Achieving a good balance for continuous occupancy

Oakwood’s aggressive expansion into Asia aims to satisfy its clients’ demands and needs which include meeting space and bespoke events

Dean Schreiber, CEO Oakwood and MD Oakwood Asia Pacific: "Most of the properties feature small to medium-sized spaces with the flexibility to cater for business meetings, seminars, conferences, and social events."  Credit: Oakwood

Asia - Oakwood has a long tradition of servicing the accommodation needs of corporate companies globally. Its aggressive plan to develop and grow its portfolio of branded properties is based on careful consideration of client expectations and needs. Mr Dean Schreiber, CEO Oakwood and MD Oakwood Asia Pacific, said: "As we incorporated what we learnt from them into our own branded properties, it became apparent we were building a loyal client base who started asking when we would be opening more properties in locations we have yet to move into. They wanted the full end-to-end Oakwood experience beyond just access to a booking platform.

"In Asia Pacific, this serviced apartment model has registered consistent growth with a strong market leadership position. This success could be attributed to how our operating model has gained a lot of attention from owners and developers looking for solid returns on investment.

"With the ability to achieve a well-balanced mix of long and short stays, owners and developers have come to recognise Oakwood's ability to limit volatility as its main business of extended stays ensures continuity of occupancy across the typical cycles of peaks and troughs in a property.

"This is particularly evident in the current COVID-19 pandemic, where we have seen the unprecedented closure of thousands of hotels around the world; yet at Oakwood, we have still been able to maintain stable occupancy rates at lower operating costs, and at the same time not having to sacrifice any service standards with this operating model. Apart from locations where we have been governed by the local authorities to close properties temporarily, all our properties have remained opened and operational to date."

Meeting facilities for clients
While a few properties such as Oakwood Hotel & Residence Surabaya and Oakwood Hotel & Residence Sri Racha have ballrooms that can respectively hold up to 350 and 600 people theatre-style, most of the properties feature small to medium-sized spaces with the flexibility to cater for business meetings, seminars, conferences, and social events.

Alternative venues within spacious apartments also allow meeting planners to have greater creativity when it comes to organising bespoke events such as product launches and networking sessions, added Mr Schreiber.

He said: "For us, the serviced apartment model creates new opportunities for growth across global regions and provides much needed flexibility for us to continue evolving in the hospitality market under the strength of the Oakwood brand. This move to focus on hospitality management services is a strategic one to complement our expansion plan to double Oakwood's portfolio of managed properties by 2025."

Oakwood projects in the pipeline include:

•    Australia: Dandenong (2021), Melbourne (Q1 2022)
•    Mainland China: Beijing (Q4 2020), Tonglu (Q1 2021), Chongli (Q3 2021) as well as Foshan and Nansha
•    Cambodia: Phnom Penh (Q1 2021)
•    Indonesia: Jakarta (Q4 2020)
•    Japan: Yokohama (October 2020) and Kyoto (2022)
•    Myanmar: Yangon (Q3 2021)
•    Thailand: Bangkok (Q1 2021)
•    The Philippines: Manila (Q42021)
•    Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City (Q2 2021)

Oakwood Suites Chongli: located in the 2022 Winter Olympics Zhangjiakou Zone. Credit: Oakwood

Distinct brands
Each of these projects will be branded accordingly under Oakwood's distinctive range of products:

Oakwood Premier: Luxury apartments tailored for the C-suites executives, business travellers, and affluent individuals who value bespoke experiences and guest recognition.

Oakwood Suites: Private and exclusive residences for seasoned travellers and senior executives who want to be empowered to define his/her experiences amidst understated sophistication.

Oakwood Residence: Spacious and elegant apartments for families in search of a comfortable relocation base, where they value a sense of community and appreciate service that is friendly, familiar and warm-hearted.

Oakwood Studios: Vibrant, curated spaces created for global nomads and experience-centric travellers with a millennial mindset.

Oakwood Hotel & Apartments: Functional accommodation with modern essentials for independent travellers who value connection and efficiency.

Oakwood WaterWalk: Providing flexibility for business travellers and families alike, Oakwood WaterWalk offers both furnished and residential apartments, combining upscale residential amenities with service-focused hospitality to accommodate both short- and long-term stays.

New in Chongli
Oakwood is partnering Sinobo Thaiwoo (Zhangjiakou Chongli) Cultural & Tourism Co to manage Oakwood Suites Chongli and Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Chongli, both of which are located in the 2022 Winter Olympics Zhangjiakou Zone. The Zone is accessible from Beijing in less than an hour via the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway.

Oakwood Suites Chongli is a private retreat nestled in the State Villas with unobstructed views of rolling greens and scenic mountains. Guests can select from 118 luxe studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. Facilties include a restaurant with a private dining room, a tea lounge, a lobby bar, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, a ski shop and a sundry shop.

Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Chongli is in Taizicheng Village - with premier outlets, retail, restaurants, bars, and co-working spaces. It will offer 173 hotel rooms and one-bedroom apartments, a dining area, fitness centre and meeting rooms.