Archives for posts with tag: Oakwood Asia Pacific

Hotels and serviced apartments are increasingly finding favour among corporate investors in Singapore, according to property consultants.

Chesterton Singapore says the segment is compelling, leveraging on the growth in tourism as well as rising interest in hospitality real estate investment trusts.

Mapletree Investments recently signed a deal to buy a 49-per cent stake in Oakwood Asia Pacific, with plans to acquire and develop US$4 billion worth of corporate and serviced apartments in Asia, Europe and North America.oakwood

Analysts say the hospitality segment is attractive to investors who wish to diversify their business.

It also presents upside potential as real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to be well received in the market.

Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore, said: “You have City Developments hospitality REIT… Far East Hospitality REIT… Ascendas Hospitality Trust and more might be jumping on to the bandwagon.

“Companies like Mapletree may… be mulling potential listing once their acquisitions have hit a particular matured level.”

Analysts say investors are looking at hotels and serviced apartments as they tend to offer higher yields compared with investments in retail malls or commercial offices.

Consultancy Colliers International says the rate of returns of hotels and serviced apartments is around 5.25 to 5.75 per cent in Singapore.

This is higher than the rate of returns of offices, which is around 3.5 to 4.25 per cent, and retail properties, which is around 4.75 to 5.5 per cent.

However, it is slightly lower than the rate of returns of industrial properties, which is at around 6 to 6.75 per cent.

The consultancy added that total investment transaction value for the hotels and serviced apartments sector in Singapore has increased sharply from S$298 million in 2009 to S$3.7 billion last year.

However, some analysts say rising prices in Singapore’s hospitality market could send investors scouting for opportunities abroad.

“Luxury property like what has been transacted at Westin recently went for about S$1.5 million per key,” said Mr Han.

“Compare that to Australia, where the price per key for a 5-star hotel would hover around S$500,000 to S$550,000 per key (while) in Tokyo, probably around S$400,000 to S$500,000 per key — about more than 50-per cent discount compared to some of the properties in Singapore.”

Tang Wei Leng, executive director of investment services at Colliers International, said: “One hot country right now is Japan. Call it “Abenomics” or the Japan Olympics that they will be hosting in 2020, all this will lead to people wanting to travel to Japan. Where do they have to stay? Serviced apartments and hotels.

“The other one that we think highly of is Seoul. There are two casinos that have been announced.”

Market watchers say the expected growth in international visitor arrivals to Asia Pacific over the next five years will continue to support investments in the hospitality sector.

According to preliminary findings from a recent report by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region will continue to grow at an average annual growth rate of 6.2 per cent from 2014 to 2018, to hit 660 million by 2018.

CNA

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Oakwood was recognized as Asia’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand” at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean gala dinner-ceremony held in Singapore.

Established 19 years ago, the WTA celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Nominations are gathered by region and voting is carried out by an audience of 213,000 travel agents and tourism professionals from 164 countries, including visitors to WTA’s website who are encouraged to submit their votes via the online voting system.

Oakwood Asia Pacific’s Managing Director PG Mathew said: “We are honored to receive this award on the first year that the World Travel Awards are giving recognition to Serviced Apartments in a separate category.”

“We thank our partners, clients, guests and associates whose continued support strengthens our commitment to deliver superior products and services that exceed expectations and provide exceptional experiences every time, in every city that Oakwood is present. We also acknowledge the World Travel Awards for recognizing the role of serviced apartments in the hospitality industry and their increasing importance in serving the needs of the modern global traveler.”

And the nominees for the World Travel Award are :

Far East Hospitality
Frasers Hospitality
Oakwood Asia Pacific
The Ascott Limited

The selection is not really “original”….but what to do ….

Oakwood Premier, the luxury brand of Oakwood Asia Pacific serviced apartments, has debuted in China with the opening of Oakwood Premier Guangzhou.

Designed for international travellers, Oakwood Premier apartments are situated in key financial and commercial destinations across Asia, including Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune in India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Seoul, Korea; and Manila, Philippines.

In Guangzhou, China, Oakwood Premier has 225 serviced apartments of international design.

Suited for overnight or long-term stays, Oakwood Premier Guangzhou offers luxury apartments with spectacular city views and facilities that include an international restaurant and bar, private dining, indoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre, business centre, meeting rooms, video-conferencing and Wi-Fi in public areas, 24-hour front desk and concierge.

souce : http://www.relocatemagazine.com

Moving to another country for a period of time, whether it is for a short- or long-term assignment is not easy on an employee. The person has to adjust for many changes, from a different work environment to settling down to a new place.

To ensure that employees are comfortable in their host countries, companies have to choose the right accommodation from the many options that are available for them. Service providers say that organisations overwhelmingly prefer serviced apartments as they give a “home away from home” environment, as well as provide other services such as helping employees settle into their new city.

Experts say that an increase in short-or long-term international assignments for businesses, as opposed to permanent relocations, is also a cause for increasing interest in serviced apartments.

The wish list

Companies and employees have a list of preferences when it comes to choosing an accommodation overseas – both want to ensure that the staff member is comfortably housed. Service providers say that location, amenities and affordable rates make the top of the list.

Cherie Tan, Area Director, Sales & Marketing, Singapore, Frasers Hospitality, says that employers prefer to house their employees in a place that has close proximity to their work locations so that commuting time is reduced. The apartment should also be spacious and with good security. Moreover, “easy access to facilities, with a choice of recreation amenities at the doorstep, are all important considerations that go towards promoting a happier and healthier lifestyle for business executives,” she says.

Caroline Leong – Oakwood Asia-Pacific Director, Marketing, says that single business travellers are concerned about the apartment’s proximity to the office and nearby entertainment and variety of restaurants in the vicinity. “Those bringing their families consider the size of the apartment, as well as the security of the environment. They also prefer close proximity to the schools, office, malls and availability of outdoor activities,” adds Leong.

Overseas stay

Studies show that companies are increasingly looking towards short-term or long-term assignments for their employees compared to permanently relocating them, saving costs in the process. The Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2011-12 revealed that serviced apartment fits relocation needs for international assignees on short-term assignments, as well as long-term assignees requiring temporary accommodation until they find a property to rent. Weekly commuters also find serviced apartments fit their specific needs.

“We have observed an increasing trend of companies sending employees on shorter term assignments, ranging from one to six months, instead of a more long-term stay. Perhaps this way, they save on costs by not offering a relocation package with numerous benefits, and yet are still able to send their experts to the destination,” says Leong of Oakwood Asia.

She adds that compared to renting a house or a condominium for long-term assignees, a serviced apartment comes as a better option since utilities, housekeeping and maintenance costs are already included in the single rate.

Tan of Frasers Hospitality, says with the trend of business executives being assigned overseas for project work rather than long-term relocations “serviced apartments fill the gap between hotels and fixed-term corporate rentals by providing the win-win situation of flexible leases, value for money, location and most importantly the comforts of home.”

Marc Hediger, CEO, Lanson Place Hospitality Management Limited, says that Singaporeans in particular are moving to major cities on more assignments. Movement to key Chinese markets such as Shanghai and Beijing have become very active in recent years.

Similarly, Leong of Oakwood says that company sees most number of Singaporeans being assigned to cities such as Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing and Jakarta for work.

Helping employees settle in

Experts say that serviced apartments providers should ideally go the extra mile to make their guests stay comfortable, including things such as helping them settle in to their new environment and helping guests network and make friends. Some properties do this by throwing get-together parties and facilitating hobby groups.

Lanson Place has properties in Singapore, Malaysia and different cities in China. Hediger says the normal duration of stay for employees that move to China is one to two years, while those who move to Southeast Asia stay for between six months and a year. During this period, Lanson Place staff organise regular social activities with the residents’ community, “to make it easy for residents to settle in the new place”. Also, the service provider offers tours to nearby shopping and business districts, as well as help residents look for schools for their children.

Other service apartments also provide key services to help their residents settle in. Residents in Oakwood properties are typically corporate clients and business travellers, and 60% of residents stay from less than one month to six months, says Leong.

She says that Oakwood Asia-Pacific makes it a point to help its residents move in with ease. “Prior to relocation, we ask for any special requests they may have involving details such as searching for a school or setting things up according to their preference in their apartment.”

Oakwood has regular get-together sessions among residents and the company staff during which residents are able to meet and chat with the general manager and key property personnel. Leong says that many residents find new friends during these events and even organise their own excursions and events. Other activities, such as cooking classes, out-of-town trips and crafts making, also help to teach residents know about their host country and its culture.

This particular service provider also has an innovative way to keep its residents connected, through its Oakwood Neighborhood Mobile Application. “Using the information in the App, it allows guests to easily integrate themselves into their Oakwood community, by providing tips and “secrets” to daily living in the neighbourhood in their new city,” explains Leong.

Frasers Hospitality also goes out of its way to help its residents settle down. “We offer our residents the flexibility of customising their current living space by incorporating personal pieces of art and soft furnishings to make the apartments as homely and as comfortable as possible,” says Tan.

Also, she adds that Frasers Hospitality offers a variety of family-friendly arrangements in its residences to make guests’ stays enjoyable. These include regular social and recreational activities. “Fraser residences also feature the Fraser Kids Club, which includes a well-equipped playroom, wading pool and stimulating activities like movie screenings, sightseeing and recreational trips,” she says.

Furthermore, “Frasers takes initiative to build and maintain relationships with our residents. We place a specific emphasis on ensuring that our residents are served by the same housekeepers for the duration of their stay,” she says.

An article from : http://www.hrmasia.com

Sensing that business sentiment is picking up strongly after more than six years of near flat economic growth, property developers are pushing hard to complete a slew of commercial, retail and upmarket apartment developments over the next two years.

Property experts told BT that apart from new developments, a number of mega projects that were mothballed during the 1998 financial crisis have found new investors and are being revived. Chief amongst them is the massive US$250 million Pacific Place development just behind the Jakarta Stock Exchange building.

Consisting of one office tower, two apartment towers, the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel, service apartments and possibly the largest shopping and retail centre in the city, Pacific Place will comprise more than one million square metres. In terms of distance, it will stretch more than 1.6 kilometres – the same distance from the Marriott Hotel on Singapore’s Orchard Road to McDonald’s House – when fully completed.

The first phase is expected to be ready in 24 months. The project will dominate the city skyline and is being dubbed Jakarta’s version of Orchard Road, Singapore’s famous shopping belt.

All the buildings will be linked by underground passageways for easy access and the area will be connected to the main Jalan Sudirman thoroughfare by tunnels as well as the proposed mass rapid transit system.

Its owner, Chinese business tycoon Tan Kian, has emerged as the most aggressive property player in the country and could over time rival the likes of the Ciputra Group.

Besides Pacific Place, Mr Tan Kian also owns the JW Marriott hotel in the Mega Kuningan area. He is in the process of developing the Ritz Carlton Jakarta across from the Marriott; two luxury apartment buildings; one office tower and one combined commercial and residential project.

The combined value of his property projects under construction is estimated to be more than US$1 billion.

BT understands that Mr Tan Kian made his money in the shrimp business through his family-owned Dua Mutiara Group but entered the property business in the early 1990s after developing its flagship office tower along Jalan Sudirman.

‘Tan Kian is very aggressive but he is not the only player on the property scene at the moment,’ said Jeffrey Hong, chief operating officer of PT Procon Indah. ‘A number of mega projects are kicking off again…We are starting to receive a lot of inquiries about office space in the city. But this time, developers are taking a more sensible approach by not overextending themselves.’

Another major property player is Trihatma Kusuma Haliman, founder of the Agung Pudomoro Group. He is said to have built more than 10,000 apartment units in Jakarta over the past three years and is currently developing a number of luxury apartment complexes including the Peak and Pakubuwono.

Asia’s second largest service apartment managers and developers, Singapore-based Oakwood Asia Pacific, is also bullish about the Jakarta market. The company had a groundbreaking ceremony for its 250 unit Oakwood Premier Cozmo service apartments last week. When completed in 2007, the US$50 million development will be the first five star service apartments to open in Jakarta in 13 years. The company also has plans to develop a residential apartment complex in Surabaya and a resort in Bali.

‘We are very optimistic about the Jakarta market for the business traveller,’ said Robert Philips, director of sales and marketing for Oakwood Asia Pacific.
Apart from service apartments and 22 owner occupied units, the development will also have 5,000 square metres of retail space.

The Mega Kuningan area is fast becoming Jakarta’s version of Singapore’s Suntec City as the area has high-end hotels, retail outlets and commercial developments.

The JW Marriott is just across from the Oakwood site while the Ritz Carlton Jakarta will open in May on an adjacent plot. The Ritz Carlton will comprise retail and commercial space.

‘We think that the Mega Kuningan area in four years will be like Hong Kong’s Pacific Place,’ he said, referring to the upmarket retail complex located in the hub of the former British colony.