Founder of Aman Resorts, Adrian Zecha, has partnered with Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments to launch a new ryokan brand, Azumi.
A long-time fan of ryokan, Zecha said he first experienced these classic Japanese inns when he was living in Japan in the 1950s as the Asia correspondent for Time magazine. The warmth and intuitive hospitality of ryokan impressed him. "The hospitality was just right - I was treated as something in between a guest and a dear family friend."
When Zecha left Aman, it became "a dream" for Yuta Oka, co-founder of Naru Developments, to work with the famed hotelier "on updating and rejuvenating ryokans".
Azumi, named after one of the ancient seafaring tribes in Japan, is hence conceived to offer a fresh take of the classic ryokan experience. Shiro Miura, a Kyoto architect specialising in Japanese design and architecture, was recruited to balance modern and old hotel aesthetics.
"Many hotels and restaurants in Japan focus on expressing the thin-sliced surface of the Japanese culture and history, instead of going deep into the roots of each region. As hoteliers with global experience but with Japanese roots, we are happy taking on that challenge. That is how Azumi began," said Fumitomo Hayase, fellow founder & director, Naru Developments.
The first Azumi property is set to open in Japan's Setouchi Region come spring 2021.
RedDoorz diversifies stay options with Sans Hotels
Singapore-based hotel booking platform RedDoorz has introduced Sans Hotels, a "trendy, economy lifestyle brand" as part of its push to diversify its accommodation ecosystem into the economy lifestyle, mid-scale and extended stays segments.
Sans, which means 'chill' in Bahasa Indonesia, will be launched in Indonesia from November onwards, with a total of five new addresses by end of 2020.
This marks RedDoorz's second brand launch this year after KoolKost, a budget hotel brand and co-living service which was pushed out in beta mode in Indonesia earlier in January for customers to rent long-stay rooms under flexible leases.
Accompanying these stay options is a rebranding campaign in Q1 2021, which will see a multi-brand accommodation platform, redesigned app giving easy access across RedDoorz's various accommodation brands, as well as a new loyalty programme to earn and redeem discounts and access exclusive partner benefits.
Radisson wants to convert independents into Individuals
Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) has unveiled a new conversion brand, Radisson Individuals, for independent hotels and local, regional chains keen to join the group's platform.
"We created Radisson Individuals in response to the evolving demands of the modern market for both hotel owners and guests. Joining Radisson Individuals is an ideal first step for individual hotels with strong service scores who wish to remain independent or may be considering transitioning to one of our successful core brands, as well as a strong proposition for local, regional hotel brands seeking to explore additional distribution channels and/or co-branding options," said Federico González, CEO, RHG.
Hotels and chains which are keen to come under the RHG umbrella will have to undertake a compliance assessment focusing on four key parameters, SGS health and safety compliance, online index evaluated through their GRI, compliance with fire & life safety and the ability to connect to the Group’s main operating systems.
All members of Radisson Individuals will also receive training on the Group's “Yes I Can!” Service philosophy and ensure scores above 80% to ensure high guest service quality standards.
RHG said several hotels have joined Radisson Individuals in the UK and Asia.
Further in the EMEA region, RHG has signed 10 new hotels in Q3 2020, plotted for UK, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Egypt, and Nigeria. This is on top of the 15 signings announced earlier in Q2.