Why Hotel-Branded Residences Are a Hit

Article originally posted on HERE on November 20, 2023

Until recently, most branded residences were part of hotels, with the synergies between hotel brands and residences improving the overall experience for both guests and residents, while profits from the residential portion of the project enhanced returns for hotel owners. Lately, according to JLL analysis, developers and investors looking to expand their businesses in the luxury segment have been increasingly focusing on standalone branded residential projects, mainly due to the financial benefits delivered to all stakeholders.

Although it has seen success in all three types of branded residence formats—within a hotel, hotel and branded residences in different buildings and standalone schemes without a hotel nearby—The Related Group noticed that in the past few years, buyers’ interest in standalone residential products has only increased, according to the company’s President of Condominium Development Nick Pérez.

“While residents enjoy the luxurious benefits of hotel-style living, they do so without sharing amenities with short-term guests,” Pérez told MHN.

Hotel-branded residences are particularly gaining momentum among high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals that look for the luxury services and amenities that come with such developments.

“Buyers of branded residences seek a true turnkey experience with the assurance of a five-star hotel group taking care of their needs 24/7, with access to incredible amenities, hassle-free living, concierge and security that complement the on-the-go, UHNWI lifestyle,” said Global Head of Residences Marketing at Mandarin Oriental Adelina Wong Ettelson.

Over the past decade, the branded residences sector has seen growth of 170 percent, according to Wong Ettelson. Additionally, the pandemic changed buyers’ preferences and expectations regarding residential space, driving record-breaking demand for hotel-branded residences, Pérez told Multi-Housing News. Mandatory lockdowns redefined what individuals value most within their living spaces and increased people’s need to have everything conveniently accessible, whether it is food, delivery or access to open-air amenity spaces. As a result, some developers have shifted their focus toward creating living spaces that feature not only spacious layouts but also more robust arrays of amenities, all located under one roof. HNWIs and UHNWIs are attracted to these luxury branded properties due to the elevated lifestyle that comes with all the perks of a hotel.

Hotel-branded residences from coast to coast

In Los Angeles, those who buy these high-end branded condos often want a second home and are willing to pay a high price to not have to deal with any maintenance activities, according to Nourmand & Associates President Michael Nourmand.

“Out-of-state buyers from New York and foreign buyers seem to be more receptive to paying higher homeowner’s dues in exchange for extensive services,” he said.

Branded residences across Los Angeles—such as The Residences at the West Hollywood EDITION, The Residences at W Hollywood, Pendry Residences West Hollywood and Mandarin Oriental Residences Beverly Hills—all offer a full set of amenities, security, high-end living and the value of brand association.

“It’s a trend that has picked up steam the past decade, continued to grow in Los Angeles, and today there is no shortage of branded residences in Los Angeles,” Nourmand noted.

The vast majority of Los Angeles’ hotel-branded residences are in the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood neighborhoods. These areas are attractive to buyers due to their location—between Santa Monica and Hollywood, Calif.—and their proximity to fine dining, luxury shopping venues and the city’s entertainment industry, according to Nourmand.

Hotel group Mandarin Oriental will soon open its first West Coast residential location and the brand’s first standalone residential concept in the U.S. The 54-unit Mandarin Oriental Residences Beverly Hills is the result of the hotel group’s collaboration with developer SHVO and marks interior design company 1508 London‘s first U.S. assignment. The branded condo development features everything from Molteni kitchens to custom closets and panoramic views of Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills.

“Residents can enjoy a seamless lifestyle with unparalleled amenities such as a private porte-cochere with valet parking, an expansive resort-style rooftop pool, steam room and sauna, indoor-outdoor yoga rooms and meditation spaces and, of course, exclusive dining by Daniel Boulud,” Wong Ettelson stated.

On the other coast and to the south, The Related Group has an extensive project pipeline. In Tampa Bay, for example, the developer joined forces for the first time with hotel brand Ritz-Carlton for a standalone residential project dubbed The Ritz-Carlton Residences. Architecture firm Arquitectonica, design company Meyer Davis and Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea are also part of the project.

Located along Tampa’s scenic Bayshore Boulevard, the condo development includes two towers, with the first one nearing completion and already sold out. Sales at the second tower are now underway, with prices starting at $1.7 million, Pérez revealed.

“The allure of branded residences attracted a fresh wave of buyers hailing from places like New York and Europe, eager to embrace the warm waters, year-round sunshine and favorable tax environment that South Florida has to offer,” said Pérez.

Plans call for the amenity package at The Residences to include tennis and pickleball courts, a rooftop terrace, a private restaurant and 24/7 access to staff and service. Additionally, residents will benefit from on-demand spa service treatment rooms, steam rooms and saunas for both men and women, a state-of-the-art gym and fitness studio, and a professional-grade golf simulator. Outdoor spaces are set to include an expansive resort-style pool deck with private cabanas and full-service food and beverage options.

Other hotel brands have also made made their residential debuts with signature developments on the East Coast. The Waldorf Astoria Residences in Pompano Beach, Fla., is Waldorf Astoria’s first foray into residential-only concepts.

“Standalone projects like Waldorf Astoria Residences Pompano Beach or Rosewood Residences Hillsboro Beach offer exclusivity, privacy and top-of-the-line services and amenity offerings anchored in the renowned reputation of brands (buyers) know and trust,” said Pérez.

For those interested in acquiring a condo property, branding is a form of quality assurance, according to the before-mentioned JLL analysis. Brand association and enhanced services in branded residences enable developers and investors to benefit from price premiums compared to unbranded, high-quality residential projects. At the same time, hotel brands look at signature residences as a way to expand and diversify their income streams, the same source shows.

Although its seems like a mutually beneficial collaboration, can affiliations between residential developers and hotel brands last, considering the current economic conditions?

Nourmand believes that there’s a lot of product out there, and he expects supply to outpace demand in the long term. Meanwhile, Wong Ettelson feels that branded residences will continue to show strong demand from UHNWIs, and anticipates more developers to be interested in having a hotel brand manage standalone residences as the sector expands.