 where he established The Student Hotel in 2008.
What is the hybrid hospitality concept?
At The Social Hub, we believe a better society is created when people with vision and talent come together from all walks of life. United by a shared mindset, our community is shaping a brighter future, and having fun doing it.
That’s why our city hubs are more than urban spaces - they’re lively destinations for the inspired and inspiring, where our vibrant, diverse community can reach its potential; meeting, connecting and growing to express their true selves and drive positive change.
From travellers to digital nomads, students to start-ups, we inspire innovators and excite the open-minded, building spaces for people to learn, stay, work and play, whilst connecting them through meaningful and fun experiences.
What is The Social Hub's growth path?
The Social Hub has raised several rounds of investments, including €150 million (£118m) from Perella Weinberg Real Estate in 2014 and €100 million from APG in 2015. In 2019, the company secured a €82 million green finance package from Credit Agricole for the development of its Paris location and refurbishment of its Toulouse location. In 2021, the company announced a €300 million funding from investors Aermont and APG, allowing it to start the construction of seven new hotels in key European cities. In 2022, The Social Hub received € 145 million in impact financing from Italian bank Unicredit for the development of its Rome and second Florence locations, planning to open in 2024.
The Social Hub is investing €1.8bn in its international growth strategy, bringing its total number of rooms to 17,550. In 2016, it acquired the Carlyle Group's 85% stake in three properties located in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague and locations are currently under development in Lisbon, Glasgow, Madrid, Barcelona, Porto and Florence.
What are The Social Hub's current and future locations?
As of today, The Social Hub is operating in 16 European locations: two hotels in Amsterdam and one in Berlin, Barcelona, The Hague, Delft, Vienna, Groningen, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Paris, Florence, Bologna, Toulouse and Madrid.
The Social Hub’s total locations amount to 23 hotels, with 16 open and seven more by 2025 in Lisbon, Porto, Rome San Lorenzo, Florence Belfiore, Turin, San Sebastian, and Glasgow.
What is the relationship between The Social Hub and Movement On The Ground (MOTG)?
MOTG is a humanitarian charity based in Amsterdam, which Charlie MacGregor founded with a group of friends in 2014. Moved by the Syrian refugee crisis in Lesbos, they were driven to do something in support. With four active projects in Greece, from Lesbos to Samos to Chios and now in Athens, their mission is to transform camps into campuses, offering refugees better opportunities and a better life. Recently, MOTG has begun supporting refugees from Ukraine, on the ground in Poland.
What are The Social Hub’s achievements on sustainability?
The company was awarded €82 Million in 2019, in Green Financing for Toulouse and Paris, to improve its sustainability by incorporating ESG targets. In 2022, The Social Hub received €145 million social and environmental impact financing from Italian bank Unicredit for the development of its Rome and second Florence locations, planning to open in 2024.
In alignment with their sustainability journey, the company has achieved the BREEAM In-Use sustainability certification for seven of its eight Dutch properties. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method is a certification used to measure the sustainable built environment, assessed on land use and ecology, pollution and emissions, water and energy sourcing and usage, and quality of internal environments ensuring improved health and well-being. For example, all Netherlands locations received a rating between ‘Very Good’ to ‘Excellent’. All of The Social Hub’s new properties are certified with the ‘Very Good’ rating at the very minimum.
What is the vision and future plans on urban regeneration and community building for The Social Hub?
The Social Hub is for the inspired and inspiring, the like-minded. The curious and the bold, dreamers and rule-breakers. It’s for the fun and the fringe, those open in mind and young at heart.
Our community is diverse. Some are naturally courageous; others are brilliantly shy. Some are colourful and flirt with the new; others are proudly monotone and focused. Some are taking their first steps; others rest after a long journey. They don’t fit in a box, and they don’t have to.
Despite their differences, they click. They share a mindset, inspire one another and vibe. Conscious in their decisions, entrepreneurial in their actions - one moment they plan the craziest, roof-raising party, the next one they problem solve to build a better society.
At The Social Hub, these people give life to a unified community of thinkers and doers, laying the foundations of a brighter future. They collaborate, ideate and energise; develop talents and express true potential – and they have the time of their lives while doing it.
Because we can each help build a better society - but it’s more fun doing it together.
How does The Social Hub support local communities?
The Social Hub has learned that it offers more to the community than just a place to sleep. The company has become as significant to local communities as it is to hotel guests or students. Whether it’s events supporting mental well-being, sustainable positive impact on the planet, diversity, and inclusion, or coworking spaces supporting local entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with the best solutions, The Social Hub celebrates the local community.
What awards has The Social Hub won?
- The Social Hub Maastricht was nominated for the 2018 Frame Awards’ Best Use of Color.
- The Social Hub was awarded a Best in Class Award in 2016 for Best Student Housing Property and 2017 for Best New Student Housing Development.
- The Social Hub Delft was shortlisted together with The Invisible Party in the Frame Awards 2021 for the top 5 “learning space of the year”.
- The Social Hub was shortlisted as a finalist in The PIEoneer Awards 2021 in the categories ‘International student living award ‘and ‘Public/private partnership of the year’ for collaborating with CODAM Coding College.
- The Social Hub Eindhoven, Florence, Amsterdam City, Groningen, The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam West, Maastricht, and Berlin received the 2021 Tripadvisor #TravelChoice Award. The award is given to hotels that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on TripAdvisor.
- The Social Hub won MIPIM’s Best Mixed-Use Development Award in 2019.