Leading hospitality players set themselves apart in a crowded field by offering a superior experience throughout the customer journey.
July 12, 2019
As travelers become savvier and more demanding, hospitality players are leveraging technology and design to upsize the guest experience for their customers. Comfortable, well-designed rooms and premium services are just the starting points in an increasingly competitive landscape. To truly stand out in a crowded market, hotel and serviced residence operators must offer a seamless and enriching experience throughout the entire customer journey.
Progressive regional and international players are doing just that. For instance, Singapore-based hospitality group The Ascott Limited has rolled out a group-wide digital transformation strategy to support its growing global portfolio that encompasses eight world-class brands. One key initiative in this effort was the launch of the Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) earlier this year. ASR is the serviced residence industry’s first loyalty program that offers members the full flexibility to earn and redeem points.
In Manila, pioneering integrated-resort Solaire continues to reinforce its position as a leading leisure destination in booming Entertainment City. To complement its old-world opulence, the property is pushing the boundaries of innovation. For instance, Solaire’s high-tech “Players Stadium” features the world’s largest suspended center display, spanning 360 square meters and offering the equivalent of 310 65-inch screens merged into one.
The younger generation of travelers is demanding that the brands they patronize prioritize sustainability. One hotel group that is leading the way on this front is Singapore’s Pan Pacific Hotels Group. The group was recognized as the “World’s Leading Green City Hotel” for PARKROYAL on Pickering, its flagship property in Singapore. Pan Pacific is continuing its sustainability efforts with plans to launch another eco-friendly property, Pan Pacific Orchard, in 2021. The new hotel aims to offer guests a resort-style experience in the heart of Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping and lifestyle district.
Amid the focus on technology and sustainability, however, simple pleasures such as an exceptional fine-dining experience continue to be important to discerning travelers. One hotel that has taken this to heart is Lotte Hotel Seoul. Korea’s premier luxury business hotel is known as one of the country’s best “gourmet” hospitality establishments. In particular, the hotel’s two leading restaurants—the Korean restaurant Mugunghwa and French eatery Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul—have helped make Lotte Hotel Seoul a must-visit for foodies.
In the battle for travelers’ hearts and minds, these hospitality groups have hit on the right formula to ensure that their guests keep coming back to their world-class brands, wherever they may be.
Solaire Resort: Five-Star Luxury and Intimate Elegance in Asia’s Hottest City
Solaire has been recognized as the Manila destination with an eye for excellence and the heart for hospitality.
The rise of Manila’s Entertainment City transformed Philippine tourism and helped the bustling metropolis call attention to its burgeoning attractions. Pioneering integrated-resort Solaire set the tone for the booming district by highlighting impeccable service, tasteful design and class-leading facilities.
As affirmation, Solaire’s 17-story all-suite Sky Tower was awarded another Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award this 2019, its third accolade in a row from the award-giving body.
The luxury destination continues to expand and evolve, providing guests with even more options for entertainment and relaxation. Those nostalgic for some Old World opulence need to spend time lounging in Solaire’s new Cigar Bar. The space evokes the ambience of speakeasies and the private social clubs from a more gilded age—but with a modern twist. Its chestnut walls and Chesterfield chairs provide the perfect backdrop to clinching deals or winning hands, while indulging in an exquisite sip or puff of the best spirits and cigars that the world can offer. Expert bartenders are ready to pour high-end single malts or mix handcrafted cocktails, while exactingly maintained humidors offer an array of legendary selections from the cream of the tobacco crop. The intimate space can accommodate a total of 56 people, just right for private events. Prioritizing coziness and comfort over ostentation, the Cigar Bar implements a “smart casual” dress code and is open to the public day and night.
The Cigar Bar embodies Solaire’s brand of refined sophistication, from well-curated artwork, background music and menu selections, to impeccable service and exciting features. It is easy to imagine this inviting watering hole as being the go-to spot for genteel global travelers yearning for the belle époque.
Solaire’s high-tech, game-breaking “Players Stadium” takes entertainment to the next level. Its suspended center display, the largest in the world, spans 360 square meters and offers more than 91 million pixels of visual real estate. That’s the equivalent of 310 65-inch screens merged into one. The fully bespoke curved display was specifically designed for Solaire, guaranteeing that it would top anything that Solaire’s guests had seen before.
Staying true to its trailblazing stance in the Entertainment City, Solaire continues to present an array of top-caliber talent at the resort. From the bold canvases and sculptures of Filipino masters, the hottest soldout shows by Broadway and pop stars, to lavish feasts prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, Solaire has been recognized as the Manila destination with an eye for excellence and the heart for hospitality.
Lotte Hotel Seoul: An Exquisite Gourmet Experience
Fine dining in its world-class restaurants delights foodies and guests alike at Korea’s leading luxury business hotel.
Business travellers staying at LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL can look forward to enjoying world-class cuisine without having to step out of the lobby. Already known as Korea’s premier luxury business hotel, LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL has also earned a reputation as one of the country’s best gourmet establishments in the country’s hospitality industry.
Guests can sample delicacies from several premium restaurants that offer a variety of international cuisines to suit every taste—from Korean, Japanese and Chinese to Italian and French. It also has 14 banquet halls that can host intimate gatherings or large international conferences.
However, it is the hotel’s two leading restaurants that bring LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL’s dining experience to a whole new level of quality and service excellence: the Korean restaurant Mugunghwa and French eatery Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul.
Mugunghwa: Where Tradition and Modernity Meet
Sitting on the 38th floor of LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL is Mugunghwa, the oldest five-star hotel restaurant in Korea. Those seeking a taste of authentic Korean food in a luxurious setting will find it at Mugunghwa, which is also the name of Korea’s national flower.
The restaurant’s menu is underpinned by traditional Korean cuisine, but has evolved over time to incorporate a blend of diverse tastes. Its interior décor, tableware and presentation have also been updated to bring diners an ambience that is modern, yet elegant.
Guests can savor signature dishes such as herring roe bibimbap and grilled daegwallyeong hanwoo tenderloin while enjoying the spectacular view of Bukhansan mountain and downtown Seoul.
Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul: World-Class Cuisine and Service
At Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul, diners can experience a delicious slice of Paris on the 35th floor of the Executive Tower of LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL. This fine-dining establishment is overseen by French chef Pierre Gagnaire, whose signature French cuisine with modern sensibilities has earned him the nickname “Picasso of the kitchen.” Reflecting the level of quality and authenticity it offers, Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul was the only French restaurant in Korea awarded two stars in the first Michelin Guide Seoul edition in 2017.
Chef Gagnaire visits Seoul regularly to oversee the menus, wine and other details of his restaurant. During his last visit in January, the chef revealed why he believes his restaurant is much loved by diners in Seoul: “I owe the Lotte Hotel staff who have worked very hard and always shared their feelings with me, and I also enjoy the beautiful view from here.”
LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS
Conveniently located in the heart of Seoul’s central business district, LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL is the favorite destination for many VIPs visiting Korea. It boasts 1,015 rooms spread over the Main Tower and Executive Tower. The Executive Tower was reopened in September 2018 after it was extensively refurbished to an exceptionally high standard. The tower’s 278 guest rooms were designed by the GA Group, a U.K.-based interior design company whose portfolio includes Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca and Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL is part of LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS, the largest hotel group in Korea. The group offers five brand categories for its 30 properties in Korea and overseas.
For reservations and inquiries:
Mugunghwa at LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL 82-2-317-7061~2
Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul at LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL 82-2-317-7181~2
Pan Pacific Hotels Group: Leading the Way in Sustainable Hospitality
The group’s core-value vision to go green has paved the way to its first zero-waste hotel and its vow to do away with single-use plastics at its properties.
From building sky gardens in bustling downtown Singapore to eliminating the use of plastic straws across all of its properties, Pan Pacific Hotels Group is showing the world that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with luxury through innovative design.
With these groundbreaking initiatives, the Singapore-based group is stamping its mark as a leader in sustainable hospitality across Asia. Indeed, its flagship hotel PARKROYAL on Pickering was recognized as the “World’s Leading Green City Hotel” at the 2018 World Travel Awards. Building on this success, the group is forging ahead with its sustainability efforts with the launch of Pan Pacific Orchard in 2021, which will offer guests a resort-style experience in the heart of the city-state’s premium Orchard Road shopping and lifestyle district.
Pan Pacific Orchard will feature foliage spread over four levels of sky gardens that are four times the size of the property’s total land area; the massive scale of this greenery is unprecedented in a built-up urban center. Working yet again with WOHA, the award-winning architectural firm behind PARKROYAL on Pickering, the new hotel will also be the group’s first zero-waste hotel. This will be achieved through the use of innovative solutions such as a rainwater-harvesting system and a compactor that transforms food waste into compost, among others.
Beyond the design of its physical properties, Pan Pacific Hotels Group is also employing other means to promote environmental sustainability. Apart from eliminating plastic straws, its properties will also opt for greener alternatives for in-room amenities. These initiatives are in line with the group’s commitment to be free of single-use plastics by the end of this year. Meanwhile, it will expand efforts to recycle non-plastic items such as bottles and soap.
“We are defined by our core values of sincerity and integrity, and are committed to caring for the environment and operating in a sustainable manner across our portfolio of 40 hotels, resorts and serviced suites globally. We’re proud to be leading the way in sustainable hospitality with jewels such as PARKROYAL on Pickering, the ‘World’s Leading Green City Hotel,’ and will up the ante with the launch of Pan Pacific Orchard, our first zero-waste hotel, in 2021,” says Cinn Tan, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.
She adds, “Pan Pacific Hotels Group is deeply invested in the cause for sustainability, and actively finds ways to operate in a greener way and making a positive impact on the community we are in. We bring sustainability to life with our green hotels, which are designed to surprise and delight our guests. With their unique eco-architecture, our green jewels will redefine not just the landscape they are in, but the very concept of hospitality.”
Eye on Long-Term Growth
Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s sustainability efforts are a key element of its strategy to drive long-term growth in the Asia-Pacific. With more than 80% of its hotels, resorts and serviced suites in this part of the world, the group is focusing on the region to fuel its expansion. Its strategy also involves investing in the regular upgrading and refreshment of all its properties to ensure a consistent and premium guest experience.
In the past two years alone, the group has under taken multimillion dollar refurbishments of properties such as Pan Pacific Melbourne and Pan Pacific Perth in Australia, PARKROYAL Penang Resort in Malaysia, PARKROYAL on Beach Road and PARKROYAL on Kitchener in Singapore.
It is also expanding its portfolio of serviced suites and resorts to better cater to the multigenerational and leisure travel segments. It will be opening the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Puteri Harbour in Johor, Malaysia, and PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok in Thailand by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the PARKROYAL A’Famosa Resort and PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort will be launched in Malaysia in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The strengthening and expansion of the Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s portfolio, coupled with its drive to lead the industry in sustainability, will reinforce its position as one of Asia’s leading hospitality groups.
PAN PACIFIC HOTELS GROUP LAUNCHES ITS BRAND IN EUROPE
Pan Pacific Hotels Group will introduce its signature Pan Pacific brand into Europe next year with the opening of Pan Pacific London. Designed by international design firm Yabu Pushelberg, Pan Pacific London will offer 237 rooms in the heart of London’s financial district at One Bishopsgate Plaza which is a five-minute walk from Liverpool Street station, a major railway and underground station.
The launch will see Pan Pacific Hotels Group join a select group of Asia-based hotel companies entering Europe’s luxury hospitality space. It will aim to make its mark on this mature market by introducing its brand of “sincere hospitality.” Leveraging its experience of premium hospitality in the Asia-Pacific, Pan Pacific London will offer a sophisticated clientele an unparalleled level of luxury. One highlight will be the hotel’s Signature Suite on the 18th floor, which offers spectacular views of the city’s landmark skyscraper, The Gherkin.
Pan Pacific London will house the city’s first smart ballroom, which can accommodate up to 370 guests in a banquet seating, along with six meeting venues. The hotel will also feature an indoor lap pool with views of the street, as well as calming spa treatment rooms and a modern fitness center for those who need a respite from the urban bustle. Meanwhile, a dedicated Studio Lounge provides a comfortable space for early arrivals and late departures.
The Ascott Limited: A New Standard of Living
Its global portfolio of award-winning serviced residences and hotels ensures the group can meet any traveler’s needs, while its loyalty program rewards every time.
Whether you are a business traveler who needs to stay connected, a holiday maker seeking an ultra-luxurious experience or a millennial go-getter who wants to meet like-minded individuals, The Ascott Limited’s stable of lodging brands is likely to have a property to meet your unique needs.
Ascott boasts a range of award-winning serviced residences and hotels in over 170 cities across more than 30 countries. In recent years, it has been rapidly expanding its signature brand of premium service and accommodation to more locations around the world, adding more than 30,000 units to its portfolio in 2018 alone. Meet the world-class brands that make up the Ascott family:
Ascott The Residence
Guests can experience a premium level of service at Ascott The Residence, the group’s flagship brand. Whether for business or leisure, prepare to be pampered at one of the brand’s luxury properties located in prime districts across the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
Designed for savvy travelers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture of the cities they visit, Citadines Apart’hotel properties give you the chance to live like a local.
Citadines Connect is ideal for short business and leisure trips, allowing you to stay connected in all the ways you need to be, wherever you may be.
The spacious, apartment-style rooms at Quest properties are built for long-term business trips. And with more than 180 locations across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United Kingdom, you will be spoiled for choice.
The Crest Collection
Ascott’s top-of-the-line luxury offering is a handpicked selection of elegant serviced residences, where old world elegance and modern amenities coexist for your benefit.
lyf ’s coliving spaces are designed for energetic go-getters who want to share their experiences with like-minded travelers. The brand’s properties feature shared spaces, private nooks and community events held all year round to help you make the connections that truly matter.
TAUZIA offers a unique hospitality experience for travelers across 116 hotels in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Guests can choose from six lifestyle brands within the TAUZIA stable: Préférence, Vertu, HARRIS, FOX, POP! and YELLO.
ASCOTT STAR REWARDS
To support its growing global portfolio of properties, Ascott launched the Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) earlier this year. ASR is the serviced residence industry’s first loyalty program that offers members full flexibility to earn and redeem points. There is no cap to the points that can be earned, no minimum points required for redemption and no blackout dates.
ASR’s four membership tiers are based on a guest’s accumulated spending during the qualifying period. These start with the complimentary Classic membership tier, followed by Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Members can easily redeem points in part or full through Ascott’s various brand websites to enjoy a wide range of privileges. These include year-long 10% off Best Flexible Rates, seasonal offers of up to 50% discount, property opening specials, and birthday discounts of up to 40%, as well as complimentary airport transfers, room upgrades and breakfast.