July 16, 2024

Ascott partners with Premier League football club

The Ascott Limited (Ascott), owner of The Cavendish and Citadines brands, has added six new properties to its European portfolio and has announced a partnership with Chelsea Football Club.

Marking the introduction of The Unlimited Collection brand and expansion of the lyf brand in Europe, the new properties boost Ascott’s portfolio in Europe by 14%, to about 8,000 units across six brands.

They extend Ascott’s presence from 24 to 29 European cities. That now includes Colmar in France, as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester and Manchester in the UK.

Chelsea FC

To boost its visibility in Europe, Ascott has entered a four-year partnership with Chelsea Football Club, becoming the Official Global Hotels Partner of the English Premier League club.

As part of the partnership, Ascott will assume management of the hotels at Chelea’s Stamford Bridge stadium, totalling 232 units, in the second half of 2024. The hotels will be rebranded as lyf Stamford Bridge London in the second half of 2025.

Kevin Goh, Chief Executive Officer for Ascott and CLI Lodging, explained that five of the six new signings in Europe in 2024 are conversion projects. He added that the continent, as a global tourism and business hub, plays a key role in the expansion plans of the company, which will leverage Ascott’s flex-hybrid hotel-in-residence model.

“We expect franchise management to be our next pillar of growth in Europe, where market conditions are conducive for this business segment. For our existing owners, we will continue to deliver sustained value by embarking on asset enhancement initiatives that update and elevate the stay experiences of guests,” said Goh.

Lee Ngor Houai, Chief Operating Officer, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), South Asia and China at Ascott, said: “Our European portfolio has been delivering strong performance, driving average daily rates of almost 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels. In 2023, our properties in Europe far exceeded all other markets in terms of revenue per available unit (RevPAU) and contributed to almost 16% of Ascott’s global revenue.”

Leveraging partnerships

The Chelsea partnership will see collaborative efforts to offer ‘money can’t buy’ experiences for members of the Ascott Star Rewards loyalty programme. These include exclusive access to matches at Stamford Bridge and VIP visits to Chelsea’s Cobham Training Centre.

Tan Bee Leng, Chief Commercial Officer at Ascott, said: “With loyalty as a key driver of growth, we recognise the importance of providing unique and impactful experiences for loyal members of Ascott Star Rewards. Offering exclusive opportunities to attend coveted events like Premier League football matches, major tennis tournaments and other high-profile activities not only enhances travel experiences but also deepens guests’ connection with our brands.”

Further events are in the pipeline following the Ascott Privilege Signatures programme’s first global event, which included a stay at The Cavendish London and access to third-round championship tennis matches at Wimbledon, on 6 July.