Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hotel-cum-serviced apartment hybrid

It is not just in Europe that The Ascott sees value in the leisure market. In Singapore, it plans to redevelop Somerset Grand Cairnhill Singapore into an integrated development containing a serviced residence and condominium.

The serviced residence will also have a hotel licence, which will allow it to take in short- and long-term guests.

Rules state that an establishment must have a hotel licence to take in guests staying fewer than seven days.

The Somerset Grand Cairnhill's location in the heart of Orchard Road is a key reason for getting a hotel licence, said Ascott chief executive Chong Kee Hiong. In cities with a lot of tourists, it makes sense to capitalise on short-stay guests, he noted.

Moreover, the competition for guests or tenants in a mature city is intensive, with the easy availability of condos, government-owned black-and-white bungalows and other properties.
"Even with a hotel licence, nothing changes. We will still run a serviced-apartment business but build according to hotel specifications," he said.

The Somerset Grand Cairnhill will not be the first, as Ascott Raffles Place already operates with a hotel licence as the area is not as fully developed as a residential enclave. "So we got a hotel licence to complement our business. But as Shenton Way develops, when you have amenities coming in like supermarkets, etc., though we have our hotel licence, our focus will be long-stay again."

Other serviced residence operators have also taken on the idea. In May, Frasers Hospitality unveiled the 313-room Capri, essentially a hybrid of a serviced apartment and hotel. Its first property under the new brand, it opened last month in the Changi Business Park.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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