CDL subsidiary opening new 'lifestyle' hotel

The interiors of the M Social (left), which has about 100 rooms, are being designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck.
The interiors of the M Social (left), which has about 100 rooms, are being designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck.PHOTO: MILLENNIUM HOTELS & RESORTS

Hospitality firm Millennium Hotels & Resorts (MHR) is opening a new hotel at Robertson Quay, at the "end of April or early May", the company said yesterday. The M Social will have 293 rooms and be pitched as a "new upscale space".

"It is called M Social because it's focused on getting people together, and in a digital world, people value those in-real-life kind of moments," said Mr Paul James, the senior vice-president of global marketing and branding at MHR, the London-listed subsidiary of property giant City Developments.

Mr James said the new hotel will also boast a range of tech elements, including a new key card that enables guests to use it to charge bills to their rooms and automatic self-check-in facilities.

The hotel interiors are being designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck. About 100 rooms will be "duplex-style", with a loft and living space downstairs.

Mr James expects room rates to reflect a premium over other hotels in the area.

Consultancy Savills Singapore said most of the hotels in the Robertson Quay area are in the mid-tier to upscale segment with room rates from about $175 to $265.

Mr Julien Naouri, director of hotels, Asia-Pacific at Savills Singapore, believes such lifestyle hotels are a trend that is set to continue.

"Lifestyle hotels are taking the best of the independent boutique hotel principles, coupling it with consumer research, and sizing the market to craft a brand that appeals to the emergence of a new consumer," he added.

The new hotel comes amid slowing economic growth and muted tourist arrivals.

"We will see that this is going to be a tough year on Singapore; there are new hotels opening, and there are not a lot of demand generators," Mr James said.

One strategy ahead is to woo more outbound tourists from China, who account for "single-digit" percentage of its business.

MHR said M Social will be opened in Auckland later this year, and in Seoul next year, depending on the reception to the new brand here.

Wong Siew Ying

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'CDL subsidiary opening new 'lifestyle' hotel'. Print Edition | Subscribe