Regent plans return to the US amid IHG’s international luxurious lodge growth

Go the Champagne and caviar: Considered one of IHG’s most luxurious manufacturers is lastly getting again into the U.S. lodge enterprise.

Regent Accommodations & Resorts plans to open the Regent Santa Monica Seashore in California later this yr. The lodge, previously a 347-room Loews-affiliated lodge, will endure a major renovation that cuts the room rely by no less than half to carry the property as much as Regent’s ultra-luxurious requirements, IHG leaders advised TPG this week forward of the announcement.

The Regent Santa Monica Seashore is a return to the U.S. for the general model, which launched in Hawaii within the Nineteen Seventies and ultimately expanded to Beverly Hills in California earlier than 4 Seasons absorbed a good portion of the model’s portfolio within the Nineteen Nineties. IHG considers the transfer extra like a U.S. debut for a reimagined Regent model.

It’s a busy month for Regent, which opened the Carlton Cannes, a Regent Resort this week in southern France and plans on a grand opening on the Regent Hong Kong in June. Each of these lodges are former InterContinental-branded lodges (although the Regent Hong Kong was initially a Regent, so it’s a homecoming of kinds for that property).

Questioning the place precisely Regent suits within the ultra-luxury sector, recognized for manufacturers like Marriott’s St. Regis and Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria? IHG leaders divulged all the main points.

“We spent numerous effort and time speaking to our proprietor companions around the globe about properties and lodges that can make it and whether or not that is perhaps vital to have a standard shared imaginative and prescient, which we completely do with this lodge when it comes to imaginative and prescient and of what we need to carry to the following era of luxurious,” Tom Rowntree, IHG’s vp of luxurious manufacturers, mentioned in an interview with TPG this week amid the Carlton Cannes opening. “That is form of a nonnegotiable, I might say.”

The Regent Santa Monica Seashore’s shoreline location is steps from the Santa Monica Pier, and a beachfront pool deck with a number of swimming pools, a vacation spot spa and a wellness middle are a part of the redevelopment plans. A high-end market, in addition to a star chef-anchored restaurant, are additionally within the works, however no additional particulars had been offered.

The Regent Santa Monica Seashore will even be thought of the model’s flagship within the Americas.

“Regent Santa Monica Seashore is the beginning of a shiny future for the model within the Americas, emphasizing our strategic concentrate on luxurious and life-style progress globally,” Julienne Smith, IHG’s chief improvement officer for the Americas, mentioned in a press release.

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Regent’s rebirth around the globe

Whereas additional particulars weren’t available on the upcoming California lodge, one can look to the Carlton Cannes renovation as what is perhaps in retailer for Santa Monica. The 332-room French lodge underwent a two-year renovation emigrate from its InterContinental previous into the Regent vibe.

TPG toured the property in December whereas development was nonetheless underway, and whereas images wasn’t allowed on the time, it was clear the staff was going to nice lengths to raise the property to new glory.

Excavators dug under the property so as to add a parking storage, spa, wellness middle and conference house whereas builders reworked a rear parking zone right into a backyard and year-round swimming pool. A staff of 750 craftspeople labored on cautious particulars like artwork deco-inspired chandeliers and hand-placed marble scales on the foyer flooring. A staff of artisans who restored chandeliers on the Palace of Versailles labored to revive chandeliers within the Grand Salon.

The backyard and pool deck on the Carlton Cannes, a Regent Resort. IHG HOTELS & RESORTS

From private statement, the 72 visitor rooms and suites with views of the Mediterranean might be scorching commodities on the Cannes lodge scene. Every boasted clear, minimalist designs with giant, marble loos. How a lot did an overhaul like this value?

Rowntree declined to offer a particular quantity, but it surely was a price range excessive sufficient to consider the exact angle the parking storage incline might have with out operating the danger of scratching the fender of a low-sitting McLaren sports activities automobile.

“It is the restoration of a monument, in order that’s working with actual specialists of their craft on how they carry again the previous glory of our lodge,” Rowntree mentioned.

The Regent Hong Kong is slated to make its personal debut this yr, with comparable anticipation round its personal return to glory. The lodge was operated as an InterContinental from 2001 till 2020, when it closed for renovations. Whereas the 2 latest Regent lodges had been as soon as InterContinental lodges, that doesn’t imply IHG vacationers ought to count on a wave of those InterContinental-to-Regent transformations to occur sooner or later.

“It isn’t our technique to rebrand InterContinental [hotels] to Regents,” Rowntree mentioned. “It’s simply that these two homeowners had utterly matched with the route we had been taking Regent model.”

A one-bedroom suite on the Carlton Cannes, a Regent Resort. IHG HOTELS & RESORTS

IHG’s ultra-luxury ambition

The brand new lodge within the U.S. is the newest in a fast ascent for Regent’s general lodge rely. Whereas Regent’s first lodge was in Hawaii, the model had scaled again to Asia and two properties in Europe by the point IHG introduced in 2018 it was the model’s new majority stakeholder. IHG leaders indicated a long-term plan on the time of the acquisition to beef Regent up from six lodges to 40.

Regent is a part of IHG’s significant push into the luxury and lifestyle hotel sector. Till 2015, the corporate’s most luxurious model was InterContinental. Firm leaders acknowledged there wanted to be extra choices on this house to compete higher. Marriott has seven luxurious manufacturers whereas Hyatt has eight, in response to each firms’ most up-to-date annual reviews.

IHG now has six manufacturers in its Luxurious and Life-style Assortment because of the acquisitions of Kimpton, Six Senses and Regent, in addition to the launch of the Vignette Assortment. Resort Indigo and InterContinental additionally reside on this model cluster.

“Up till 2015, InterContinental Accommodations and Resorts was our solely luxurious lodge model and an unimaginable model. It has been round since 1946 and actually is a pioneer of worldwide luxurious journey, and that continues right now — but it surely was our solely luxurious model,” Rowntree mentioned. “What we noticed coming from quite a bit from our IHG One Rewards members was a requirement for having a higher breadth and depth of luxurious choices that they might then each earn and redeem their factors.”

Six Senses is the corporate’s wellness- and sustainability-focused ultra-luxury model that’s rooted in resort locations however has more and more pushed into cities, with one lodge in Istanbul and one other slated for Rome later this yr.

Regent is extra of the standard, ultra-luxury providing; nonetheless, Rowntree notes the revival of the model is aimed extra at increasing to youthful vacationers.

“What we acknowledge with Regent is the evolution of the luxurious client and that youthful mindset that they’re having and that the standard traditional lodges have to evolve and really meet the wants of the trendy luxurious client,” Rowntree mentioned. “That’s the place Regent sits, and that may be a very clear ambition for the model.”

A number of the particular methods on the best way to courtroom these younger-minded luxurious vacationers weren’t instantly clear, however taking note of McLaren automobile heights when designing a parking storage in Cannes is clearly a place to begin.

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