Rising start-up culture drives Ascott’s lyf into more Asian cities

Somerset Zhongmao Changchun

The Ascott’s co-living lyf brand is gaining traction in Asia, making up a trio of signings among the hospitality company’s new 14 contracts clinched to manage 14 properties comprising over 2,000 units in eight countries – China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

Three of the 14 new properties will be under Ascott’s co-living lyf brand, and will be located in the cities of Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai.

Scheduled to open in 2020 are the 131-unit lyf Fukuoka, located in the city’s major retail and recreational centre, and lyf Raja Chulan Kuala Lumpur, part of the Golden Triangle. The 160-unit lyf Hongqiao Shanghai, located in Hongqiao’s CBD, is set to launch in 2022.

Kevin Goh, Ascott’s CEO, said: “Demand for our lyf-branded co-living properties is gaining ground. We are bringing lyf to Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai as the buzzing start-up ecosystems in these cities have given rise to a popular culture of living and co-creating as a community among the millennials.

“Millennials already account for a quarter of Ascott’s customer base; and with our lyf brand, we can seize opportunities presented by the booming millennial generation, set to become the largest spending travel demographic in the near future.”

Besides Singapore, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines where Ascott will be opening lyf properties, the company targets to expand the brand into potential markets like Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia and the UK.

The remaining 11 signings consist of a mix of Somerset and Citadines branded properties, which will progressively open between this year and 2023. They will be located in the following cities: Changchun, Foshan, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen in Greater China; Frankfurt; Fukuoko; Gurgaon; Jakarta; Pattaya; and Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia.

One notable property the 100-unit Ascott Riverpark Tower Frankfurt, which will mark the first time Ascott is bringing its premier Ascott The Residence brand to Germany. Tabled for an opening in 2022, the property will be designed by world-famous architect Ole Scheeren.

Goh added: “In addition to the 14 new properties, we secured our first property in Australia under our recently launched Citadines Connect brand of select-service business hotels, extending our product offerings to owners and customers… we will fast-track Ascott’s expansion to achieve our global target of 160,000 units by 2023.”

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