SilverNeedle Hospitality has launched a new brand, combining a selection of its independent boutique hotels.
The SilverNeedle Collection, as the new brand will be known, will initially comprise three Southeast Asian hotels, but this portfolio is expected to grow to 15 by 2016.
Announcing the new brand at the ITB Asia travel trade show in Singapore, SilverNeedle’s CEO Iqbal Jumabhoy said the SilverNeedle Collection was launched in response to the needs of independent hotel owners.
“We identified a gap in the market for non-branded boutique hotels that require marketing, distribution and management services,” Jumabhoy told a press conference. “Services can be tailored to the owner’s needs.”
In addition to the services mentioned by Jumabhoy, the SilverNeedle Collection will also offer its properties a range of support options, including pre-opening assistance, technical and IT support, finance and human resource management.
The brand will launch with three properties: the 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai, the Kiridara resort in Luang Prabang and the Riva Surya in Bangkok. While details of future openings were not revealed, Jumabhoy did say that SilverNeedle is currently in “detailed discussions for one hotel, and early discussions for another”. All future additions to the collection are expected to be in Southeast Asia.
The move into boutique hotels is interesting for SilverNeedle, as the company commonly focuses its efforts on the corporate travel market. But while at least two of the initial destinations in the SilverNeedle Collection – Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang – are not major business travel hubs, the company said the brand still fitted with its corporate ethos.
According to Chris Stafford, who will be heading up the SilverNeedle Collection, the company is aiming to expand into a mix of urban and leisure destinations, not only focusing on business travel per-se, but also catering for the “leisure needs of business travellers”.
The most important issue however, according to Jumabhoy, is identifying the correct partners and properties. “We want to find owners who create authentic destination experiences,” he said.