Archives for posts with tag: Ascott

Ascott has opened its first serviced apartments in Hamburg and Hangzhou, as well as a second Ascott-branded property in Jakarta.

The serviced apartment provider will also be launching its first property in Macau at the end of this year, while its second serviced residence offering in Dubai is slated to open in 2017.

It has also spent US$70 million rebranding The Mercer as Citadines Mercer Hong Kong.

Hangzhou

Citadines Intime City Hangzhou

Citadines Intime City Hangzhou is located close to the city’s major business districts and attractions including the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Hangzhou railway station is nearby, while Hangzhou East railway station is a 30-minute drive away and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International airport is an hour by car.

The 104-room property has apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms. It also offers amenities such as a gym, café, billiards room, self-service laundry, mini-cinema, children’s play area and breakfast lounge. Free wifi service is available in all rooms.

Citadines Michel Hamburg

Citadines Michel Hamburg

Citadines Michel Hamburg is situated in the city’s business district, a five-minute walk from the Rödingsmarkt metro station. Hamburg airport is a half-hour drive.

The property has 127 rooms, including studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, all with complimentary internet access. Each kitchen is equipped with modern appliances such as microwave oven, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Additional facilities range from breakfast lounge with free refreshments to a fitness room, business corner and meeting room.

Ascott opened its third Citadines Apart’hotel in Germany earlier this year (see news, February 14).

Ascott-Kuningan-Jakarta

Ascott Kuningan Jakarta

Ascott Kuningan Jakarta is located in the city’s central business district, and is a part of Ciputra World 1, a large integrated development consisting of a Lotte Shopping Avenue, an Artpreneur Centre (a museum and art gallery cum theatre) and an office tower.

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the property by car from Soekama-Hatta International airport.

The 185 rooms are a mix of one, two and three bedrooms. There is a kitchen and separate living and dining area, LED TV, bathroom with bathtub and rain shower, and complimentary wifi service.

Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis, basketball and badminton courts, a gym, aerobics room, children’s playground, wading pool, garden terrace, café, resident’s lounge and meeting facilities.

Ascott purchased The Mercer in Hong Kong for US$70 million (HK$545 million), and rebranded the serviced apartment as Citadines Mercer Hong Kong. The revamped property offers 55 rooms ranging from 37 sqm to 63 sqm.

Ascott Macau will open at the end of this year and will be located in the centre of the city, a few minutes away from the Macau Ferry Terminal, Macau International airport and Taipa Island.

1.SR_China_Macau_Ascott-Macau_Facade---HR

Ascott Macau

There will be 110 guest rooms, ranging from 30 sqm to 75 sqm. The kitchens in each room will be equipped with a capsule coffee machine, electric kettle, cutlery, microwave oven and refrigerator.

There will also be a gym, indoor heated and outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna room, resident’s lounge, and three restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines.

The property will have scheduled shuttle bus services to the Macau Ferry Terminal, and resident programmes for guests

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Ascott Culture Village Dubai will open in 2017 within the Dubai Culture Village along the shoreline of Dubai Creek.

The apartments will be near to retail and commercial developments including schools, art galleries, performing arts centres and restaurants. It will also be close to the city’s key business and leisure attractions.

There will be 117 rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with facilities including a swimming pool, gym and restaurant.

Ascott-Culture-Village-Dubai

Ascott Culture Village Dubai

Lee Chee Koon, chief executive of the Ascott group, said: “In Dubai, there is a growing demand for luxury serviced residences.

“As our first property in the city, Ascott Park Place, has been achieving occupancies of over 80 per cent, having another premier Ascott-branded serviced residence will allow us to cater to the need for luxury serviced apartments and increase our presence in this cosmopolitan city.”

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CapitaLand’s serviced residence unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) – the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator, has entered into a strategic partnership with Quest Serviced Apartments (Quest) – the largest serviced apartment provider with 112 properties in Australia.

Ascott expects to invest up to AUD500 million (S$560 million) to acquire new properties that Quest will secure for its franchise in Australia over the next five years. Ascott will have a right of first refusal to acquire the properties sourced by Quest. Quest will then provide a lease for the properties, which will be operated under franchises using the Quest brand.

In addition, Ascott has signed an agreement to acquire a 20% stake in Quest for AUD28.8 million (S$32.3 million). As part of the agreement, Ascott has the option to increase its stake in Quest to 30%.

Ascott Reit Expands To Greater Sydney By Acquiring Three Serviced Residences For AUD83.0 Million

In a separate agreement, Ascott’s real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit), will acquire three operating serviced residences in Greater Sydney from Quest for AUD83.0 million (approximately S$93.0 million). These are Ascott Reit’s maiden acquisitions in New South Wales.

Ascott logoQuest serviced apartment

The accretive acquisitions at an EBITDA yield of 7.7% are expected to increase Ascott Reit’s FY 2013 distribution per unit from 8.40 cents to 8.46 cents on a pro forma basis.

Ascott Reit will receive fixed rent by taking over the leases for the three serviced residences – Quest Sydney Olympic Park, Quest Campbelltown and Quest Mascot – and they will continue to be operated under franchises using the Quest brand.

From : http://www.hsyndicate.org/

The Ascott Limited has secured its first franchise agreements in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, for an operating serviced residence in the city that will be rebranded as a 116 unit Somerset Vientiane later this year and a 194 unit Citadines Kuta Beach Bali, scheduled to open in August.

The new franchise agreements mark a new milestone for Ascott and will be one of the company’s growth drivers for the future, allowing it to build rapidly in existing markets and expand into new ones.

“Since opening our first property in Singapore 30 years ago, Ascott has grown to be the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator and through franchise agreements, we have added two more cities to our portfolio to reach 85 cities worldwide,” Ascott chief executive officer Lee Chee Koon said.

“Together with investments, management contracts and strategic alliances, franchise will bring us closer to achieving our target of 40,000 apartment units globally by 2015.”

As Laos heads towards more economic reforms and creates more special economic zones across the country, the number of expatriates and business travellers to Vientiane is expected to increase, generating a significant demand for serviced residence in an area where there is currently a lack of international-class serviced residences.

Somerset Vientiane will be strategically located within the major commercial area of the new business and residential Sikhottabong district and is a five minute drive from the Chanthabouli business district and 15 minute drive from Wattay International Airport.

The four star residence features 116 units and modern business and recreational facilities such as tennis court, lap pool, gym, children’s playground, business centre and meeting room.

Meanwhile, Citadines Kuta Beach Bali offers a prime beachfront location in Kuta, and is within walking distance to the retail, dining and entertainment hub of Beachwalk shopping centre.

Featuring a choice of studios and two bedroom apartments, the property boasts panoramic ocean views, a rooftop swimming pool and bar, meeting room and business centre.

The Ascott, serviced residence business unit, has acquired a Hong Kong serviced residence for HK$545 million (S$88.8 million).

The 55-unit property will be rebranded as Citadines Mercer Hong Kong in the third quarter of 2014, the company said in a statement on April 2.citadines

The serviced residence in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island, is next to the Central Business District.

It is also close to the bustling Soho area, and near well-known Lan Kwai Fong street.

The serviced apartment sector, although present throughout the global accommodation markets, has different degrees of expansion and development, which are dependent on regional standardisations, the supply and demand dichotomy, and the legislation in place. However, regardless of the fragmented nature of the sector, “the global serviced apartment industry is continuing to mature, albeit at different rates in different places across the regions” writes Mark Harris from the Travel Intelligence Network inthe latest Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report (GSAIR) 2013-14.

North America and Asia

Although it is generally acknowledged that the origin of serviced apartments lies in the US, both North America and Asia have had an operational sector for over 30 years. The maturity of the market in North America has been driven by several factors. It boils down to the demand for the accommodation – executives travel longer distances, stay away from home for longer periods, and require a home away from home; supply of space for the accommodation – larger scale short-stay accommodation can be offered cost-effectively, and brands which can develop on nationwide referral business,” says Richard Majewski from Essa Consultancy for Serviced Apartments.

In South America the serviced apartment sector only started developing about 5-7 years ago, so it still in its infancy. However, given the encouraging overview of the business climate, corporate demand for the sector is expected to see a rapid increase, and countries like Brazil, with a booming economy, will drive the movement forward.

Travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia, and accounts for 8.4% of its GDP. According to the GSAIR, there are 49,480 serviced apartments in 419 locations across the region, and they range from branded and independently operated serviced apartments, to local furnished accommodations, and villas. This type of accommodation is the preferred choice for longer stays, as opposed to the rental market, and represents 7.54% of the global serviced apartment sector. Hong Kong, which registered a 90% occupancy rate in 2011, also leads the way in terms of units per business visitors, with a 5.3/1,000 ratio.

Europe

When placed against the background of established serviced apartment sectors, Europe can be regarded as being immature. However, recent developments in the market are pointing to a rapid expansion in the major European cities.

There is a general tendency for large operators to build aparthotels, a model which closely resembles the hotel stay. This necessity is prompted by the mobility of corporate travellers throughout Europe, who either relocate or have to spend more than one month in a different city.

Although some standard hotel services are provided, often there is no restaurant in site, cleaning occurs weekly, and laundry facilities are available on site but predominantly for a fee. This accommodation model is preferred as it caters for the need to reduce travel costs in the climate of the ongoing economic crisis. The pricing for longer stays tends to be reduced depending on the length of stay, which makes serviced apartments and aparthotels a cost-effective solution.

According to the HVS report, An overview of the European Serviced Apartment Sector (2013), over the past ten years there has been significant movement in the aparthotel industry. Large international brands such as Residence Inn by Marriott, Accor, Ascott, Fraser, or Adina, have been operating in Europe and there is scope for growth. “A slight different model may develop in each local market. However, I believe it will be the global extended stay brands which will ultimately determine the development of each market,” says Majewski from Essa.

Adding to the existing number, aparthotel supply is predicted to increase by 50%, according to a recent Savills report, European Serviced Apartment Market (2014). “Europe’s gateway cities continue to offer expansion opportunities for operators pursuing branded development” writes Tim Stoyle from Savills Hotels.

City Supply Relative to Potential Demand

In 2014 alone, Ascott, Accor, Frasers, and Staycity will open eight new properties, in major European cities, the focus being primarily on London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam. At present, the later has one of the most constrained supply with 0.2 units per 1,000 visitors, closely followed by Paris and London with 0.3 and 0.6 units, while the supply in Frankfurt is slightly better with 1.1 units.

graph-europe

However, compared to the American or Asian markets, the European serviced apartment sector still accounts for a relatively small percentage when compared to hotel supply, and has yet to face some challenges that affects directly the dissemination of the model. Global providers are confronted with a lack of understanding of this operational concept in Europe, which makes it all the harder to secure financing for further investment and expansion, while at the same time facing barriers entering the market as planning issues tend to vary from country to country.

Australia

The most striking aspect of the Australian serviced apartment sector is the contrast between the high demand and short supply, and according to the GSAIR report this sector is expected to outperform hotel accommodation in the next three years. One of the main reasons that lead to this tendency is the high concentration of hotels in the main cities, whereas most business centres are located outside these hubs, generating an ever-growing demand for extended stay accommodation.

Sydney alone accounts for the third largest accommodation supply globally with 2.8 units per 1,000 visitors. According to a CBRE report on the Australian serviced apartment sector, The Formation of an Industry (2010), serviced apartments seem to be the main driving-force behind supply in recent years, attracting 25% of market demand, a lot stronger than other sectors.

Africa

The serviced apartment landscape in Africa resembles to some extent the one in South America, where fast economic growth drives business, and impacts the number of international arrivals. According to the GSAIR report, the total number of serviced apartments in Africa stands at 4,634 in 76 locations, which accounts for a small percentage of 0.714% of the global market. Despite this, serviced apartments seem to cost less on average than anywhere in the world.

Source : http://www.ipinglobal.com/

Global service residence owner and operator The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has officially launched its 215-unit Citadines Uplands Kuching yesterday, which marks its maiden Citadines project in Malaysia.
The project is Ascott’s 17th Citadines property to open in Asia Pacific since the introduction of the brand from Europe to the region in 2006.
The opening, which was officiated by Minister of Housing and Tourism, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, marked the strengthening of Ascott’s position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Malaysia with over 1,800 apartment units.
Tan Boon Khai, Ascott’s regional general manager for Singapore and Malaysia, said: “We see tremendous potential in bringing Citadines to Malaysia. It complements our existing Ascott- and Somerset-branded serviced residences and enables us to cater to a wider segment of customers.
“In Kuching, Citadines Uplands will appeal to the increasing MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) travellers,
project groups from nearby companies and government offices, as well as student groups and visiting professors from the universities located around the property.”
Today, Citadines has 33,000 apartment units in over 80 cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.
Tan further highlighted Ascott’s presence in Kuching which started 13 years ago via Somerset Gateway. This project, which was managed by Ascott from 2001 to 2011, has convinced the group that Kuching is a strategic point in the company’s expansion plan.
To note, the company operates three brands – Ascott, Citadines and Somerset – whereby each brand caters to different market niches.
The group’s portfolio through these three brands spans across 82 cities over 20 countries, 21 of which are new cities in Ascott’s portfolio where its serviced residences are being developed.
“Besides Citadines Uplands Kuching, Ascott will also open Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur, Citadines D’Pulze Cyberjaya and Somerset Puteri Harbour Iskandar in 2014; Somerset
Medini Iskandar in end 2015 and Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya in 2016.”
Since its soft launch in March this year, Citadines Uplands Kuching has garnered many favourable reviews from its residents.

Singapore-based The Ascott Limited (Ascott), the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator, has engaged Xn Hotel Systems to implement protel’s Multi-Property Edition (MPE) property management system globally across its three brands of serviced residences – Ascott, Citadines and Somerset. Ascott is the first serviced residence company to implement this system on a global scale.

Ascott enhances operational efficiency with worldwide roll-out of protel’s first global property management systemThe new protel MPE, together with the suite of system enhancements developed specifically for Ascott, sets the stage for Ascott to further accelerate its growth with a next-generation technology platform that facilitates the delivery of Ascott’s unique brand of high touch services.

Following a detailed product and vendor evaluation process and successful trial site implementation of protel MPE conducted for Ascott in Singapore, Xn Hotel Systems was selected to supply and implement the property management system globally. Spanning all of Ascott’s three brands of serviced residences, the software changeover was completed in just over eight months. Given its pace and geographical spread, the project was the fastest and largest rollout of protel MPE ever undertaken.

With the new system, Ascott’s serviced residences in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region can now process reservations seamlessly worldwide. As a result, processing time for call reservations has been reduced by approximately 30%. Furthermore, Ascott’s properties can now track guests’ requirements and preferred timing for housekeeping services through the enhanced scheduling function.

Robert Adam, Ascott’s Vice President for Infocomm Systems, said: “Ascott has invested extensively in upgrading our technology to enhance operational efficiency so that we can focus on delivering personalised services to our guests. The successful implementation of the protel MPE property management system across our properties worldwide sets the path for Ascott to adopt new technological initiatives that will further enhance our guests’ experience. Initiatives include enabling our staff to use mobile devices to handle our guests’ requests anytime, anywhere.”

Greg Spicer, Chief Executive Xn Hotel Systems, stated: “We are delighted to have been selected as a systems and services provider by Ascott and are especially proud that the Xn project team and its partners delivered the first phase of software implementation in a timely and efficient manner. Given the global span of the installation, Ascott was one of our largest projects to date. Over 100 sites rolled out protel MPE successfully, averaging 14 properties per month. We look forward to providing services to Ascott for the next phases of the project and in the years ahead.”

Manfred Osthues, Managing Partner protel hotelsoftware, commented: “We are absolutely exhilarated to welcome Ascott among our clients. With over 31,000 apartment units, Ascott is the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. Having switched to protel MPE, Ascott now constitutes the first live multi-property environment across Southeast and North Asia, India, Australia, Europe and the Gulf region. We are proud and happy to contribute to Ascott’s continued growth, and look forward to a fruitful and beneficial partnership.”

 

Source : http://www.hospitalitynet.org

Serviced apartment hotels are also referred to as “aparthotel” (in Spanish & German), “apartahotel” (in Spanish), “apparthôtel” (in French), “Appartmenthouse” & “Boardinghouse” (in German), “flat service” (in Brazil), “suite hotel” in the Middle East & Spanish Latin America, and “(serviced) residence” in east Asia. These are all very simliar to US “extended stay hotels”. In fact, one might conclude that the main difference is just geography. However, serviced apartments also are somewhat less likely to offer extended stay discounts (though asking for one is always a good idea), and serviced apartments also offer more luxury at the upper end, especially in Asia and Europe. One example of added luxury amenities is in-unit (private) laundry facilities.

There are currently more than 50  serviced apartment chains with at least 5 hotels.

These chains are based in Europe (23 chains, mostly in France), Asia (10), Australia (10), South America (3) & Africa (1). Our survey also includes Oakwood & Marriott, which are based in the United States, but their locations outside North America employ a model close to that of the other chains we survey here.

Lanson Place

To be included in our reviews, serviced apartment locations must offer onsite management and staffing by “branded” employees. Serviced apartments share common features that are unavailable at standard hotels. These chains all have self-serve laundry facilities (sometimes private) and have guestrooms, i.e. “suites” or “apartments”, with a dining table and kitchen. The kitchens all include at a minimum: a sink, a refrigerator, and a microwave oven. Nearly all also include a stovetop or hot plate for cooking. Some kitchens also offer dishwashers and conventional ovens.

The list below is in descending order, approximately, according to services, amenities and overall quality.

Kempinski Residences Private luxury serviced residences, available for rental or purchase. Currently 6 hotels in Asia and Europe.
Loyalty Program: GHA Discovery

Ascott Luxury chain launched in Singapore in 1984. Currently 21 hotels in Asia and Europe, usually in city centres.
Loyalty Program: Guests can earn 150 miles per day with Asia Miles

Lanson Place 7 hotels, all in east Asia

Frasers Based in Singapore. Currently 44 hotels in Asia and Europe, divided into 3 brands: Fraser Suites (22 hotels), Fraser Place (12) and Fraser Residence (11). 2 new brands have also been introduced by Fraser: Modena & Capri.
Loyalty Program: Fraser World

Shama Part of ONYX Hospitality Group. Began in 2001 in Hong Kong. 13 hotels, all in China, except one in Bangkok.

Mamaison 5 hotels in Eastern Europe

Grand Mercure Part of France-based Accor Group. 20 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Bangalore, Bangkok.
Loyalty Program: Le Club

Oakwood US corporate housing provider, started in 1969. 26 hotels in Europe & Asia. Some serviced apartment hotels in east Asia are designated Oakwood Residences and Oakwood Premier.

Marriott Executive Apartments US-based chain with 22 hotels in Europe, Asia, Panama City & Sao Paulo (none in the United States).
Loyalty Program: Marriott Rewards

Somerset Serviced Residences Part of Ascott Group. 42 hotels in Asia & Australia, usually in city fringes.
Loyalty Program: Guests can earn 150 miles per day with Asia Miles

Meriton Serviced Apartments Upscale Australian chain with 10 hotels in Sydney & Queensland

Arjaan by Rotana Based in Abu Dhabi. 9 hotels in UAE, Damascus & Beirut.
Loyalty Program: Rotana Rewards

Boudl 17 hotels in Saudi Arabia, and 1 in Kuwait.
Loyalty Program: Elite Club

Travelers Began in 1985. 8 hotels in Colombia.

SACO (The Serviced Apartment Company) Began in 1997. 31 hotels in the UK.

Adina Part of Toga Hospitality, based in Australia. 8 hotels in Germany, Budapest, Copenhagen, Sydney.

Medina Part of Toga Hospitality, based in Australia. 3 brands: Classic, Executive, Grand. 21 hotels in Australia.

Don Suite Hotels 7 hotels in South Africa

Mantra 51 hotels in Australia, plus 1 in Queenstown NZ. Several properties in leisure destinations such as Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast

Oaks 39 hotels in Australia, New Zealand & Dubai

Punthill Apartment Hotels 12 hotels in the Melbourne area, plus 1 in Sydney

Quest 140+ hotels in Australia, New Zealand & Fiji.
Loyalty Program: QClub

Citadines Apart’hotels Part of Ascott Group since 2002. 60 hotels in Europe & Asia. 12 more planned through 2015 in Asia & Germany.
Loyalty Program: Guests can earn 150 miles per day with Asia Miles

Central Apartments 6 hotels in Brisbane & Melbourne

Waldorf 28 hotels in Australia & Auckland

Lindner Boardinghouse 6 hotels in Germany.
Loyalty Program: Lindner Nights

Pierre & Vacance 98 hotels in France & Spain. Hotels are represented by 3 classes: Residence (3-4 star), Holiday Village (3-4 star) & Premium (4-5 star).

Residhome Apparthotel Part of Groupe Reside Etudes. 20 hotels in France.

Ramee 10 hotels in UAE & Bahrain

BreakFree Part of Mantra Group. 26 hotels in Australia, plus 2 in NZ. Many are in leisure destinations such as Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast.

Derag Livinghotels Began 1982 in Munich. 11 hotels in Germany, plus 2 in Vienna.

Appart’City 54 hotels in France, plus 1 in Belgium. 6 additional hotels are under construction.

Park & Suites Launched in 2010. 50 hotels in France, divided between 4 classes: Comfort (2-star), Village (3-star), Elegance (3-star) and Prestige (4-star).

Sercotel Began in 1994. 11 hotels in Spain and Andorra.

Atenea Part of City Hotels. 6 hotels in Spain.
Loyalty Program: Club City

Mercure Apartments 51 hotels in Brazil. Began as Parthenon Flat Hotels, before being acquired by Accor.
Loyalty Program: Le Club

Be Housing 10 hotels in Belgium, represented by 4 brands: Budget Flats, City Apartments, Condo Gardens & Ambassador Suites.

Transamerica 20 hotels in Brazil

Adagio Created by a joint venture between Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group and Accor in 2007. 35 hotels in Europe, mostly in France. 1 planned for Abu Dhabi late 2012. Major expansion into Brazil planned for 2014 onwards.
Loyalty Program: Le Club

City Residence Formerly Appart’Valley. 9 hotels in France.

ResidHotel 34 hotels in France, plus 1 in Marrakech

Sejours & Affaires Apparthotel Part of Groupe Reside Etudes. 40 hotels in France.

Achat 14 hotels in Germany, designated “Comfort” & “Premium”

Appart’hotel Victoria Garden Began in 1992, as part of the Madeo group. 8 hotels in France.

Promenade Apart-hoteis Began in 1987. 15 hotels in Brazil, mostly in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

Odalys City Apart’hotels Large vacation rental company based in France. 10 hotels in France, plus 2 in Monaco and 1 in Florence Italy.

Adagio Access Budget brand of Adagio, converted from Citea. 50 hotels in France, plus 1 in Spain.

Maeva Part of Pierre & Vacances CentreParcs. 166 hotels in France and Spain.

Weekly Mansion Founded in 1999. 30 budget hotels in Japan, designated as Weekly Mansion and MyStay.

 

If you are not in this list, please let me know !! Thanks

Global real estate adviser Savills has entered the mainland’s fast-growing serviced flat sector and is looking to manage 20 properties across the nation by 2016.

“China’s serviced residency market is one of the strongest in Asia, with Beijing and Shanghai seeing the most robust demand,” said Neil Harvey, Savills’ residence director.

Harvey also said that an increasing number of foreign clients were the key driving force behind the market as multinational companies continued to invest on the mainland.

Savills, the first global property consultancy to tap the mainland’s serviced apartment sector, expects to soon officially launch Savills Residence Century Park in Pudong.

The company also plans to actively expand its portfolio in southern China.

“The [Pudong] property is the forerunner of more projects to be launched in Shanghai and southern China in the coming months and starts us well on track to achieve our goal of 20 Savills Residence properties in China by 2016,” Harvey said.

The company has signed agreements for four more properties including two in Shenzhen.

The move to diversify into the serviced apartment sector came after requests from the company’s long-time clients for the consultancy to manage their residential properties.

In Shanghai, rents for serviced flats rose 1.6 per cent in the third quarter from the previous quarter, with occupancy rate at 92 per cent, according to Savills.

Savills will compete with leading industry operators such as Ascott, Frasers and Oakwood, all of which are also expanding rapidly on the mainland.

The mainland has been a major source of growth for serviced flat operators as more foreign companies flocked to the country while a soaring number of affluent mainlanders increasingly traveled around the nation.

Harvey said business from mainland travelers could account for 20 per cent of the total in first-tier cities while the percentage could be more than 60 per cent in second-tier cities.

Ten years ago, domestic businesses represented only 2 to 3 per cent of serviced flats operating in the country.

Serviced-flat operators in the major cities normally aim to attract foreign families, single expatriate professionals and domestic travelers.

Source : http://www.scmp.com

A host of international travel publications have recognised Ascott as the best provider of serviced accommodation in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Having started with one serviced residence in 1984, Ascott’s Singapore brand, which is now established in over seventy cities across the world, has recently received a number of industry awards.

The company was named the ‘Best Serviced Apartment Company’ for a sixth consecutive year at the Business Traveller UK Awards. Significantly, the award is based on the votes of the Business Traveller UK magazine’s readership.

Similarly, Ascott was voted ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator’ for an eighth consecutive year at the TTG Travel Awards in Bangkok on 4 October 2012.

The award was also based on the results of a public vote. In this case, the trade professionals that constitute the readership of TTG Asia Media’s stable of publications, which includes TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice and TTG-BTmice China.

The company is evidently well regarded in Asia Pacific. On 28 September 2012 the company won the ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand in Asia-Pacific’ award for a ninth consecutive year at the 2012 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards, which took place in Hong Kong.

The serviced residence provider was the recipient of two more awards from Business Traveller. Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, the company’s flagship residence in Singapore, came top in the ‘Best Serviced Residence in Asia-Pacific’ award category, and Ascott Jakarta took second prize.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are honoured to have won these prestigious awards every year since the inception of their serviced residence award category. “

“We thank our customers and travel partners for their continued vote of confidence, and for making us the most awarded serviced residence company in the world.”

In addition, Ascott’s Citadines Prestige Les Halles Paris was voted ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the IFTM Top Resa Trade Show (Paris) and received a Gold Award for its business facilities at Les Lauriers du Voyage d’Affaires (Business Travel Awards) in September.

Mr Chong hinted that there would be no let up in Ascott’s drive to be the best; “… [Ascott] will continue to innovate and enhance our product offerings and service quality, to deliver unique Ascott moments across every touch point.”

Source : Relocate Magazine