Starwood Capital grows its London portfolio, biohacking becomes the latest travel trend, and Singapore’s skyline blossoms with a new greenery-wrapped hotel. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
Starwood Capital acquires 10 London hotels
In a reported $1 billion off-market transaction, Starwood Capital Group acquired a portfolio of 10 hotels—all trading under the Radisson Blu Edwardian brand—located in the UK from the Edwardian Group. Following the transaction, which was one of the largest UK real estate deals in the past 18 months, Starwood Capital’s European portfolio will now comprise 47 hotels with approximately 10,000 rooms. Terrence Baker of Hotel News Now/CoStar says the deal will allow the Edwardian Group to focus on three hotels “[the company] believes are its crown jewels”: The Londoner, the May Fair, and the Edwardian Manchester. Inderneel Singh, CEO of Edwardian Group, told Hotel Investment Today that the deal represents “an opportunity to refocus the group and position it for the next chapter of growth.”
The top innovators in travel and hospitality
Skift took a look at the biggest innovators in travel and hospitality today, including the Hotel Chelsea in New York from hotelier Sean MacPherson. The refresh, writes Colin Nagy, “tapped into the history of the hotel” without modernizing it. The Georgian, a makeover of a grande dame in Santa Monica, “added a dose of historical gravitas and much-needed elegance to Westside LA,” he writes. Additionally, Nagy lists Awasi as a South American brand to watch thanks to its conservation efforts and points to Banyan Tree’s health-focused restaurant Veya in Phuket as the future of F&B, due to its menu featuring elevated plant-based cooking and hyperlocal ingredients. Read more about Skift’s list of innovators here.
Is biohacking the next big thing in wellness?
Another pillar of wellness that is gaining traction is longevity. People are living longer, and they want their later years in life to be fruitful. This is where biohacking comes in. Ranging from hyperbaric oxygen chambers to compression boots, biohacking paired with AI can optimize wellbeing in unprecedented ways. “We’re able to gather tens of thousands of data points that tell you how your body and brain are performing and even your biological age,” Dave Asprey of Upgrade Labs, a chain of U.S.-based biohacking facilities, told Condé Nast Traveller. “We use that data to guide people on a personalized journey using biohacking technologies and AI-power exercise equipment that can improve everything from their VO 2 max to their muscle mass.” However, despite its growing popularity, the longevity field is still the Wild West, cautions Anna Bjurstam, who heads up the wellness program at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Most therapies, she told the magazine, need to be customized to an individual to be effective.
A hanging garden wraps a new hotel in Singapore
The newly completed Artyzen Singapore, designed by local studio ONG&ONG, stands out for its gardened façade, becoming a “contemporary oasis in the heart of the city,” writes designboom. Located a short distance from Orchard Road and the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the hotel occupies a heritage building that was once a tropical garden mansion built in the 1940s. The firm paid homage to the building’s past by incorporating high ceilings, verandas, courtyard gardens, arches, and terracotta roof tiles. Artyzen joins a slew of new properties from brands like EDITION, the Standard, Conrad, Raffles, and COMO dotting the Singapore Skyline. Indeed, Singapore’s hospitality industry is expected to reach $1.3 billion in revenue in 2024, accelerating an annual growth rate of 5.2 percent from 2024 to 2032.
It’s awards season! Don’t miss your chance to be recognized
The HD Awards deadline in projects and products is right around the corner. Mark your calendars to submit your latest and greatest by February 9th. (And meet the 15 judges who will be deciding on this year’s winners and finalists!) We are also accepting submissions for the sixth annual HD/West Elm Student Product Design Competition, with this year’s prompt asking students to design a barstool for hospitality and commercial use. Additionally, nominations are open for HDAC’s 2024 Awards of Excellence, now in it’s fourth year. The deadline for these contests is March 15th.