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 in 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 implementing upgrades to deliver the revamped brand reflect.
Signature brand design includes a lobby wall feature, a nature-inspired centerpiece. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has a green wall built on the exterior of the property to create a natural ambience, while Somerset City Center Atyrau in Kazakhstan and Somerset Maslak Istanbul in Turkey are working on a living wall in the lobby install to present. guests a scenic and peaceful access to the properties. Somerset West Bay Doha, Qatar has a dedicated wall in its social room, specially designed with wall art and counters decorated with seasonal plants.
Further reflecting sustainability, Ascott’s regional properties spearhead dedicated gardens for their kitchens. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has planted herbs that are used in food preparation and as a way to engage long-stay guests as part of the community. Somerset City Center Atyrau will introduce an organic garden for guests to enjoy freshly grown vegetables, while the restaurant at Somerset Westview Nairobi serves an organic menu with farm-to-table meals.
Within Somerset estate grounds, the Eco Play Area and Gym is a child-friendly area with biophilic elements and play features powered by solar and kinetic energy. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain specially designed an ‘ocean’ themed room for children, while Somerset Downtown Al Khobar switched its play area to one that encourages children to engage in more physical games rather than electronic ones. Somerset Westview Nairobi’s dedicated play area is equipped with toys, drawing books, colors and puzzles, displaying bright and vibrant colours.
Guests can also work out at the Eco Gym, which includes gym equipment and technology that is either energy-saving or power-generating. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain is home to a hand-treadmill machine that generates energy when operated, powering the tablet attached to the machine. At Somerset Downtown Al Khobar, the space is equipped with wood-look flooring and non-electric consumables, while Somerset Maslak Istanbul will introduce an outdoor gym with plates and yoga supplies.
The recently opened franchise property Somerset Al Mansoura Doha will also implement the new Somerset brand signatures to offer guests a sustainable stay in the capital 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 heading to Senegal in Q2 2023.
Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s managing director for brand and marketing, said: “Sustainable travel has gained prominence in recent times as travelers become more socially conscious and aware of their environmental footprint. We are seeing a return trend towards family holidays and multi-generational trips, and Somerset has been most popular with our guests due to its flexibility to cater for different travel purposes – from long-stay moves to short-stay holidays. Against this backdrop, the Somerset brand has been refreshed to meet travellers’ growing expectations for sustainability, whilst ensuring they can immerse themselves in a truly inclusive, harmonious experience.”
Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s managing director for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, added: “We are delighted to launch 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 awareness 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.”
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 renewal of the Somerset brand marks another milestone in marking Ascott as one of the first hospitality groups to be awarded standard status recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Somerset’s brand update is part of Ascott’s Brand360 strategy, a group-wide exercise to strengthen its extensive brand portfolio through sharpened brand stories and the launch of signature experiences and programs 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 introduce new brand signatures and programs in 2023.