IHG Hotels and Resorts has added its first property under the Holiday Inn Express brand in Japan.
The former B Osaka Midosuji hotel has been reflagged under IHG’s select service brand, with a “full refurbishment” planned over the next six months.
IHG said it had been working towards launching the Holiday Inn Express offering in Japan “for several years, but had “taken its time and waited until it had the perfect asset, an AAA location and the ideal partner with whom to launch”.
The partner in question is owner Baring Private Equity Asia, and the location is Osaka’s Midosuji Boulevard, close to the city’s Shinsaibashi retail and Namba entertainment neighbourhoods, as well as Osaka’s main Yodoyabashi financial district.
Holiday Inn Express Osaka City Centre Midosuji features 306 rooms, as well as The Express restaurant overlooking Midosuji.
IHG currently operates 37 properties across Japan under its Intercontinental, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Express brands, as well as co-branded hotels in partnership with ANA.
The group has a further 11 Japanese properties in the pipeline, including the Regent Kyoto and the 1,000-room Appil Kogen Resort which will feature ANA Intercontinental, ANA Crowne Plaza and ANA Holiday Inn hotels.
Commenting on the news Abhijay Sandilya, managing director – Japan, IHG Hotels and Resorts and CEO IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan, said:
“We are honoured to launch Holiday Inn Express in Japan in partnership with Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), one of the largest independent private equity firms in Asia.
“We have been committed for some time to bringing this world-class brand to Japan when the time is right and now, with a great partner in BPEA, an amazing asset, and the world poised to reopen, we are thrilled to introduce Holiday Inn Express to the Japanese market.”
Holiday Inn Express recently celebrated the milestone of surpassing 3,000 open properties worldwide. The budget brand was launched in 1990 by then owner Bass, and now offers more than 300,000 rooms in 2,100 cities.