Home' Hotel Management : HM APRIL 2015 Contents pipeline as well as building on our growth in Indonesia where the first
Peppers property was opened in Seminyak last year.
Ultimately, Peppers presents the opportunity for developers to
benefit from alignment with a trusted brand, which has enjoyed
longevity and success.
What are your expectations for boutique/lifestyle hotels when it comes
to development over the coming 12-18 months? As part of our growth
mandate, and in response to our guests’ desire to access the Peppers
experience in even more destinations they visit for leisure and business,
Mantra Group has commenced an exciting expansion phase for the Peppers
name, with a focus on designer urban hotels. We expect that this mobility
will be replicated by other lifestyle brands as they seek to gain footholds
in new markets, from well-established corporate markets to more remote
destinations in an attempt to promise a ‘new frontier’ experience.
What are your latest boutique/lifestyle projects in the pipeline? Peppers
Docklands, and Peppers King Square Perth in the next 12 months, plus
pending announcements in the broader Asia Pacific region.
Vice President Hotel
Why is boutique and lifestyle one of the most popular
segments in the industry at present? Boutique and
lifestyle brands are popular because they respond to
what guests want. Increasingly, those guests are younger, Generation X
and Y travellers who like to mix business and pleasure, or members of the
‘Baby Boomer’ generation who are now retired and looking for a boutique
and lifestyle experience instead of a business hotel.
Which are your key brands in this space and why should developers brand
with you? AC Hotels by Marriott is a highly acclaimed urban lifestyle
hotel brand that currently offers a portfolio of more than 72 hotels
throughout Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and the United States. It is an
upscale or 4-star brand with an emphasis on urban locations. Originally
founded in 1998 by renowned Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan, it
quickly became one of the most established hotel brands in Spain.
Following its success in Europe, a joint venture was formed with Marriott
International in 2011 launching AC Hotels by Marriott. AC Hotels was
created for the design conscious traveller with an urban spirit looking for
a cosmopolitan hotel experience. The brand boasts a fresh, stylish, urban
design while creating a tailor-made guest experience.
Moxy Hotels is a boutique hotel concept for the budget savvy traveller.
Designed with a real focus on the needs and wants of Generation X and
Y, Moxy Hotels is a fresh and innovative hospitality brand combining
stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price.
What are your latest boutique/lifestyle projects in the pipeline? Growth
plans for the AC by Marriott brand include the opening of its next North
American locations Washington, D.C. and in the heart of Miami Beach
soon, as well as more than 50 additional hotels set to open within the next
three years throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Investor enthusiasm
for the brand since it’s been taken outside of Europe has been extraordinary.
A number of new Moxy hotels are opening soon across Europe. Both AC
Andrew, there has been a huge momentum swing for W hotels in the
last few years... did that play a role in this deal? Yes, W Hotels is
experiencing great global growth at the moment, especially across Asia
Pacific, so it was only a matter of time before we launched W Hotels
in Australia. In fact, W Brisbane is one of 15 hotels set to open in
the Asia Pacific region before 2019. Likewise when you consider the
enormous success of the W brand across key markets such as Hong
Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Bali, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Maldives etc, it is
clear that it is a game changer for the market.
What kind of momentum will that now generate for future W projects
in Australia? Having a presence in Australia will provide a strong
foundation for continued expansion across the nation. We have
been pursuing opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne but further
developments will depend on us securing the right location for the
brand and the right partner. With all of the W developments, a strong
synergy to its surroundings is vital. You could say that there has been a
movement in Australia in recent times towards ‘boutique’ brands and
I think that the market will sit up and take notice of the way in which
Starwood manages W, as the world’s leading lifestyle hotel brand. The
market will be able to see this from the narrative and way in which we
launch this in to the Australian market.
Could Sydney be next? Starwood has continued to pursue W
opportunities in Sydney and in recent months we have considered several
options. There is a strong desire by Starwood to bring the W brand
back to Sydney when the timing and partnership is right, but we are
also going to make sure that the location and design of the Hotel ticks
all of the boxes. Given the performance of our other Starwood hotels
in Sydney, I have every confidence that we will not be waiting too long
before the W Sydney deal is done!
As a company, Star wood has seen phenomenal growth across most of your
brands in the last 18 months... which brands do you see as the biggest in
demand over the coming year? Absolutely right. Starwood is expanding
at a rapid pace and W Brisbane joins a pipeline of four hotels set to
open in Australia before 2019, including Four Points by Sheraton
Melbourne Docklands, Aloft Perth Rivervale, The Westin Perth
and W Brisbane. I believe we will continue to see strong demand for
Starwood’s select service brands, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton.
We attribute this largely to the simple fact that our brands are well
defined and positioned but remain unrepresented in a number of key
markets, and for the fact that there are strong returns on offer for the
developers and investors who are playing in this segment of the market.
So why W? What’s the sales pitch that brought this great brand back to
Australia? W Hotels is unlike any other luxur y hotel brand on the market.
It redefines luxury with innovative design, signature amenities and unique
style, designed to cater for the next generation of luxury travellers. The
owner wanted to bring this new level of luxury and service to Brisbane and
we felt the brand’s passion for cutting edge design, fashion and music is
well suited to a progressive and vibrant city like Brisbane.
BRAND TO WATCH:
W Hotels and Resorts
2014 was a big year for Starwood, highlighted by the company signing a W Brisbane hotel to bring
the hip brand back to Australia in 2018 and to find out more, about plans for the brand, HM spoke to
Starwood’s Director of Acquisitions and Development – Pacific Region, ANDREW TAYLOR.
46 HM The Business of Accommodation
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