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Ascott unveils Citadines Connect business hotels to expand short-stay offerings

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CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has launched Citadines Connect, a line of business hotels with selected services, to widen its short-stay offerings as it continues to grow its portfolio. A sub-brand of Ascott’s well-established Citadines serviced residence brand, Citadines Connect business hotels cater to frequent travellers who are constantly connected, offering a chic living experience in vibrant city destinations.

Citadines Connect business hotels will have tech-enabled features such as mobile keys, self check-in kiosks, smart washing machines or laundromats, content streaming-enabled televisions, and Google cloud printers. Guests can enjoy the convenience of ‘Grab & Go’ counters offering food and beverage options and daily necessities, common pantry areas, meeting pods, as well as 24/7 gymnasiums. They can also relax at the ‘Refresh and Recharge’ spaces that come with private napping pods with USB charging points, lockers and shower rooms. The hotels offer mostly studio rooms ranging from 18 to 21 square metres.

Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s Head for Global Operations, said: “Citadines is Ascott’s fastest growing brand. It has a strong reputation amongst travellers who enjoy the flexibility to choose the services according to their lifestyles. Riding on the worldwide popularity of the Citadines brand which focuses on the extended-stay market, we are introducing the Citadines Connect sub-brand to capture the short-stay segment. The Citadines Connect brand, which offers contemporary and tech-enabled hotel accommodation in well-connected locations, cater to highly mobile business travellers who appreciate convenience, fuss-free services, online connectivity and recreational experiences.”

“We see strong potential for the short-stay segment and hotel rates are rising given the rapid growth in global mobility, bleisure travel and a flourishing gig economy. More and more skilled professionals are taking on short-term, freelancing and ad-hoc work assignments which require them to travel frequently. We will leverage Ascott’s international network and strong management capabilities to bring the Citadines Connect brand to key gateway cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo as well as popular destinations in Southeast Asia where there is high demand for quality, short-term accommodation.”

Mr Ong added: “By extending our range of product offerings with Citadines Connect, we can scale up our lodging business at a faster rate and further sharpen our expertise in managing hotel assets. Our business partners and guests alike can choose from a wide variety of lodging products that can best cater to their business models, travel patterns, and accommodation needs.”

The two properties to debut under the Citadines Connect brand are in highly attractive locations in the top cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and New York. Ascott is also looking to rebrand its properties such as Temple Bar Hotel Dublin in Ireland and The Domain Hotel Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, California to Citadines Connect.

Citadines Connect Sydney Airport

The 150-unit prime freehold business hotel is currently operating as Felix Hotel and will be rebranded as Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May 2019. Located in Mascot within the city of Botany Bay, it is within walking distance to the Mascot railway station and Sydney Airport – Australia’s busiest airport which caters to around 44.4 million passengers in 2018 and is forecast to receive around 60.7 million passengers by 2033. The business parks of Alexandria, Botany, Mascot and Waterloo, The Lakes and The Australian golf clubs as well as the Westfield Eastgardens Shopping Centre are all nearby. Sydney’s Central Business District is within a 15-minute drive or ride by train. The precinct is further earmarked for development to accommodate future population and employment growth capitalising on its accessibility to public transport.

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is centrally located in the heart of Manhattan. Attracting a good mix of both corporate and leisure travellers, the property with 125 rooms is performing well with an average occupancy rate of more than 95%. Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is steps away from Times Square, Fifth Avenue, the Theatre District and Rockefeller Center. It is also a short walk from key attractions such as the Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art and Grand Central Station.

Since Ascott acquired the Citadines Apart’hotel serviced residence chain in 2004, it has expanded the Citadines portfolio by about five times from 5,100 apartment units in 18 European cities to about 25,000 units in over 140 properties and 86 cities across Asia Pacific, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Last year, Ascott invested in TAUZIA Hotel Management, one of Indonesia’s top five hotel operators, to capitalise on opportunities in the growing middle-class hotel segment.

Business travel spending has been growing steadily from 2012 to 2017 and is expected to grow at an average rate of about 5% to US$1.7 trillion by 2022. This year, hotel rates are also expected to rise 3.7% globally.

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Hotels & Resorts

Mandarin Oriental To Debut At Costa Navarino In Spring 2023

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and TEMES S.A., a leading developer and operator in high-end tourism and real estate, will introduce the first Mandarin Oriental property in Greece, at Costa Navarino – the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean – in spring 2023.  

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will be located at Navarino Bay, an integrated resort area at Costa Navarino, in the region of Messinia, southwest Peloponnese, amidst a breathtaking 140-hectare natural landscape, overlooking the historic Bay of Navarino. 

The beachfront luxury resort will feature 99 guest rooms, including 48 spacious earth-sheltered pool villas, all with outdoor terraces and stunning sea views, along with five restaurants and bars. Crafted by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis & Associates Architects and K-Studio, the unique design is aligned with Costa Navarino’s sustainable principles, featuring planted roofs blending into the natural topography of the land and the use of local materials.

Additionally, this ultra-premium resort is set to feature a 1,500 m2 spa and fitness center with a stunning 25 m indoor-outdoor pool and sweeping sea views, complemented by state-of-the-art heat experiences and Mandarin Oriental’s signature wellness therapies in specially designed indoor treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions.

“We are delighted to be opening our first property in Greece in Costa Navarino and look forward to sharing this striking combination of unspoiled landscape, olive groves, pristine beaches and authentic Greek culture in the region with our guests,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “We are pleased to partner with TEMES, the group that has been responsible for the creation of Costa Navarino as a bourgeoning tourism destination.”

“Mandarin Oriental is renowned for delivering exemplary service and exclusive experiences in some of the most noted properties around the world,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES. “We are proud to have the Group bring their hospitality expertise for the first time to Greece, signifying the further growth of Costa Navarino, which is becoming a top international destination to visit and to live”.

Navarino Bay is already home to The Bay Course, an 18-hole signature golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, as well as the award-winning earth-sheltered Bay Clubhouse, which harmoniously blends into the lush landscape, overlooking the Bay of Navarino.

Guests of Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will also benefit from the destination’s other resort areas, and experience a vast range of outdoor activities, from biking and hiking to rock-climbing, tennis and water sports, as well as three more signature golf courses. Additionally, a variety of dining venues and leisure activities are available across Navarino Dunes and Navarino Waterfront.

Moreover, Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will be adjacent to Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, artisanal street food, open-air cinema, and authentic local experiences by day and night.

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Hotels & Resorts

Marriott International Signs Agreement to Debut W Costa Navarino

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Set to welcome guests this summer, W Costa Navarino will bring detail-driven design and inspiring energy to the new Navarino Waterfront

Marriott International, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with TEMES S.A., a leading developer and operator in high end tourism and real estate, to debut the W Hotels Worldwide brand in Greece with the opening of W Costa Navarino. Expected to open in summer 2022, W Costa Navarino is anticipated to mark the latest addition to the ever-expanding W Escapes portfolio in Europe following locations in Spain, Switzerland and Portugal.

The new W Escape will be located in Navarino Waterfront, the newest integrated resort of Costa Navarino – the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean. The 13-hectare beachfront destination is located in Messinia, southwest Peloponnese. Designed by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis and Associates Architects, W Costa Navarino is inspired by the region’s traditional residential areas and set to use local, natural materials such as stone, wood and reed. The distinctive interiors will be led by London-based MKV Design. The Escape is expected to feature 246 stylish rooms, suites, and villas, many with private pools staged in the Bay of Navarino with stunning Ionian Sea views.

‘‘We are thrilled to build on our fantastic relationship with TEMES S.A. to open W Costa Navarino, strengthening Marriott International’s presence in this Mediterranean paradise,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “Joining our portfolio of coveted W Escapes around the world, W Costa Navarino will add a distinct take on modern luxury to Navarino Waterfront. We look forward to welcoming free-spirited travelers to this new luxury playground.

W Costa Navarino is set to offer five dining venues including a destination beach club overlooking a long sandy shore, designed by Athens-based K-Studio. The ‘Culinary Square’ is the hotel’s playful take on a deli food market with individual outlets creating a socially driven destination for all day dining. Other planned amenities include a sunset bar and the signature W Living Room. Guests will also be able to enjoy experiences and dining at neighbouring venues in Costa Navarino including the new Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, street food, open-air cinema and exciting programming throughout the day and night.

“W Costa Navarino will generate a unique energy encouraging free expression and connection between a diverse mix of people, whilst respecting and honoring authentic experiences and cultures. In this important chapter for the growth of the destination, we believe W Costa Navarino will significantly contribute to our vision in further establishing Messinia as a top international destination to visit and to live,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman TEMES S.A.

Tennis courts and a water sports hub are part of the vision for guests to enjoy at W Costa Navarino, along with access to the destination’s four signature golf courses and an array of outdoor programming including biking, hiking, rock-climbing and sailing.

There are currently two Marriott International properties in Costa Navarino— The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, offering travellers and families countless well-being activities and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, offering exquisite architecture, butler service and epicurean experiences.

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Hotels & Resorts

5 Reasons To Go Offline at Four Seasons Resorts in Bali

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Free WiFi is expected at five-star hotels nowadays, and as such it’s a standard inclusion for guests of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan. But the paradox of the internet and social media can be a very anti-social holiday where our phones never leave our sides. Here, we present five exclusive Four Seasons experiences that will inspire you to be in the moment. Ranging from water blessings to high-flying yoga and surf tours, you’ll be disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting to each other and the wonderful world around you.   

Can You Keep A Secret? This exclusive temple tour is not on anyone’s bucket list. We ask guests to help us keep it that way, by resisting the urge to post the temple on social media. If you agree, our guide will take you on a scenic three-hour tour from Four Seasons Sayan in an open-air vintage VW through nearby yet untouched rice farming villages. Visit historic sites include a secluded water temple where you are welcome to bathe, or simply to enjoy the serene and undiscovered atmosphere far from selfie sticks.

Learn to surf in the sheltered confines of Jimbaran Bay or take a boat trip to explore Bali’s world-class breaks with Tropicsurf’s coaches and guides. On-site at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, the Tropicsurf philosophy is based on small groups (maximum four people) and avoiding the crowds to take your surfing to the next level, faster. For the ultimate adventure, take Asia’s only heli-surfing tour to ride uncrowded waves in pristine conditions off the east coast of Java.

Bali is home to thousands of beautiful Hindu temples. We invite you to go beyond the most famous landmarks and explore hidden gems like the Goa Gong 9th century cave temple. Open to visitors by appointment only, this natural archaeological site is nearby Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Our resort priest Ajik Ngurah will be your guide to explore the cave’s shrines and stalactites, and can also arrange a melukat water purification ritual. Not something you want to be holding your phone for!

Discover the beauty of the Ayung – Bali’s longest river and part of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage-listed subak irrigation system. Our guided Four Seasons Private Rafting Adventure takes you through easy rapids flanked by virgin jungle, rice terraces and majestic gorges. Hop out of your raft and let yourself float down a quiet and calm stretch of the river, gazing up into the canopy overhead. Make a riverside landing directly at Four Seasons Sayan, where we’ll be waiting to welcome you back home. 

Experience the intimacy of Trust Yoga, the newest addition to the inspiring wellness program at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Head to the ocean-front yoga pavilion and partner up with your soul mate, a friend or relative. Take turns being guide and flier, with postures that both require and build trust, strengthening your bond to each other and extending your practice. Our yoga instructor will lead each couple through this joyful 75-minute class, adapting postures to suit all levels. A fun way to connect emotionally and physically to someone special in your life, and a reminder that the best connections are human connections.

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