Do Ritz-Carlton and 4 Seasons have an IHG and Regent drawback?

Once I first began overlaying the resort business years in the past, you’d hear the insult that huge manufacturers like Marriott Worldwide and IHG Motels & Resorts could not efficiently personal a luxurious or way of life model.

Kimpton wasn’t the identical since IHG took over, cynics would jeer. The late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson even admitted partnering with nightlife and resort legend Ian Schrager on Version Motels partially as a result of “If we opened precisely the identical field with out Ian … Would now we have gotten the identical reception from the market? I believe the reply isn’t any.”

It is due to this that I at all times seen IHG’s takeover of Six Senses and Regent with a little bit of skepticism. IHG wanted the ultraluxury additions to its model lineup, however would this enhance to IHG imply a weakening in luxurious standing for the 2 takeover targets?


After visiting three Regent properties over the past month, it actually appears to be a brand new day for luxurious and way of life over at IHG — one which signifies the resort large is greater than able to operating ultraluxury manufacturers. That poses a serious menace to IHG opponents like Marriott, 4 Seasons, Hilton and Hyatt.

“Luxurious and way of life manufacturers are a strategic focus for us,” stated Tom Rowntree, IHG’s vp of world luxurious and way of life manufacturers, on the Regent Hong Kong final month. “A part of that’s vital from a loyalty perspective. We’ve got a buyer base searching for that. We’ve got our loyalty members wanting us to have these aspirational manufacturers inside our providing.”

“What I am actually enthusiastic about is, up till about 2015, InterContinental was our solely luxurious model,” he stated. “What now we have executed is we constructed out a portfolio of 5 very distinct manufacturers.”

Kimpton, the Vignette Assortment, Six Senses and Regent have all been added since then.


What’s in retailer for Regent beneath IHG’s affect

The final two years delivered the primary batch of Regent motels the place IHG was primarily concerned from the beginning of improvement: Regent Phu Quoc in Vietnam, Regent Hong Kong and Carlton Cannes, a Regent Resort, in southern France. An extra resort, Regent Santa Monica Seaside in Southern California, is slated to open subsequent 12 months.

Jane Mackie — senior vp of luxurious, way of life and premium manufacturers at IHG — informed TPG on the Worldwide Luxurious Journey Market convention in Cannes earlier this month that the vibe of a Regent resort is supposed to be 50% serenity, 40% surprising concord and 10% decadence.

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“The decadence could be performed up nonetheless a resort needs,” Mackie stated whereas giving property-specific experiential choices for instance. “We do not apologize for decadence. It is giving the motels permission to amp that up.”


The motels comply with model requirements and mantras like “private haven,” meant to offer spacious rooms which are presupposed to be retreats you truly need to hand around in all day as a substitute of only a place to sleep and bathe. Visitor rooms in Hong Kong and Cannes showcase unbelievable waterfront views with daybeds in entrance of the home windows.

In Phu Quoc, most villas and suites characteristic non-public swimming pools whereas all include ample dwelling and entertaining area. Regent Phu Quoc additionally bought significantly excessive marks for its extremely attentive employees, scrumptious meals choices at eating places like Oku, a Japanese-French omakase venue, and Rice Market, house to a palatial buffet that includes every thing from dumplings and banh mi to fresh-squeezed juices and pastries.

Whereas 4 Seasons Resort The Nam Hai outdoors Hoi An is a TPG employees favourite, it is easy to see the Regent Phu Quoc rapidly attaining an identical lofty perch — particularly as Phu Quoc’s airport will get extra service past low cost air carriers.

Regent’s “With Compliments” model normal offers extras like complimentary snacks and drinks from the resort minibar. IHG additionally rolled out experiential choices like “Style Studio” that are supposed to appeal to a following from vacationers who ebook a keep round a particular occasion.

Throughout my keep at Regent Phu Quoc, this was displayed within the type of an art-inspired dinner with video projections throughout the desk (including an immersive layer to programs of lobster and marbled steak) and a musical efficiency by the Vietnam Nationwide Academy of Music.

“The way in which that we constructed the model is in order that it flexes and comes alive in its personal distinctive method,” Rowntree stated.

Why different manufacturers ought to be apprehensive

It wasn’t too way back when IHG wasn’t seen in the identical luxurious and way of life class as its opponents like Marriott or Hyatt. The corporate reportedly misplaced out on an try to accumulate Starwood earlier than Marriott swooped in on the finish of 2015.

However in the present day, it looks like IHG has an enviable place. Its speedy ascent within the ultraluxury and way of life area consists of the launch of latest manufacturers just like the Vignette Assortment and the addition of manufacturers with smaller footprints like Regent that do not have as a lot product inconsistency as, say, St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton, the place our readers and reporters have discovered superb motels but in addition ones that that want slightly refresh and renovation.

“If you wish to be perceived as one of the best, you may’t have quite a bit, and you must actually maintain them to the very best requirements,” Mackie stated of IHG’s outlook on ultraluxury.


IHG is not immune from model inconsistency issues, both. InterContinental Motels & Resorts equally has its mixture of shining stars and properties in want of slightly TLC. The corporate acknowledged this earlier this 12 months by saying a model revamp for InterContinental.

However even that may be seen as an indication that IHG is taking its luxurious push critically.

As a six-time winner of “Most Improved Participant” trophies over the span of my childhood Little League profession, I do know that label could be seen as an insult.

However within the case of IHG and its luxurious division, it is a worthy distinction anybody ought to be completely satisfied to obtain. The preliminary batch of IHG-influenced Regent Motels & Resorts proves simply that.

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