Home' Hotel Management : HM APL 2016 Contents The New Inchcolm Hotel
and Suites , Brisbane
Vice President Development
& Franchise, Pacific
Why is boutique and lifestyle one of the most
popular segments in the industry at present?
The needs and expectations of hotel guests are constantly changing.
Guests today are socially-connected, worldly travellers and seek more
modern interpretations of luxury, but they still want locally inspired and
immersive travel experiences filled with rich stories. Hotels that can bring
a level of uniqueness whether it's in their design, heritage or location
are ticking all the boxes right now for travellers who want to feel a
heightened sense of occasion or pleasure.
Which are your key brands in this space and
why should developers brand with you?
'Lifestyle luxury' is our new buzz word at AccorHotels and the two
brands that perfectly epitomise this is SO Sofitel and the MGallery
Collection -- our collection of boutique, memorable hotels. SO Sofitel
hotels are rebellious lifestyle hotels associated with famous architects
and/or embellished by international celebrities from the world of
fashion, design or art, and Karl Lagerfeld is the most recent icon to put
his stamp on Sofitel So Singapore. Auckland will be home to the first
SO Sofitel in the Pacific region when it opens next year.
The MGallery Collection of boutique hotels is one of our fastest-
growing brands across the Pacific with each hotel possessing its own
inspiring and singular personality and story experienced by guests
through architecture, interior design and destination. One of the most
compelling elements which make MGallery hotels truly unique, is
their Memorable Moment offering -- packages which are one of a kind
-- are an extremely popular choice for discerning travellers looking to
experience something out of the ordinary. Examples involve private
billiards lessons with a triple world champion, alpine helicopter rides
and private winery tours in vintage cars, guided walks and romantic
food experiences all round.
What are your expectations for boutique/lifestyle hotels
when it comes to development over the coming 12-18 months?
Tier one cities are still showing potential for developing lifestyle and
boutique hotels. We will continue to develop a significant network
of carefully selected hotels to grow the SO Sofitel and MGallery
Collection brands through both management and franchise agreements.
MGallery hotels can very much retain their own individuality with the
knowledge and comfort that they are being supported by the strength of
AccorHotels' international distribution, digital and loyalty platforms.
The MGallery brand was launched in 2008 with just eight properties
and today, the Collection boasts over 70 hotels across five continents,
with ten in Australia and one in New Zealand. The newest flagship hotel
to join the MGallery universe and open its doors is Elements of Byron in
New South Wales, where guests can experience barefoot luxury amid 22
hectares of beachfront paradise.
What are your latest boutique projects in the pipeline?
AccorHotels is thrilled to welcome the most recent addition to the MGallery
Collection -- Elements of Byron which opened its doors on 1 February this
year. Situated on 50 acres, encompassing almost two kilometres of absolute
beach frontage on Belongi Beach, Elements of Byron brings barefoot luxury to
Byron Bay. The $100 million resort is AccorHotels' 11th MGallery Collection
property across Australia and New Zealand and we're thrilled to be partners
with its local owners from Queensland, Peggy and Brian Flannery. This
opening follows The New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites in Brisbane which has
set a new benchmark for design hotels in the MGallery portfolio.
We recently announced AccorHotels first lifestyle branded residence
in Asia - SO Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Residences in conjunction with a SO
Sofitel Kuala Lumpur hotel which will launch in 2020 as part of a large
scale mixed-use development. We are also expanding the MGallery brand
in Phuket with two hotels set to open in 2018.
HM speaks to the leading chains in Australia to find out why boutique and
lifestyle is one of the industry's most popular segments.
Interviews by James Wilkinson
32 HM The Business of Accommodation
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