From Ku De Ta to Ce La Vi, the Marina Bay Sands club has a new name

The club atop Marina Bay Sands Hotel is now called Ce La Vi. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
The club atop Marina Bay Sands Hotel is now called Ce La Vi. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

In a win by the original Bali owners of the Ku De Ta trademark, the swish club atop Marina Bay Sands Hotel will no longer be able to refer to itself using the trademarked name.

It is now called Ce La Vi, inspired by the French phrase "C'est La Vie" or "This is life".

The rebranding comes after a five-year lawsuit over the unlawful use of the Ku De Ta trademark in Singapore, brought on by the owners of the original Ku De Ta concept, a beachfront club in Bali.

L Capital Asia, the investment arm of French luxury group LVHM Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton which indirectly holds a controlling stake in Ku De Ta SG, today announced their decision to rebrand their Singapore venue, following last month's Court of Appeals ruling against them.

The group also noted that they had some documentation to sort out before proceeding to rebrand Ku De Ta in Bangkok, which they also control.

L Capital also announced its intention to take Ce La Vi to global lifestyle capitals around the world.

First on that agenda is a rooftop Ce La Vi location in Hong Kong, slated to open in July. Occupying the top three floors of the California Tower, the newest venue will be located in the heart of Hong Kong's iconic Lan Kwai Fong party district.

New venues boasting panoramic views in Dubai and Taipei are also expected over the next five years.

Mr Ravi Thakran, managing partner and chairman of L Capital Asia, told The Straits Times that Ce La Vi will take the business from an "Asian lifestyle titan to a global luxury dining and lifestyle titan".

Asked about the future of the club in Singapore, he says: "When we took over the Singapore business in 2014, it was 60 per cent of where we wanted it to be but come the end of the summer, Ce La Vi in Singapore will be 100 per cent of our vision realised."

He declined to disclose how much the group is spending on the rebranding efforts.

The Singapore club, which generated $43 million in revenue last year, will also be undergoing refurbishment work over the next few months.

Spearheaded by award-winning Hong Kong-based interior design firm AB Concept, guests can expect the new look to be an homage to South-east Asian culture. Among their purported influences are 16th century Javanese poetry and prints, 18th century Balinese woodwork and Angkor Wat.

The club will still be operating during the refurbishment period and the VIP guestlist of approximately 300 members will not be affected.

The rebranding comes with an addition to Ce La Vi's resident DJ lineup.

DJ Spinbad from New York - the most radio-syndicated DJ in the world, according to the press release - has joined the Singapore team permanently. And next Wednesday, American rapper Lil' Jon will kick things off at the new club as he plays guest DJ as part of the Grey Goose V Series party.

Says Mr Thakran of the new brand, "We aim to create drama and inspire moments out of cuisine, mixology, music, culture and spectacular surroundings. We like to say we are the love child of South-east Asian creativity and international hedonism."

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