The last ten years has seen the number of branded residences increase by 170%, adding more than 52,000 units across 370 schemes internationally. Until now these luxury residences were concentrated in the USA and Asia, but Twenty Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, changed all that when it became the location for the first stand-alone residential project in the world to join the Four Seasons portfolio.
Located on one of the world’s grandest garden squares, Twenty Grosvenor Square, Mayfair is a home of historical significance, comprising thirty-seven private residences. Each home comes with a complete package of world-leading hotel services including concierge, security, housekeeping, catering and in-residence dining. Exclusive amenities include a private wine cellar, a spa with a 25m swimming pool, a treatment suite with steam room and sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, children’s playroom, games room, a cinema, business suite, a garden room and a private landscaped courtyard.
Twenty Grosvenor Square has been masterfully designed by Finchatton to combine exceptional elegance with legendary Four Seasons service to create the ultimate lifestyle experience. With a starting price of £17.5 million, each of the 37 large apartments of three, four and five bedrooms, has generous light-filled rooms looking south over Grosvenor Square, east over the courtyard garden or west towards Hyde Park.
Alex Michelin, Co-Founder, Finchatton explained why the branded residence sector is becoming so popular with the global elite: “Branded residences continue to be popular as they have conveniences of a kind you would normally only find in world-class hotels and resorts – a round-the-clock concierge team of expertly trained Four Seasons staff, in-residence dining delivered to you in the comfort of your home, and a whole range of services from housekeeping, laundry to babysitting, and pet care.
“Twenty Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, is Four Seasons’ first standalone residences globally and demonstrates this wonderful service level which is typically only found in the world’s best 5 star hotels, and it is proving extremely popular amongst buyers. Typically, they come with extremely high levels of personal service and in today’s world the convenience of being able to pick up the phone and have dinner prepared by world leading chefs or have a personalised well- being and fitness programme created for you by top trainers is invaluable. Branded residents also tend to come with very high levels of privacy and security which is more important than ever. Right now, Twenty Grosvenor Square is the only building in London offering this level of world-class residential servicing.”
Branded residences achieve a premium, on average, of 31% compared to equivalent non-branded properties, with Miami, Dubai and New York being the top three cities globally. Real estate company Savills’ 2020 Branded Residences Spotlight report predicts 2021 is set to be another record year with over 100 additional schemes opening. Hotel brands continue to dominate, accounting for 84% of complete schemes and 88% of the pipeline, but 11 new non-hotelier brands are expected to enter the sector by 2025.
London’s latest wave of this new style of luxury developments is growing increasingly popular. Mandarin Oriental is also expanding its branded residence concept, having entered the market with its One Hyde Park scheme in London. As well as a second development in London’s Mayfair district, the operator has plans for residences in Barcelona, Istanbul , Munich and Vienna to name a few.
Knight Frank’s Prime Central London Developments team, is working on Raffles’ first UK hotel and its first branded residences in Europe, The OWO. Ian Pidgeon, partner at Knight Frank GB said: “The prestige that is associated with best-in-class hotel brands such as Raffles appeals to the world’s high-net-worth individuals, who are looking for something completely unique.
“For these buyers, this is unlikely to be their primary address, meaning a branded residence really does tick all of the boxes. It offers the charm, service and amenities one would expect from a six star hotel but is still a private space that feels like home and can be returned to time and again. It is the perfect balance that makes branded residences so special, and which is ultimately driving demand and growth in the sector.”
Opening in 2022 opposite the Horse Guards in Whitehall, The OWO will be housed in the Grade II-listed Old War Office. Along with 85 homes and 125 hotel suites, there will be nine restaurants, many of which will be the first of their kind in London, and a world-class spa. Residents will have privileged access to a truly seamless, five-star hotel service that they can access 24 hours a day. Next year will also see the completion of the Belgravia-based The Peninsula, which, along with a five-star hotel, will be home to 26 exquisite residences.
The potential affiliation opportunities for the branded residence sector cannot be underestimated. For example, Versace, Bulgari and Armani, all have branded apartments in Dubai. And as the market matures, it is likely we will see branded residences emerge in mid chain scales. But ultimately, it is the close kinship with the traditional hospitality model that provides an opportunity for BCFA members.