Frasers Hospitality plans high-tech hotel residence

An artist's impression of the lobby at Capri by Fraser, China Square. The 304-room, 16-floor hotel residence will boast new technologies such as an app for housekeeping requests and robots that pick up trolley carts on each floor to streamline the li
An artist's impression of the lobby at Capri by Fraser, China Square. The 304-room, 16-floor hotel residence will boast new technologies such as an app for housekeeping requests and robots that pick up trolley carts on each floor to streamline the linen delivery process.PHOTO: FRASERS HOSPITALITY

China Square Central project targets young business travellers with plugged-in lifestyles

Frasers Hospitality will open a hotel residence at China Square Central in the first quarter next year, to serve what it sees as a growing group of young business travellers.

Under its millennial-focused Capri brand, the 304-room, 16-floor Capri by Fraser, China Square, with a gross floor area of 16,000 sq m, will boast new technologies accessible to travellers with plugged-in lifestyles.

Guests will be able to download an app through which they can make reservations and request housekeeping with a chatbot. Room cleaning order will also be optimised using motion sensors that detect if a guest is in the room and through housekeeping requests from the app.

Frasers Hospitality is also looking into installing sound systems in the showers to allow guests to play music from their playlists.

Technology will be used to improve the work of hotel staff. Radio-frequency identification tags will be attached to items to be washed, and robots will pick up trolley carts on each floor to streamline the linen delivery process.

Mr Choe Peng Sum, chief executive of Frasers Hospitality, said the aim is to cater to millennials' desire for convenience, speed and lifestyle options during their stay. "We believe in being customer-centric, and we see that a lot of travellers right now are young executives and the needs have changed," he told reporters at the topping-out ceremony yesterday.

The China Square property is one of eight Capri residences around the world currently in the pipeline and slated to open by 2021.

There are eight other Capri locations already operating in South-east Asia, Australia, China and Europe. These include Capri by Fraser, Changi City in Changi Business Park, which was opened in 2012 as Capri's first residence.

"We see that Capri will grow quite fast in our portfolio," Mr Choe said. He attributed this to the growth of young business travellers and cost-conscious companies scaling back on long-term overseas assignments in favour of shorter trips afield.

Capri's residences, which are a hybrid of serviced apartments and hotels, with amenities such as kitchenettes and self-service laundry rooms, are well positioned for this trend, he added.

Mr Choe said the company expects the Capri brand to grow in Europe, where interstate business travel is prevalent, as well as in North Asia and China. In South-east Asia, Frasers Hospitality is looking at Bangkok and Hanoi as possibilities for new Capri locations.

Frasers Hospitality started an innovation unit two years ago to find new ways to meet customer needs, by studying technology and working with brands.

It is now coming up with ways to make check-ins "deskless" and hotel lobbies more social and communal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'Frasers Hospitality plans high-tech hotel residence'. Print Edition | Subscribe