Luxury Hotels CEO gives bullish outlook and outlines new acquisitions
At the annual AccorHotels Virtuoso breakfast in Las Vegas, Luxury Hotels CEO Chris Cahill gave an overview of new luxury hotels in the pipeline, explaining that between 2018 and 2021, 32% growth is expected, from a current 507 properties, up to 671.
“We recently opened the Raffles in Warsaw. It has had tremendous press, and tremendous coverage. It was an exciting opening for us. The Singapore property has been under a restoration programme over the past twelve to eighteen months, and will open probably in the first quarter of next year. One of the things about restoring grand, iconic hotels, is that when you start to pair back the walls, you are never quite sure what you are going to find, so there has been a bit of a delay. Raf es in London – the old war office – will open probably in ‘21.”
ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT RESTORING GRAND, ICONIC HOTELS, IS THAT WHEN YOU START TO PAIR BACK THE WALLS, YOU ARE NEVER QUITE SURE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO FIND
One of the most exciting announcements by Cahill was the fact that the group is “quite aggressively” working on ve projects with the aim of launching the Orient Express brand in their portfolio, after the announcement in October 2017 of a strategic partnership with the SNCF for the development of the brand. “As of this date, we can’t announce an opening date”, said Cahill. AccorHotels announced late last year that it intends to build on this partnership to strengthen its leadership in the luxury segment, by developing a new collection of prestigious hotels under the Orient Express banner.
On the acquisition of European-based Mövenpick hotels this year, Cahill said, “We are the largest operator of hotels in Asia-Paci c outside of China. We are the largest operator in Europe, and in South America. In the Middle East and Africa, we were number two. So, in terms of building platform, which drives all kinds of not only efficiencies, but effectiveness in terms of growing your portfolio of brands, the acquisition of Mövenpick moves us into the number one position in MEA. The second thing it did for us, is that in our array of brands from eco to luxury, this was a brand that sat on top of Novotel in the mid- scale category, and it sits in the upscale category below our upper-upscale portfolio. That just happens to be one of the fastest growing segments from a development standpoint globally.”
Cahill also explained that due diligence had been progressing on the SBE group, with lifestyle brands such as Mondrion, Delano and SBS brands.
Photo: Chris Cahill, CEO Luxury Hotels, AccorHotels