CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is unveiling its newest brand, Lyf (pronounced ‘life’), designed for and managed by millennials who wish to experience destinations as locals do. Going beyond traditional hospitality concepts, Lyf signifies a new way of living and collaborating as a community, connecting guests with fellow travellers and change-makers.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Millennials already form a quarter of Ascott’s customers and this segment is poised to grow exponentially. Lyf is a unique accommodation tailored for this demographic, including technopreneurs, start-ups and individuals from music, media and fashion. We do not define millennials by age but instead they are a social generation who crave discoveries and desire to be part of a community. Lyf will provide global jetsetters and trendsetters with the opportunity to ‘Live Your Freedom’ in a dynamic environment and network with like-minded creatives to bring more ideas to life. Most importantly, they can be assured of a consistent quality in products and services, given Ascott’s track record in managing award-winning properties worldwide. With the rising trend of coliving and co-working, Ascott aims to have 10,000 units under the Lyf brand globally by 2020.”
Mr Lee added: “Lyf marks another milestone in Ascott’s innovation journey to design products and experiences for the future of travel. We are on the lookout for sites in key gateway cities for Lyf and we are open to both investment and management contracts to meet the growing demand for such co-living spaces – including Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. As we scale up to achieve our global target of 80,000 units by 2020 through Lyf and our other brands, our guests can easily take their pick from our wide-ranging portfolio across the world. We will continue to test new concepts to seize market opportunities and raise the bar in our customer experience to ensure that Ascott retains its leading edge in the industry.”
Unlike conventional serviced apartments, the properties will be managed by Lyf Guards, millennials who may be residents themselves, community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers and problem solvers all rolled into one. Lyf Guards, guests and partners can conduct workshops with local craftsmen, hackathons with local start-up accelerators or innovation talks. Residents may even score exclusive invites to local music festivals and concerts.
Designed to facilitate interaction between guests, each Lyf property has its own unique personality with fun and quirky design elements. They will all have ‘Connect’ communal spaces, co-working areas that can be easily transformed into zones for workshops or social gatherings. Residents can also hangout at the ‘Wash & Hang’ laundromat and play a round of Foosball while waiting for their laundry to be done. The ‘Bond’ social kitchen is where guests can prepare home-cooked meals, take cooking classes and socialise while learning more about global cuisines from other residents. Lyf properties may incorporate interactive digital art pieces or even giant ball pits, hamster wheels and oversized Connect Four sets for the kids amongst us.
The residence will offer a range of apartment layouts from ‘Big Bed’ rooms (studios) to ‘Two of a Kind’ rooms (twin rooms) – two private rooms with a shared kitchen. Project groups can opt for the ‘All Together’ unit (business suites) which have smart display screens for video conferencing and discussions while a large table doubles up as a collaborative working zone and dining area. Instead of standard wardrobes, guests can hang their clothes on rails that suspend from the ceiling or put up a hammock for a lazy afternoon snooze.
The size of the millennial travel market is expanding rapidly and individuals in their 20s and 30s will account for more than half the workforce by 2020 1 . With millennial travellers spending more than US$200 billion2 annually, Ascott is already host to a significant number of millennials and will further cater to the growing demand with Lyf. The launch of the new brand comes on the back of a year of remarkable growth for Ascott with more than 10,000 units added globally.