Welcome to Asia Pacific's Hotels

Rick Hancock
The Asia Pacific region’s hotel sector has matured over recent years, due to strong regional economic growth and increased corporate and leisure travel.

With hotel occupancy rates in excess of 80 per cent in major gateway cities and performance improving year on year, investor interest is high. The sector’s top five pipeline destinations are China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, with international hotel groups rapidly expanding into these countries. Throughout the region, market activity includes development of new properties, repositioning and/or refurbishing of existing assets, and acquisition of new assets into the portfolio.

There’s a healthy appetite for mixed-use development schemes comprising upmarket hotel, retail and residential, some with commercial provision too. A combination of revenue streams is important to owners, as is creating a destination that caters for a wide cross-section of the population.

The sector’s top five pipeline destinations are China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, with international hotel groups rapidly expanding into these countries.

Faithful+Gould has a strong hospitality portfolio in Asia Pacific, supporting investors, owners, lenders, developers, management companies and operators. For existing properties and portfolios, we help stakeholders to think critically about a hotel’s physical envelope and, where appropriate, to consider change of use and/or intensity of development. We explore ways of reconfiguring a property, to increase revenue streams and increase the overall value of the asset.

Examples include conversion of under-utilised front-of-house areas into retail or additional food and beverage offerings; increasing the overall size of a property; increasing the number of bedrooms; or a change of use, such as residential apartments, for one section. We are currently leading refurbishments totalling 5000 keys across Singapore and Hong Kong.

High occupancy rates bring scheduling challenges as operators are understandably reluctant to decommission rooms and lose revenue. Refurbishment usually has to be managed in phases within a live hotel environment, requiring skilled scheduling, a high degree of communication and close attention to safety issues.

For the acquisition of new assets, we work alongside the transaction team to provide pre-acquisition surveys, together with advice on capital expenditure and operational costs. We also offer strategic advice on the current performance of the asset, and recommendations for product improvement that can be factored into the evaluation for the acquisition.

We are typically appointed at the earliest stages of new-build hotel projects, to lead the site and infrastructure evaluation, develop a project brief and help with negotiations between owners and operators. We establish and manage the most suitable consultant design team, and lead the procurement and management of construction. We then oversee the installation of furniture, fittings and equipment, and operating supplies and equipment, through to commissioning and opening of the hotel.

Most of our hospitality projects have multiple stakeholders. Typical challenges for clients include interpretation of brand guidelines, implementation of brand standards, switching from one brand to another on acquisition, and refurbishment following global brand refresh. We draw on our experience of being commissioned by both owners and operators, which allows us to better understand and manage the objectives of each party.

In Asia Pacific, clients are not only seeking an integrated project and program management offering, but are also looking to the added benefits of engaging with multidisciplinary design consultants. We work closely with our parent company Atkins to satisfy this requirement, providing a one-stop solution through our many shared office locations.

In addition to our hospitality experience in the Asia Pacific region, we are active in the Middle East, Americas and UK & Europe. Our global hotel clients include Marriott, Wyndham, Crown Plaza, Disney®, Ritz-Carlton, Jumeirah Group, Shangri-La Group, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marina Bay Sands, Ascott, Carlson Hotels, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (The Peninsula Hotels).