COMPANY Shangri-La International
LAUNCH DATE September 2014 with Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway being the first rebranded property to begin operations
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT Hotel Jen is a rebrand of Shangri-La’s old Traders Hotels concept. The brand has been described as “fresh, friendly and fuss-free”, where guests are treated with efficiency and care via the use of technology, with free wifi and mobile charging stations being some of the typical amenities available.
There are currently ten properties worldwide, all of which are based in major Asia-Pacific cities including Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Penang, Johor Bahru, Manila, Maldives, Beijing and Shenyang.
COMPANY Hilton Worldwide
LAUNCH DATE TBD
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT Curio properties will be a collection of distinctive four to five-star hotels, ranging from boutique urban hotels to large beachfront resorts. Hilton Worldwide is initially looking to focus on building the brand’s portfolio in the US, but also intends to bring it to Europe.
Currently, the company has signed letters of intent for the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota; the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and a soon-to-be-announced hotel development in Portland, Oregon
LAUNCH DATE January 2015
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT Virgin Hotels adheres to a philosophy that the services it provides should directly benefit the guest. Wifi will be absolutely free, while the prices of snacks and beverages stocked in the minibar will be similar to those one would find at a local store. In addition, the brand embraces technology and has introduced a mobile service that allows guests to use their personal smartphones to order room service, making bookings for the restaurant or spa, and even adjust the room’s temperature.
Only Virgin Hotels Chicago has opened thus far, but the company has announced plans for a 300-plus-room hotel in New York, due to open in 2016. In the long term, Virgin Hotels will be looking to open 20 new properties over the next ten years.
COMPANY Langham Hospitality Group
LAUNCH DATE May 2015
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT Little is known about the brand aside from the fact that it will be an upscale offering that places great emphasis on design. They will be a combination of new-builds and conversions in both business and leisure locations. Management agreements have been signed to open seven properties in the next three years — five in China, one in Colombo and another in Bali. However, the first Cordis property will be the Langham Place Mongkok Hong Kong, which will be rebranded this May.
COMPANY Best Western International
LAUNCH DATE TBD
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT Vib, short for “vibrant”, is described as a technology-centric hotel concept that specifically caters to the modern traveller. This will include facilities such as ample USB and power ports for electronic devices, a media wall in the lobby, smart TVs and LED mood lighting.
Designed for urban markets, Vib offers a high-density concept that will be cost effective to manage, making it an attractive proposition for owners and developers. At the same time, each property will incorporate the local flavour of their individual markets, and deliver comfortable and chic guest rooms. Best Western is actively pitching the business model to hotel owners and developers. This one’s for the future.