The big interview: Paul Jones, CEO, The Lux Collective

by | 07 Dec 2022 | Interview, People

Singapore-based The Lux Collective (TLC) is turbocharging its global hotel development with a particular pan-Asian focus, including creating a fourth hotel brand.

We got the lowdown on the premium group’s upcoming moves from CEO, Paul Jones. The luxury hotel operator currently manages 16 resorts and hotels in Mauritius, Maldives, China and Ile de la Reunion, across the Lux, Salt and Tamassa brands, with Socio on the way. The firm also oversees Hotel Le Recif, Reunion Island and Ile des Deux Cocos, Mauritius, a private paradise island, as well as running a restaurant and bar brand, Café Lux.

What’s the current size of The Lux Collective’s overall pipeline and how has this progressed over recent years?

TLC has 11 more hotels in its development pipeline in Europe, Asia and Middle East. Our latest deals include the signing of the first Guangzhou hotel management agreement in July 2022. This will see us jointly creating and building the first luxury urban resort in Guangzhou, China – Lux Guangzhou – with Jumbo Group in China. The new hotel is expected to open in June 2024.

Our development progress over recent years includes the launch of Lux Grand Baie in Mauritius in December 2021, making it the first newbuild luxury resort in Mauritius in 15 years; and our newest opening in September 2022, Lux Tea Horse Road Shangri-La, in Yunnan, Shangri-La.

Are you concentrating on expanding any particular brand?

Our group is looking at a dynamic expansion for our flagship luxury brand, Lux. I would like to reveal our ambitious expansion plans with new openings in the Middle East, South-East Asia and Europe. With our award-winning resorts, Lux is designed on the promise of a different kind of luxury, one that helps our guests celebrate life throughout their stay. We re-define the modern style of luxury and are excited to expand our global footprints into new awe-inspiring destinations set in secluded nature.

Looking to 2023 and beyond, we have four innovative projects for our luxury flagship brand. Travellers seeking rich cultural heritage and scenic settings can explore the desert of Sharjah with a duo of openings in early 2024, Lux Al Jabal and Lux Al Bridi. Those seeking a new-kind of island life can uncover the jungle-draped coastlines of Luxnam Phu Quoc in Vietnam while, for those looking to learn about the art de vivre, Lux Marseillan in southern France will offer guests a beachfront vineyard getaway with panoramic views of the Mediterranean when it opens in 2024.

Luxnam Phu Quoc will be overwater – will this pose any additional design and construction challenges?

Our latest signing Luxnam Phu Quoc will be a newbuild located on the remote Northern coast of Phu Quoc. Tucked away between a pristine beach and tropical jungle, the dragon-shaped resort consists of two areas connected by a sleek 2-kilometre jetty over the lagoon.

The project posed challenges in terms of time and construction. Being overwater, we work closely with the local authorities, and we are particularly mindful to build in harmony with nature while protecting the biodiversity of the surrounding environment.

Designed around sustainability, the tropical modernist resort will showcase natural beauty from every room to inspire the most discerning traveller looking for a natural escape, exquisite design and conscious travel. Overseeing panoramic sea views, the design inspiration originates from reimagined Vietnamese traditions with a minimalist twist. The stylish ambience combines comfort and sophistication. Additionally, the group’s sustainability DNA is thoughtfully incorporated throughout the resort, which is expected to open in late 2024.

How are you progressing your brand portfolio?

Focusing on innovation as part of our DNA, we are in the midst of developing our new fourth brand, Socio, in Mauritius. Named Socio Tribeca, this exciting urban hotel is scheduled to open in 2024.

Socio is all about helping people be the best version of themselves 24/7. Socio is designed around the guests, whoever the individuals may be. It is not like other hotels that cater to the masses. Emphasising a personalised service philosophy and approach, it is less ‘have a nice day’ and more ‘how can I make your day better?’

Are there any regions or countries you think present the best opportunities for hotel development?

Middle East, Indian Ocean, East and South Africa and Asia.

What percentage of your pipeline is newbuild and what is converted?

Currently, 100% of our pipeline properties are newbuild. However, we are very prepared to consider conversion projects where we are certain to add considerable value.

Which factors are most influencing your development decisions?

First and foremost, key factors include the potential of sustainable development and growth of the destinations and the business partners we work with. As a purpose-led global hospitality group, we are passionate to work with like-minded partners who share and believe in our group’s vision.

At the heart of our purpose, TLC makes each moment matter and cares about what matters. Putting people first is the core of our TLC’s culture as well as staying true to the values of being passionate, responsible and innovative in all that we do. By providing comfort through thoughtful and exquisite designs, TLC creates experiences that make each moment matter for all guests.

Most importantly as an industry hospitality leader, we are deeply committed to operating in a considered and respectful manner that is mindful of future generations. As such, ensuring sustainable development for our partners and the destinations where we will plant our flags will allow us to champion and protect the environment, the heritage and the culture while contributing to the society and uplifting livelihoods of the local community for greater good.

Is the volatile economic environment affecting your development strategy at all?

With the much-anticipated economic recession setting in, the volatile business environment will generally slow down the industry’s momentum and henceforth, business development as investors and business partners take time to evaluate and review their signings of new hotel management agreements in this challenging time.

What criteria do you use to decide which suppliers to work with on your hotel developments?

Like-minded supply chain partners with a strong sustainability focus is key in our selection criteria. We believe in building a circular economy that is for the greater good of the planet, people and community. Thus, we support the local suppliers, especially the local entrepreneurs when working on our hotel developments.

Besides the high quality of products and services expected from these suppliers, we evaluate deeper into the purpose of the suppliers’ companies to ensure our shared values of sustainability and passion in developing a stronger society together are aligned.

How do you see The Lux Collective’s portfolio progressing?

I am excited by the progressive portfolio growth of The Lux Collective over the next few years. We also have many other hotels in our Chinese pipeline, comprising: Lux Hengqin, Zhuhai (opening 2024), Lux Liyang, Jiangsu (opening 2024), Lux Doumen, Zhuhai (opening 2025), Lux Wenzhou, Zhejiang (opening 2026) and Lux Pu’er (opening 2025).

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

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