CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited
(Ascott), has launched Citadines Connect, a line of business hotels with
selected services, to widen its short-stay offerings as it continues to grow
its portfolio. A sub-brand of Ascott’s well-established Citadines serviced
residence brand, Citadines Connect business hotels cater to frequent travellers
who are constantly connected, offering a chic living experience in vibrant city
destinations.

Citadines Connect business hotels will have tech-enabled features such
as mobile keys, self check-in kiosks, smart washing machines or laundromats,
content streaming-enabled televisions, and Google cloud printers. Guests can
enjoy the convenience of ‘Grab & Go’ counters offering food and beverage
options and daily necessities, common pantry areas, meeting pods, as well as
24/7 gymnasiums. They can also relax at the ‘Refresh and Recharge’ spaces that
come with private napping pods with USB charging points, lockers and shower
rooms. The hotels offer mostly studio rooms ranging from 18 to 21 square
metres.

Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s Head for Global Operations, said: “Citadines is
Ascott’s fastest growing brand. It has a strong reputation amongst travellers
who enjoy the flexibility to choose the services according to their lifestyles.
Riding on the worldwide popularity of the Citadines brand which focuses on the
extended-stay market, we are introducing the Citadines Connect sub-brand to
capture the short-stay segment. The Citadines Connect brand, which offers
contemporary and tech-enabled hotel accommodation in well-connected locations,
cater to highly mobile business travellers who appreciate convenience,
fuss-free services, online connectivity and recreational experiences.”

“We see strong potential for the short-stay segment and hotel rates are
rising given the rapid growth in global mobility, bleisure travel and a
flourishing gig economy. More and more skilled professionals are taking on
short-term, freelancing and ad-hoc work assignments which require them to
travel frequently. We will leverage Ascott’s international network and strong
management capabilities to bring the Citadines Connect brand to key gateway
cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo as well as popular
destinations in Southeast Asia where there is high demand for quality,
short-term accommodation.”

Mr Ong added: “By extending our range of product offerings with
Citadines Connect, we can scale up our lodging business at a faster rate and
further sharpen our expertise in managing hotel assets. Our business partners
and guests alike can choose from a wide variety of lodging products that can
best cater to their business models, travel patterns, and accommodation needs.”

The two properties to debut under the Citadines Connect brand are in
highly attractive locations in the top cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and New
York. Ascott is also looking to rebrand its properties such as Temple Bar Hotel
Dublin in Ireland and The Domain Hotel Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, California
to Citadines Connect.

Citadines Connect Sydney Airport

The 150-unit prime freehold business hotel is currently operating as
Felix Hotel and will be rebranded as Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May
2019. Located in Mascot within the city of Botany Bay, it is within walking
distance to the Mascot railway station and Sydney Airport – Australia’s busiest
airport which caters to around 44.4 million passengers in 2018 and is forecast
to receive around 60.7 million passengers by 2033. The business parks of
Alexandria, Botany, Mascot and Waterloo, The Lakes and The Australian golf clubs
as well as the Westfield Eastgardens Shopping Centre are all nearby. Sydney’s
Central Business District is within a 15-minute drive or ride by train. The
precinct is further earmarked for development to accommodate future population
and employment growth capitalising on its accessibility to public transport.

Citadines Connect
Fifth Avenue New York

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is centrally located in the
heart of Manhattan. Attracting a good mix of both corporate and leisure
travellers, the property with 125 rooms is performing well with an average
occupancy rate of more than 95%. Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is
steps away from Times Square, Fifth Avenue, the Theatre District and
Rockefeller Center. It is also a short walk from key attractions such as the
Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art and Grand Central Station.

Since Ascott acquired the Citadines Apart’hotel serviced residence chain
in 2004, it has expanded the Citadines portfolio by about five times from 5,100
apartment units in 18 European cities to about 25,000 units in over 140
properties and 86 cities across Asia Pacific, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle
East. Last year, Ascott invested in TAUZIA Hotel Management, one of Indonesia’s
top five hotel operators, to capitalise on opportunities in the growing
middle-class hotel segment.

Business travel spending has been growing steadily from 2012 to 2017 and
is expected to grow at an average rate of about 5% to US$1.7 trillion by 2022.
This year, hotel rates are also expected to rise 3.7% globally.



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