Huge trends spawn niche trends. The huge trend we’re referring to is called “massclusivity”: in the endless quest for bringing exclusivity to attention-starved masses, new spin-off trends will continue to pop up in this space.
A new niche, 5 STAR LIVING trend, is all about the phenomenon of five star hotels joining forces with real estate developers, from London to Las Vegas. The hotels offer services that were previously for guests only, to owners of luxury residential properties located next to or even on top of sumptuous hotels. For example, they will get exclusive access to the spa, bellboys walking the dog, guaranteed reservations in Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurants, or 24/7 room service instead of Domino’s. Great for busy double income couples or wealthy followers of Carpe Diem. Which means 5 STAR LIVING is not a desperate attempt, like gated communities, to just detach oneself from a ‘normal’ life: this is about status enhacement. Hereby we give you some examples of the latest developments in this trend.
The Residences (apparently the name of choice for this 5 star living concept) is a condominium hotel enclave built on the MGM GRAND grounds in Las Vegas. Suites come with the pleasures of being an owner and a pampered hotel guest: from spa facilities to restaurants, and from the enormous casino to the Studio 54 night club. Real estate developer Turnberry Associates is behind this latest example of 5 star hotel living; other projects include their Vegas Turnberry Place(a fourth residential tower is going up soon, with serviced apartments priced from USD 450,000 to 5.9 million), and Miami’s Porto Vita, Fontainebleau II and the Turnberry Ocean Colony.
The new W Scottsdale Hotel and Residences (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide) in Arizona will include 25 to 30 luxury condominiums. Scheduled to open in 2007, the W Residences will offer owners a combination of one and two bedroom condominiums with the benefits of being attached to a W Hotel including all the amenities enjoyed by hotel guests. Highlights include in-home catering, botanical service, limo service and special W Resident Rates and VIP service in all W hotels worldwide. W Hotels is also developing Residences at the W Fort Lauderdale (2007) and W Dallas (2006).
Life is a beach in Miami, from Canyon Ranch Living, a residential community located on over 750 feet of oceanfront in Miami Beach (five-star residential services include an acclaimed oceanfront restaurant and a full-service, 60,000 square foot spa and fitness Center) to the impressiveTower Residences, situated above the new Four Seasons Hotel Miami. Last but not least, Mr. ‘You’re Fired’ Trump is behind theTrump Grande Ocean Resorts and Residences, located at the midpoint of the Miami Beach – Ft. Lauderdale corridor.
In New York, the spanking new, USD 1 billion Timer Warner Tower complex offers an urban version of 5 STAR LIVING in cooperation with the Mandarin Oriental. Views of Central Park included. The Ritz-Carlton (Battery Park) can claim to be one of the first to do this in New York, though: ‘The Residences’ offers spacious condominiums that come with a a dedicated concierge, gourmet dining, butler service, and (in their own words) ‘the prestige of living at the Ritz-Carlton.’
In London,Hyatt Hotels is cooperating with the new and exclusive The Knightsbridge development. 205 future owners can count on Hyatt personnel to walk their dogs and more. Life can be sweet! UK-based Marriott fans head for 47 Park Street, the first European property operating under Marriott’s Grand Residence Club brand (“all the advantages of a second home with the amenities and personal service of a luxury resort”).
Germany will soon see its first 5 STAR LIVING when aforementioned Ritz-Carlton ‘The Residences’ comes to Berlin, as part of the Beisheim Center. Owners will enjoy pleasantries like dinners at home (event and party service; the sous-chef of the Ritz-Carlton will cook in your own apartment), 24-hour room service, nanny, babysitting, room cleaning, shoeshine service, laundry service, dry cleaning, fitness center, indoor pool, golf course recommendations, saunas, massages, physiotherapy, and more.
Yes, TRENDWATCHING.COM understands that not all future residences will have access to their own 60,000 square foot health spas, but the 5 STAR LIVING trend will undoubtedly trickle down to the MASS CLASS in a less excessive version. In fact, there are millions of ‘normal’ consumers out there, struggling with busy jobs, families and life in general, who are dying to get their hands on even 3 STAR LIVING! So: who’ll become the trendsetter in providing 3 star services on a neighborhood or even street/block level?
However, as always, there’s more to 5 STAR LIVING than real estate and hospitality! TRENDWATCHING.COM believes the 5 STAR LIVING trend should inspire any marketer or exec interested in turning existing assets into profitable and imaginative new MASSCLUVITY services. Which, again, doesn’t always mean catering to the absurdly rich; one of the reasons for TRENDWATCHING.COM to often focus on the luxury sector is because most consumer goods and services that we now consider to be commonplace, were initially introduced by pioneers of luxury and lifestyle. Oh well, incorporating this trend into your marketing strategy at least provides a good excuse for sampling some of the properties above!
Business Booking International likes this idea. We think it could be a huge asset to the profits of the hotels, since you can rent or sell these residences. When hotel owners can’t sell their residence, they can always rent it to tourists, so eventually they will still make money out of it. This means it is a relatively low risk, high return investment.
However, since the global financial crisis is still not over, we think that the hotels in the article have the best chance of succeeding these projects. When the properties remain priced like this (approximately 0.5 million euros for 130 square meters) they are likely to get sold. The reason for this lays in the fact that this is becoming a trend. The first chains of supply will normally become market leaders in this segment. We’ll be watching closely how this trend develops and if the residences sell.