SINGAPORE – CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has today launched The Crest Collection, a prized selection of some of Ascott’s most prestigious and unique luxury serviced residences. The collection offers the growing number of discerning travelers extraordinary experiences with a sense of home. Each property is a signature on its own with a distinctive character which epitomizes European elegance and grandeur. The debut collection comprises the newly added Metropole, which will open in Bangkok in June 2016, and three of Ascott’s Citadines Suites properties in Paris that have been renamed to La Clef Louvre Paris, La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris as well as La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris, where the launch ceremony of The Crest Collection was held.
Acquired in 2011, La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris was included in the global asset enhancement programme rolled out by Ascott in 2010. Through Ascott’s extensive experience in product development and design, the property was boldly transformed – the serviced residence seamlessly marries Parisian elegance in a 19th century Haussmannian apartment building with the postmodernist style of celebrated architect Ricardo Bofill in an adjoining hotel.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ascott has a strong track record of product development and design expertise, from preserving heritage buildings to converting offices to serviced residences. Since we started with an extensive refurbishment programme in 2010, we have invested S$230 million to renovate 45 properties globally, 23 of which are Citadines properties in Europe. The Crest Collection opens up more opportunities for us to work with property owners who want Ascott to manage their property while maintaining its unique features. With more than 30 years of experience and managing over 290 properties worldwide, Ascott has been focusing on creating the best experiences for customers staying in our properties of international standards; while at the same time ensuring we make the most efficient use of space to maximise returns for the owners.”
At the ceremony, Mr Lee reiterated the importance of Europe as a key market for Ascott. France, as one of the strongest economies in the eurozone and the top tourist destination in the world with over 84 million international tourist arrivals in 2015, is Ascott’s largest market with the biggest portfolio outside of Asia.
Mr Lee said: “Ascott has achieved an asset size of over S$1.5 billion in Europe. We will continue to deepen Ascott’s presence in the region’s gateway cities where we have properties such as Paris, London, Hamburg and Munich, as well as explore new markets to achieve Ascott’s target of 10,000 apartment units in Europe by 2020. We plan to expand through acquisitions of turnkey developments or existing buildings which Ascott can convert into serviced residences, management contracts and franchises. With more than half of Ascott’s Europe portfolio in France, the country will remain a key part of our growth in Europe. We have been in France since 2002 and have invested more than S$1 billion in the country through acquisitions and product enhancements. Ascott has grown to be one of the largest Singapore companies to invest in the hospitality industry in France and we continue to see strong potential for serviced residences in the country.”
Mr Zainal Arif Mantaha, Singapore’s Ambassador to France, who also attended the launch ceremony, said: “Singapore and France have built strong diplomatic ties over the last 50 years. Ascott is a Singapore company that has firmly established itself in France since it acquired the
Citadines Apart’hotel chain in 2002. France has a lot of potential for hospitality companies such as Ascott as its economy is the sixth largest in the world and it is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. Ascott’s launch of The Crest Collection in France is a positive step towards building upon our countries’ relations and I look forward to more collaboration between our countries.”
Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s Managing Director for Europe, said: “The Crest Collection is created to distinguish Ascott’s exclusive collection of unique luxury serviced residences that are designed with elegant and classic European flair. It caters to corporate and leisure travellers looking for a quintessential lifestyle in a homely space. To greater differentiate our Citadines properties and The Crest Collection in France, we are renaming the Citadines Suites properties to La Clef, which represents ‘The key’ to a memorable experience through the art of luxury living. Each property is inspired by a story, whether it is in the building’s heritage, design or location. These unique luxury properties are well positioned to tap on the rising demand for upscale accommodation in Paris. Guests will enjoy Ascott’s signature hospitality as we constantly strive to exceed guests’ expectations and make them feel at home.”
The launch of The Crest Collection follows Ascott’s recent unveiling of its Tujia Somerset brand to cater to the booming segment of middle class travellers in China. Together with its three award-winning brands of serviced residences – Ascott The Residence, Citadines Apart’hotel and Somerset Serviced Residence, Ascott is able to provide guests with wider choices to suit their different lifestyle needs. The premier Ascott The Residence brand provides refined luxurious living in elegant apartments. These serviced residences frequently welcome top executives, government dignitaries and industry leaders. Citadines Apart’hotel offers independent travellers the flexibility to choose the services they require. For those travelling with children, Somerset Serviced Residence is ideal as the properties come with amenities such as playground, indoor playroom and children’s swimming pool.
With the addition of Metropole which Ascott will be managing, the company now has more than 3,000 apartment units across 17 properties in Bangkok, Pattaya and Sri Racha in Thailand. Ascott is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Thailand and one of the largest in Europe. It has over 5,200 units in 44 properties in France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Georgia and Spain.