The Asia-born Minor Hotels is having a European moment. And if the recent launch of Anantara-branded hotels in Nice, Amalfi and Dublin, as well as several Avani-branded properties on the continent are anything to go by, that moment won’t be ending any time soon.
Across the world, a similar story is emerging, only in reverse, as two of Europe’s best-known hotel brands—NH Hotels and NH Collection—make inroads into Asia and the Middle East.
It’s a sign the global growth strategy of Minor Hotels, led by CEO Dillip Rajakarier and the group’s Founder and Chairman, William E. Heinecke, is bearing fruit.
Seeds of that plan were planted five years ago with the acquisition of Madrid-based NH Group, which added three brands with strong presence and consumer awareness in Europe—NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow Hotels—to Minor Hotel’s portfolio. With eight distinct brands under its umbrella—including Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Avani Hotels & Resorts and Tivoli Hotels & Resorts—Minor is aiming at further growth.
“The NH properties have unlocked parts of the world that we never had access to before,” says Heinecke, who has been in the hotel business since 1978. “Importantly, it allows us to leverage the huge potential of the outbound Asian travel market to our brands in Europe, while also bringing some of Europe’s best-known hotel brands to Asia and the Middle East to capture inbound demand.”
Riding Asia’s Outbound Wave
Minor is not shy about its ambitions to become the world’s most profitable hotel company, aiming to open 50 new properties by 2024, adding more than 10,000 rooms.
The group opened Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel and Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel this year, and now has eight Anantara properties in the region, while Avani expanded its European footprint in Madrid and Milan in July.
European brands NH Collection and NH Hotels debuted in the Middle East and Asia with the opening of NH Collection Dubai The Palm, NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort, NH Boat Lagoon Phuket Resort and more to come.
This growth is likely to be buoyed by significant tailwinds, as emerging market conditions look to favor the group’s unique position as a major Asia-born global player. International tourism recovery is gaining momentum, and Asia-Pacific is well-positioned for a full-fledged resurgence by 2024.
“The exchange of brands and guest segments between Asia, the Middle East and Europe is one of the key drivers of Minor Hotel’s expansion strategy aimed to increase profitability for the group, grow brand awareness, and solidify its position as a truly global player,” says Rajakarier, a key architect of the group’s growth strategy.
Beyond Hotels: An Emerging Lifestyle Ecosystem
Minor Hotels’ cross-continental expansion extends to more than just hotels, as it looks to cement its reputation as a creator of lifestyle experiences that include restaurants, beach clubs, luxury trains and wellness clinics, as well as branded residences.
The Wolseley, an iconic London eatery acquired by Minor in 2022, is a case in point. In April, Café Wolseley began a short-term residency at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, one of the brand’s flagship hotels. Minor is exploring opportunities to grow The Wolseley.
“There is always growth opportunity in introducing well-recognized brands to new markets,” Heinecke says. “Part of staying nimble is listening to what customers are asking for, and our recent acquisitions are enabling us to meet those needs in new destinations worldwide.”