Hotels & Resorts
Ascott unveils Citadines Connect business hotels to expand short-stay offerings
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.
Hotels & Resorts
Hilton Expands Presence in Mexico with the Debut of Hilton Monterrey
Hilton today announced the opening of Hilton Monterrey, located in the business and financial district of the capital city of Nuevo León, Mexico. With an emphasis on efficient design and conscious travel, from its farm-to-table restaurant and energy-conserving technology, the 225-room property provides a modern urban oasis with the intuitive service and world-class amenities of Hilton Hotels & Resorts to deliver an exceptional stay for mindful business and leisure travelers.
“As our ninth Hilton property in this thriving metropolis and industrial hub, we are delighted to debut Hilton Monterrey as part of our growing portfolio in Mexico,” said Jorge Giannattasio, senior vice president and head of operations, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton. “We look forward to welcoming guests and locals alike to this stylish hotel where they can experience our elevated accommodations and enjoy a cocktail at the rooftop bar, served with our signature hospitality for which Hilton is known.”
Hilton Monterrey is conveniently located just 23 miles from Mariano Escobedo International Airport in the heart of the commercial district and connected to Galerías Valle Oriente Mall. The modern city of Monterrey lies north of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountain range. Although historically known as an industrial city, Monterrey is rich in history and art, with the hotel located five miles away from the Mexican History Museum, Paseo Santa Lucía, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Fundidora Park.
“We’re thrilled to bring Hilton Hotels & Resorts to Monterrey, growing our flagship brand’s ever-expanding presence and best-in-class hospitality offerings in Mexico,” said Leonard Gooz, global brand head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “Hilton Monterrey offers thoughtful service, energizing, inviting spaces beautifully designed to reflect the destination, locally influenced dining options and memorable meetings and events, delivering an exceptional stay for business and leisure travelers alike.”
Accommodations with Inspired Design
Under the creation of world-renowned hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), Hilton Monterrey’s design concept highlights the city’s contrast of urban architecture and its surrounding natural beauty. A neutral palette offset by dark contrasting tones and elements of misty blue reflects the area’s beautiful landscape. Elements of stone, wood and metals combine to create a tranquil ambiance for relaxation or work.
Hilton Monterrey’s 225 rooms offer guests a choice of unobstructed city skyline views or sweeping mountain views paired with amenities that deliver the comfort and convenience for which Hilton is known, including complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, 55-inch flat-panel HDTVs, a dedicated work desk, rainfall shower, ample closet space and more. The design places high importance on energy efficiency, from heat recovery systems to save natural gas, to water-saving toilet tanks and showers, and an automation system that maintains the rooms at a certain temperature when guests are out exploring the city.
The elegantly appointed presidential suite represents the height of sophistication at Hilton Monterrey with its floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious living area, kitchenette, well-appointed king bed, desk for a quiet work area, access to the Executive Lounge, and oversized, modern bathroom with a free-standing soaking tub.
Dining to Inspire the Senses
Hilton Monterrey is home to three onsite dining experiences for guests and locals alike. Chef Alejandro González leads Hilton Monterrey’s culinary vision using innovative techniques and creating experiences that go beyond the senses with dishes inspired by the traditional cuisine of Mexico and grounded on sustainable practices and respect of the seasonality of the local ingredients.
Farm-to-table seasonal restaurant Härth is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving local and international cuisine with sustainable ingredients from local and regional vendors. Dishes that will tantalize the taste buds include shrimp ravioli with spicy tuna tartar in a Huancaína sauce and Tetela, a triangular corn tortilla filled with duck confit, breaded egg yolk and pea sprouts, served over homemade mole. The hotel’s signature Härth Bar, located adjacent to Härth, serves all-day fresh cocktails with seating available on its terrace. On the rooftop, guests can discover Wander, the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge serving up the best views in the city along with cocktails and a special selection of international street food.
Flexible Meetings and Events Space
With eight meeting spaces spanning over 12,000 square feet, Hilton Monterrey’s flexible event space can accommodate a variety of settings from small social gatherings to large business conferences. Venues include an exquisite pre-function foyer and outdoor terrace, the triple-height, 24-foot ceiling Magnolia ballroom that can host up to 600 attendees, a boardroom and individual meeting rooms named after native trees of Nuevo León, all with onsite catering support available.
Hilton Monterrey participates in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 19 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount and free standard Wi-Fi, and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app.
Hilton Monterrey is the latest addition to Hilton’s rapidly expanding portfolio in Mexico, where guests are currently welcomed at approximately 90 hotels and resorts, with approximately 25 additional properties in development.
Hotels & Resorts
IMARAT signs Agreement to Construct its Fourth Hotel in Collaboration with Marriott International
IMARAT Group has signed a franchise agreement with Marriott International to develop a Courtyard by Marriott project in DHA Multan. The signing ceremony took place at Marriott International’s Office in Dubai.
Marriott International was represented in the ceremony by Satya Anand, President, Europe Middle East & Africa, Phil Andreopoulos, Chief Operating Officer, Owner and Franchise Services, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Chadi Hauch, Regional Vice President – Development, Middle East and Ziad Abi Raad, Director Lodging Development.
The event was attended by Chairman IMARAT Group, Mr. Shafiq Akbar, Director IMARAT Hospitality, Mr. Farhan Javed, IMARAT’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Saad Ahmed Awan.
Chairman IMARAT Group, Mr. Shafiq Akbar, while speaking on the occasion, said, “On this day, we are elated to witness the culmination of years of effort; a collaboration with Marriott International to construct Courtyard by Marriott in DHA Multan. I see this project as the ‘Jewel of South Punjab’, a state of the art hospitality initiative that will give Pakistan’s, particularly South Punjab’s hotel and tourism sectors a much-needed economic boost”.
Satya Anand, President, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International commented, “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with the IMARAT Group and expand our portfolio of in Pakistan. There is an unmet demand for hotel accommodation in South Punjab and with the Courtyard by Marriott Multan we look forward to supporting the expansion of the hospitality landscape in the market.”
Expressing his views at the signing ceremony, Group Director IMARAT Hospitality, Farhan Javed said, “IMARAT envisions and executes projects to take the hospitality sector of Pakistan to a level where we are at par with the international standards. By offering the best services in the hospitality business, Courtyard by Marriott is unquestionably on the verge of creating a benchmark in the sector.”
Since it first opened its doors more than 35 years ago, Courtyard by Marriott has been dedicated to creating an environment where great things can happen. Today, Courtyard is the hotel brand of choice for ambitious and enterprising guests who see business travel as a driver of personal fulfillment and professional growth.
Courtyard by Marriott is expected to be an ideal fit South Punjab and Multan. Multan, being the fifth-most densely populated city in Pakistan, serves as South Punjab’s economic and cultural hub. The new collaboration between Imarat and Marriott International aims to meet the demand for quality hospitality accommodation in the market.
IMARAT Group, one of Pakistan’s top real estate player, continues to construct and develop major projects that are coherent with the concept of transforming the real estate dynamics in the country. IMARAT’s top notch construction and property management seeks to assist Pakistan in making a name in the international hospitality sector.
Hotels & Resorts
Hilton Signs Six New Luxury Hotels in Asia Pacific
Leading global hospitality company Hilton (NYSE: HLT) has announced six landmark signings in Asia Pacific (APAC) across its portfolio of luxury brands – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and LXR Hotels & Resorts – in the year to date, a mark of growing optimism in luxury travel across the region.
With the signing of Waldorf Astoria Xi’an, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai Qiantan, Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur, Waldorf Astoria Sydney, Conrad Nagoya and an LXR Hotels & Resorts property in Bali, Hilton’s pipeline of luxury hotels in the region increases to 20. When these hotels open in the coming years, travellers will enjoy an exquisite portfolio of more than 50 luxury hotels across Asia Pacific.
With a growing middle class, increased consumer spending and an underserved lodging market, Asia Pacific presents a US$10 trillion consumption growth opportunity over the next decade.
Alan Watts, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton said, “Hilton is Asia Pacific’s fastest growing hospitality company, and that signals the confidence that owners and developers have in our ability to capture growing demand and deliver strong returns in APAC’s most sought-after destinations. We share the optimism that owners and developers have about the future of luxury travel and appreciate the importance they place on partners and brands that will optimize their yield. As we continue to pursue quality organic growth and enhance our network effect, we too stay focused on prioritizing the right partnerships to deploy the right brands in the right locations.”
Post-pandemic recovery has prompted increasing owner and developer interest in hospitality real estate, as the APAC hotel investment volume in 2021 grew 46% year-on-year to exceed US$12 billion, and investors focused on acquiring luxury or resort assets. The luxury travel segment is also expected to burgeon as 42% of APAC consumers who intend to take an international trip seek out luxury experiences.
“These signings mark an incredible moment for our luxury brand portfolio as we expand Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR throughout five countries in the region, offering even more opportunities for travelers to immerse in our authentic approach,” said Dino Michael, senior vice president & global category head, Luxury Brands, Hilton. “From Waldorf Astoria’s intuitive service, to Conrad’s bold design and LXR’s culturally immersive experiences, the hotels continue to showcase innovation and deliver on what guests are looking for in their stay. This expansion reinforces the appeal of the brands globally, and is a true testament to the team members who bring luxury to life.”
Hilton’s latest signings mark a further closing of key city gaps as its award-winning luxury brands debut or expand in key travel destinations such as Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
China in particular holds great potential in shaping the future of luxury travel as it is home to the world’s largest consumer economy and is set to become the largest luxury goods market by 2025. Travel demand is also shifting as the country’s new generation of young and discerning travelers seeks higher levels of personalization, wellbeing, sustainability and quality in their luxury travel experience.
The signings of Waldorf Astoria in Xi’an and Shanghai Qiantan put the brand on track to double its portfolio in China and offer its unrivalled luxury in eight world-class hotels. When open, Waldorf Astoria Xi’an will be one of the tallest buildings in this ancient capital of the 13 Dynasties. Designed by the famed design firm, Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel will draw inspiration from the city’s rich millennia-old culture and integrate oriental elegance into modern design. Waldorf Astoria Shanghai Qiantan will mark the city’s second Waldorf Astoria hotel. Located in Shanghai’s brand-new CBD – the New Bund area – the hotel will boast panoramic views of the Huangpu River and immerse guests in the tranquility and glamour of China’s commercial capital.
Today, there are more than a dozen Conrad hotels operating in China. When the other nine hotels in the country’s pipeline open – including Conrad Shenzhen and Conrad Chongqing next year – guests will be able to enjoy the discreet yet sophisticated luxury that the brand is known for in more than 20 destinations.
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