Serviced residence brand The Ascott Limited has begun directly targeting millennial travellers with the launch of its new Lyf brand (pronounced “life”) of serviced apartments. The new brand is designed to offer a more community-based experience that connects guests with other travellers and will be tailored for and managed by millennials.
These managers, known as “Lyf Guards”, will act as community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers and “problem solvers”, and may even be residents themselves. Ascott aims for these Guards, along with guests and partners, to be able to conduct activities such as workshops with local craftsmen, innovation talks, and “hackathons” – large-scale computer programming gatherings – with local start-up accelerators.
The launch of a new millennial-focused brand comes as the company predicts a growth in its customers from this demographic. According to Ascott’s CEO, Lee Chee Koon, “millennials already form a quarter of Ascott’s customers and this segment is poised to grow exponentially. Lyf is a unique accommodation tailored for this demographic, including technopreneurs (technology entrepreneurs), start-ups and individuals from music, media and fashion.” Ascott aims to have approximately 10,000 units under the Lyf brand globally by 2020.
The new brand is expected to operate in key gateways cities across the world, with cities in Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the UK currently under consideration. Residences will be provided in a variety of layouts, including studios, twin rooms sharing a single kitchen, and business suites with display screens for video conferencing and a collaborative working and dining area.
While each property is expected to offer a “unique personality”, according to the company, common features including communal “Connect” working spaces that can operate as venues for workshops or social gatherings will be offered at all properties. Lyf serviced residencies will also feature a “Wash & Hang” Laundromat featuring a foosball table for guests to use while waiting for their laundry, as well as a social kitchen offering communal cooking spaces and classes. Meanwhile interactive digital art, large-scale ball pits, hamster wheels and oversized Connect Four games will also be offered.
The launch of the new Lyf brand comes as Ascott aims to bring a total of 80,000 units across its brands online by 2020, and follows the opening of Asia’s first Crest Collection Hotel earlier this month and the announcement of numerous new properties in India and the Middle East in October.