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Ascott plots European expansion with Chelsea FC deal



Ascott plots European expansion with Chelsea FC deal

Accommodation provider Ascott is further expanding in Europe by taking over the two hotels based at Chelsea Football Club in London.

The Singapore-based company, which owns brands such as Citadines, Oakwood and Somerset, will turn the existing Millennium and Copthorne hotels at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium into a single Lyf property with 232 rooms.

The move is part of a wider agreement with Chelsea for Ascott to become the Premier League club’s global hotels partner, which was unveiled on Monday (8 July).

Ascott also announced a further four new properties in the UK with locations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester and Manchester set to open over the next two years under the Lyf or Unlimited Collection brands. While the company will open a Citadines in the French city of Colmar.

Tan Be Leng, Ascott’s chief commercial officer, said it would take over the running of the two properties at Chelsea FC in the coming months. The buildings will then be renovated and rebranded as a single Lyf property in the second half of 2025.

Ascott’s addition of six properties in Europe will increase its total number of rooms across the continent by 14 per cent to around 8,000 rooms. The company will also expand its presence from 24 to 29 European cities with the new locations.

Kevin Goh, Ascott’s CEO, said the company was “very focused on growing our brands” and it would “continue to invest” in Europe, including enhancements and renovations at existing European properties.

“As a global tourism and business hub, Europe plays a key role in Ascott’s expansion plans. The diverse and dynamic nature of its hospitality sector offers plenty of scope for Ascott to drive more successful partnerships with owners,” added Goh.

Other plans include renovating the existing Cavendish Hotel in central London, which will become the first UK property to be included in the Unlimited Collection brand.

During a press conference, Ascott executives said they hoped to expand into other European cities, particularly through the conversions of existing hotels, which would allow faster expansion with turnaround times for taking over “as quick as 30 days”.

Goh added that Ascott expected to open some of the new hotels in Europe later this year but some projects would take up to one year to complete the conversion process.

“With five of the six new signings in Europe year-to-date being conversion projects, Ascott’s established conversion capabilities has already been proven as effective in gaining the confidence of property owners,” said Goh.

“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.”

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