Ascott’s First Foray in Bangalore Strategic in Every Way

Citadines Richmond Bangalore promises to add LIFE to city

Issue: Sep 2011

Minhang Plaza
Ascott's first property in India - Citadines Richmond Bangalore - is a 96-unit serviced residence in the heart of Bangalore

The world's largest owner-operator of serviced residences, The Ascott Limited, has come to India.
On 1 August 2011, it opened its first Citadines in the country - Citadines Richmond Bangalore.
The 96-unit property targets the busy, independent traveller in search of city living. Located on Richmond Road in the Central Business District, it offers a mix of spacious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Strategic Timing

Citadines Richmond Bangalore lobby
Citadines Richmond Bangalore marks the beginning of Ascott's hospitality business in India

The decision to move into India at this time was a carefully calculated and considered one. Ascott, which already has over 22,000 operating serviced residence units across 20 countries, has always considered India a key market. According to the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council report released in August 2011, the country has a thriving economy with a GDP that is expected to increase by about eight per cent in FY2011/12 and increasing foreign direct investment with inflows expected to reach US$35 billion in the same period. As a result, more international businesses are likely to enter the market and establish their presence in India. The number of foreign expatriates and business travellers is set to grow in tandem, leading to an increase in demand for accommodations. According to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimates in 2010, the gap between demand and supply is estimated at approximately 150,000 hotel rooms over the next five years.

Residents' lounge
The residents' lounge at the serviced residence in warm, earthy tones offers a luxurious refuge after a hard day's work

Mr Lim Ming Yan, Ascott's Chief Executive Officer, said: "To tap into this growth, Ascott has already invested in six properties with more than 1,300 apartment units across four major cities in India. The six properties will cost S$300 million when fully developed over the next three years. Besides investment, we are also seeking opportunities for management contracts or lease agreements such as Citadines Richmond Bangalore to grow our network in the country."

Apart from Citadines Richmond, Ascott has two other properties in Bangalore, two in Chennai, and one each in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, all scheduled to open progressively from the end of the year to 2015."

Added Mr Ronald Tay, Ascott's Chief Investment Officer who oversees the company's business in India, "Our strategy for India is to capitalise on opportunities in the gateway cities and in high-growth emerging markets where there is strong demand for international-class serviced residences. Besides Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad, we will also look at extending our footprint to other cities, including Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi."

Of the decision to begin in Bangalore, Mr Tay said: "Given the strength of the IT sector in India, it is timely for us to deepen our presence in Bangalore, which has been touted as the Silicon Valley of India. Due to the lack of international quality serviced residences in Bangalore, Citadines Richmond Bangalore is well-positioned to cater to the rising demand."

Residents' lounge
A bakery along Church Street, one of many places you can eat at that is near Citadines Richmond Bangalore
Photo credit: www.pune.burrp.com

Strategic Location

Apart from good timing, Citadines Richmond also enjoys an ideal location. Guests are just minutes away from both work and play. The property is situated along the greenest stretch of the city's Central Business District. So, it is near government offices, business centres, financial institutions, hospitals, shopping malls as well as dining and entertainment venues. Also within the vicinity are many Grade A offices spaces and other commercial establishments.

Bangalore has a growing pub and café culture and there are several to choose from nearby. Fuga, one of the most popular pubs in Bangalore, is just 10 minutes away, as is Hard Rock Café.

"Less than 10 minutes away from here, our guests will have some of the most popular restaurants in Bangalore to choose from: Calypso, Olive Beach, UB City food court, and Koshy's. Corner House, said to have the city's best ice-creams and desserts, is only a 10-minute ride away," said Anthony Ow, Regional General Manager for GCC & India.

And 15 minutes away from Citadines Richmond is Bangalore's famous dining district, Church Street. Walk along the whole stretch and guests can have their pick of local delights and any number of international cuisines: Chinese, Indonesian, Continental, Mexican and American.

Brigade Road Day
Shop away at Brigade Road minutes away from the apart'hotel
Photo credit: www.unlockingthearchives.rgs.org

Shopping options abound as well. "The property is close to prominent high street retail destinations such as Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road, Brigade Road and shopping district, Commercial Street. UB City Mall, Garuda Mall, and Forum Mall are all located less than five kilometres from the property," added Ow.

Less than five kilometres away are some of the city's best attractions. Those interested in politics can visit Vidhana Soudha where the legislative chambers of the state government are. For a piece of the past, there is Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace which is now a museum. Cubbon Park is a sprawling park with museums and an amusement within and Lalbagh Botanical Gardens offers a respite from city life.

Strategic Service

Studio room
Each of the serviced residence's apartment is decorated in one of three colour schemes: grey ash, walnut and wenge

Everything about the serviced residence is designed with the business traveller in mind. Elegantly structured inside and out. Each of the serviced residence's apartment is decorated in one of three colour schemes: grey ash, walnut and wenge.

Most apartments come with a fully equipped kitchen complete with appliances, glassware, crockery, cutlery and utensil. Each has ensuite bathrooms with towels and toiletries; and separate work and living areas. Only the best international brands are used from the Morphy Richards kettle to the Sony LCD television and DVD player.

Swimming pool
Relax at the pool-side café after a cooling dip in these aqua waters

The entire property has Wi-Fi, a gymnasium, swimming pool and poolside café let residents relax and recharge while serviced offices and conference facilities let the busy executive work without leaving home.

"The team spirit is really amazing," said Ow. "Everybody has only one target in mind and works towards it. And the target is making sure the property is up to our Ascott standard. We are putting a lot of LIFE into it – L for local touch, I for individuality, F for feeling at home and E for exceeding expectation."

Stay with us in Bangalore at …

Citadines Richmond Bangalore
No 1 Langford Gardens,
Richmond Road,
Bangalore 560 001, India
Tel: (91-80) 7100 0001
Fax: (91-80) 7100 0010
Email: enquiry.bangalore@the-ascott.com

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