The Ascott reveals green rebrand for Somerset

by | 06 Dec 2022 | Portfolio

CapitaLand Investment’s The Ascott Limited has unveiled a brand refresh for Somerset Serviced Residences.

The updated concept features new experiences anchored in sustainable travel for multigenerational families.

Middle Eastern updates

As the second largest brand within Ascott’s global portfolio, the Somerset brand is present across 70 properties, including seven in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Central Asia, all of which are in the process of implementing upgrades to reflect the refreshed brand.

Signature brand design includes a lobby wall feature, a nature-inspired centrepiece. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has a green wall built on the external side of the property to create a natural ambiance, while Somerset City Centre Atyrau in Kazakhstan and Somerset Maslak Istanbul in Turkey are in the process of installing a living wall in the lobby area to offer guests a scenic and calm entry into the properties. Somerset West Bay Doha, Qatar features a dedicated wall in its social room, specially designed with wall art and counters adorned with seasonal plants.

Further reflecting sustainability, Ascott’s regional properties are spearheading dedicated gardens for their kitchens. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has planted herbs that are used in the food preparation and as a means of involving long-staying guests as part of the community. Somerset City Centre Atyrau will introduce an organic garden for guests to enjoy fresh farmed vegetables, while the restaurant at Somerset Westview Nairobi serves an organic menu featuring farm-to-table dining.

Green gyms

Within Somerset property grounds, the Eco Play Area and Gym is a kid-friendly area with biophilic elements and play features being powered by solar and kinetic energy. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has specially designed an ‘ocean’ themed room for kids, while Somerset Downtown Al Khobar has transitioned its play area to one that encourages kids to engage in more physical games rather than electronic. Somerset Westview Nairobi’s dedicated play area is equipped with toys, drawing books, colours and puzzles, showcasing bright and vibrant colours.

Guests can also work out at the Eco Gym, which includes gym equipment and technology that are either energy-saving or power-generating. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain is home to a manual treadmill machine that generates energy when worked on, powering the tablet attached to the machine. At Somerset Downtown Al Khobar, the space is kitted out with wooden look-alike flooring and non-electric consumption equipment, while Somerset Maslak Istanbul will introduce an outdoor gym comprising plates and yoga essentials.

The recently-opened franchised property Somerset Al Mansoura Doha will also implement the new Somerset brand signatures, to offer guests a sustainable stay in the capital city of Qatar. In Africa, Somerset Rosslyn Nairobi will double the brand’s site count in the Kenyan capital in Q4 2023, preceded by the 162-key Somerset Almadies Dakar which is heading to Senegal in Q2 2023.

Sustainability expectations

Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s MD for brand and marketing, said: “Sustainable travel has gained prominence in recent times as travellers become more socially conscious and aware of their environmental footprint. We are witnessing a returning trend towards family vacations and multigenerational trips, and Somerset has been most popular amongst our guests because of its flexibility to cater to different travel purposes – from long-stay relocations to short-stay vacations. Against this backdrop, the Somerset brand was refreshed to meet travellers’ growing expectations for sustainability, while at the same time ensuring they can immerse themselves in a truly inclusive, harmonious experience.”

Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s MD for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, added: “We are thrilled to introduce the refreshed Somerset brand across our regional properties and to see the brand signatures come to life. There is no doubt that sustainable travel and consumer sustainability consciousness will continue to rise, and our Somerset properties are at the forefront of providing our guests with the best hospitality experience that has sustainability at its core.”

Branding strategy

This brand refresh follows Ascott’s recently announced Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns Ascott’s growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. The refresh of the Somerset brand serves as another milestone to mark Ascott as one of the first hospitality groups to be conferred recognised standard status by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Somerset’s brand update is part of Ascott’s Brand360 strategy, a group-wide exercise to strengthen its expanded brand portfolio through sharpened brand stories and the introduction of signature experiences and programmes unique to each brand. The Citadines brand refresh was unveiled in September 2022. With the tagline ‘for the love of cities’, Citadines aims to offer the comfort of a serviced residence and the flexibility of a hotel. Ascott, Oakwood and The Crest Collection brands will also be rolling out new brand signatures and programmes in 2023.

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