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