Ascott enters collection space with new soft brand

In line with the growing hotel industry trend towards so-called “soft brands”, serviced apartment operator Ascott has now launched The Crest Collection.

Soft brands, which are commonly called “collections”, allow properties to retain their own branding while also benefiting from the pulling power of a global chain. They also enable hotel groups to fulfil the growing demand for independent properties. And Singapore-based Ascott has now brought this popular trend to the serviced apartment sector.

The Crest Collection is described as “a prized selection of some of Ascott’s most prestigious and unique luxury serviced residences”. Initially, three of Ascott’s Citadines Suites properties in Paris have joined the collection, having been renamed as La Clef Louvre Paris, La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris and La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris. In addition, the new Metropole in Bangkok (pictured top) will become a Crest Collection member when it opens in June 2016.

A room at La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris
A room at La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris

“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,” explained Alfred Ong, Ascott’s managing director for Europe. “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,” he added.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s CEO, also used the launch event to reiterate his company’s European expansion plans.

“Ascott has achieved an asset size of over SG$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,” he said.

The Crest Collection becomes Ascott’s second new brand in as many months, following the recent unveiling of its Chinese Tujia Somerset concept. The company also operates the Ascott, Citadines and Somerset serviced residence brands.

Several hotel groups have launched new soft brands in recent years, including AccorHotels’ MGallery Collection, Marriott’s Autograph Collection, Best Western’s BW Premier Collection, Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio, Hilton’s Curio Collection, and most recently, Hyatt’s Unbound Collection.

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