Check into 5-star luxury, and you need not check out

Encouraged by rising demand from high-net-worth individuals, luxury hotel chains in India are expanding their branded residences portfolio to cater to a wealthy clientele seeking premium living experiences.

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel and branded residences operator, and the leader in operating standalone branded residences, recently signed up its first JW Marriott-branded residences agreement in India at Hyderabad and is in the process of signing up more. Similarly, Hilton is “actively seeking avenues” to extend the presence of its luxury brands like Waldorf Astoria and Conrad in metros to create branded homes.

India’s EIH, which signed up with B I Luxury for the first such project in May 2022 under Trident Residencies, will have its apartments and penthouses possession-ready by October this year, Shashank Bhagat, chairman, BI Group, told ET. These standalone properties (not co-located within a hotel premises) boast of five-star amenities and range from ₹18 crore to ₹45 crore. Some of the owners include Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman, Hero Enterprise and Pai family of the Manipal Group.

Check into 5-star Luxury, and You Need Not Check Out

Access to world-class amenities and personalised services that luxury hotels are identified with, is drawing India’s wealthy to these branded residences, said hotel operators and investment advisory firms. They say that the concept is well entrenched in developed hospitality markets like the US, Middle East, and Europe and it is now gaining traction in India.

“Developers are gearing up to seize the immense potential, forging lucrative partnerships. We’re actively conducting feasibility studies and brand affiliation assignments for projects in Solan, Chikmagalur, Goa, Dharamshala, and Udaipur,” said Nandivardhan Jain, CEO of Noesis Capital, a hotel consulting and advisory firm.

Penny Trinh, senior director, mixed-use development, APEC, Marriott International, said, “The increasing number of UHNWIs/HWNIs in India, along with a growing demand among domestic consumers for a lifestyle that mirrors our brands’ design, services, and amenities that consumers have come to love during their travels, offers exciting growth opportunities for branded residences.”

Both prime urban locations such as NCR region, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai and resort locations like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, and Udaipur are ideal destinations for branded residences, said Trinh. Concurred Suma Venkatesh, executive vice-president, real estate and development, The Indian Hotels Company, the operator of Taj brand of hotels.

“There is potential for Taj branded residences along with a hotel development in every metro city,” she said. IHCL announced its entry into the branded residences space in April 2022 with the signing of another Taj hotel in Chennai. The new development under a management contract will feature branded residences as part of the hotel complex. The greenfield development will comprise a luxury hotel with 235 keys and 123 Taj branded residences. The construction is underway, she stated.

“We are seeing a healthy demand for this segment fuelled by the boom in the real estate market and growth in wealth accumulated by HNIs. The growing economy and evolving consumer preferences are also some contributing factors to grow the appetite for luxury living experiences; one can only expect more innovation and diversification in this space,” said Zubin Saxena, senior vice-president and country head, India, Hilton.

Typically, branded residences generate a 30% average price premium over non-branded residences across diverse markets. Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for reputable brands that offer assurance of quality, she pointed out. Ritz Carlton, Leela Hotels, and Four Seasons that are already operating the branded residences in Mumbai are some of the early movers into the segment.

BI’s Bhagat said his “company is in the process of acquiring land for another project under Oberoi brand in Bengaluru.” The biggest challenge, he pointed out, for such projects specially in metros like Delhi, is land acquisition, said Bhagat. An email and text message sent to a spokesperson for EIH remained unanswered till press time.

(You can now subscribe to our Economic Times WhatsApp channel)


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.