The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment (CLI), is on a strong growth trajectory with The Crest Collection brand. With a 40% increase in total number of units year-on-year since 2022, the brand has over 1,500 units across 12 properties that are both operating and in the pipeline.
First unveiled in 2016 in France, The Crest Collection is a portfolio of charming bespoke hotels and serviced residences that has since taken flight globally. With seven properties operational in Singapore, Jakarta, Paris, Penang and Tours, Ascott is slated to open The Crest Collection properties further in London, Bucharest, Hanoi, Tokyo and a fourth property in Paris.
Travellers today have become increasingly discerning, resulting in a growing demand for one-of-a-kind experiential stays that enable them to immerse in the history and culture of a destination. By integrating heritage stories with curated hospitality experiences, The Crest Collection with “A Story Behind Every Door”, provides guests with a unique storied and luxurious experience drawn from the distinct heritage of each property and its location. The global heritage tourism market is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent between 2022 and 2030.
Three landmark openings in three destination cities within three Months
Ascott debuted The Crest Collection brand in Asia with the opening of three properties in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, between the months of August and October 2023. The Robertson House by The Crest Collection along the iconic Singapore River was most recently unveiled on 14 October 2023 as the newest hotel at Robertson Quay in Singapore, having undergone refurbishment within a short span of seven months.
The Grand Mansion Menteng by The Crest Collection in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods of Jakarta, and The George Penang by The Crest Collection within George Town’s UNESCO Heritage Zone, were each signed and rebranded to open under The Crest Collection in August and October 2023 respectively. With Ascott’s established conversion capabilities supported by an extensive network of in-market support, both properties were managed in seamless transition, and brought to market under The Crest Collection brand in just over three weeks.
Expanding Geographical Footprint with Strategic Conversions
The Crest Collection in Europe currently comprises La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris by The Crest Collection, La Clef Louvre Paris by The Crest Collection, La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris by The Crest Collection and Chateau Belmont Tours by The Crest Collection in France, each with distinctive characters and epitomises European grandeur. Maintaining consistently strong performance, these properties have achieved a strong occupancy rate of about 73%, with the average daily rate increasing by up to 8% over the previous year.
Riding on the success of the portfolio in France, The Crest Collection is also gaining strong traction and recognition further in Europe. The 230-unit The Cavendish London located close to St James’s Square and the iconic Piccadilly Circus intersection, will undergo a one-year renovation next year and target to reopen in 4Q 2025, as the first property in the United Kingdom under The Crest Collection. Expanding its footprint into Bucharest, Romania, Ascott has signed a 171-unit property, marking the brand’s move in a wider growth strategy within the region. Located in the prime area of the Palace of Parliament, the property is scheduled to open in 3Q 2025. Also slated for launch in 2026, the 204-unit Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris in France will be transformed into a property under The Crest Collection after the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Serena Lim, Ascott’s Chief Growth Officer, said: “Ascott has seen a growing demand for collection brands from owners as they provide flexibility of a distinctive property positioning while being backed by the power of a global brand through its global sales and distribution platforms, and strong loyalty base. The ease of conversion with a collection brand means increased speed to market, and that is key especially in today’s economic climate amidst tighter lending conditions and rising construction costs.”
“At Ascott, we are committed to manage our owners’ assets not only for the short and medium term. Bearing in mind long-term strategic growth, we work closely with our owners to uplift the value of their real estate, ensure longevity and future proof their business,” said Lim.
Enhancing Brand Equity with Commitment to Long-term Management of Owners’ Assets
Ascott is committed to the long-term management of owners’ assets, supporting with operational expertise to raise the quality and elevate the value and yield of their assets.
Ascott worked closely with its sponsored lodging trust, CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) to renovate two of its assets. Formerly the Riverside Hotel Robertson Quay, the hotel was rebranded as The Robertson House by The Crest Collection in Singapore after a phased renovation from March 2023. With the ongoing recovery in Singapore’s hospitality market, along with the strong execution and performance by the operations team, there is potential for further increase in the property’s value post-stabilisation. The 112-unit La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris by The Crest Collection which is nestled between Trocadero and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, is currently undergoing refurbishment and will be launched in 2Q 2024 ahead of the Olympic Games. Both properties remained operational throughout the asset enhancement initiative.
Serena Teo, Chief Executive Officer of CapitaLand Ascott Trust Management Limited and CapitaLand Ascott Business Trust Management Pte. Ltd. (the Managers of CLAS), said: “CLAS proactively enhances our portfolio by investing in quality assets with prime locations. The Robertson House by The Crest Collection in Singapore and La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris by The Crest Collection are two of six properties in our current asset enhancement initiative pipeline. These AEIs are aimed at improving our properties’ yield and value, to capitalise on growth opportunities as travel recovers. One of the properties under CLAS’ proposed yield accretive acquisition, The Cavendish London in the United Kingdom, is also earmarked for AEI from 4Q 2024 to 4Q 2025, to be rebranded under The Crest Collection to uplift the property’s value.
With a unique storied and upper upscale experience drawn from the distinct heritage of each location and property, CLAS’ properties under The Crest Collection will appeal to a higher tier of leisure and corporate travellers and command higher rates. This will strengthen our income stream and enable CLAS to deliver long-term value to our Stapled Securityholders.”