CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), will enhance the design of its lodging products and services to ensure they are future-ready for continued growth in a post COVID-19 landscape.
Leveraging the existing design strengths of Ascott’s serviced residences, the company will redefine its guest experience to take advantage of the fact that there is likely to be a long-term shift towards more working from home, deeper health and safety concerns, and a rapidly digitising world.
Mr Kevin Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Group and Chief Executive Officer, The Ascott Limited, said: “Ascott’s serviced residences have remained resilient amid COVID-19. We continue to be the accommodation of choice by providing a safe haven for our guests who have placed their trust in Ascott. To cement the company’s position as a dominant lodging player and deliver more value for our guests and business partners, we are taking steps to ready Ascott for a post COVID-19 landscape. Ascott’s strong base of long-stay and corporate guests who appreciate the comfort, privacy and security of our spacious serviced residences remain the cornerstone of our business. We are working to double-down on this competitive advantage.
“Ascott is reviewing every touchpoint within the living and workspaces of our apartments to tap into the likelihood of long-term working from home arrangements. We are also improving our digital solutions and looking at leveraging smarter technologies to provide value and safety to our guests. As global and domestic travel restrictions ease, we have also launched ‘Ascott Cares’ to reassure our guests and staff that we have built upon our already stringent cleanliness and hygiene measures as we welcome new and returning guests home,” added Mr Goh.
Currently, Ascott’s spacious serviced apartments are already well-suited for guests who choose to stay indoors for extended periods of time. The separate living, working, and dining areas offer ample space for guests to unwind, exercise, work or have their meals within the apartment. Guests can also make use of the fully equipped kitchen and refrigerator within the apartment if they do not want to order meal delivery. With high-speed Wi-Fi, guests can stay in touch with their loved ones or attend and host online meetings with their colleagues.
Ascott is looking at upgrading its design to create a more productive workspace within the serviced apartment. Improvements to the overall ergonomics of the workspace may include better task lighting, better use of space and appropriate wall features suited for videoconferencing or webcasting.
Digital solutions and technologies may also be further deployed to provide convenience, value, and safety to guests. The use of sensors at Ascott properties can offer better safety through thermal scanning or to track footfall and crowds to facilitate better safe distancing measures, as well as smarter room energy and water management.
Ascott will increase adoption of mobile technology including the launch of a new mobile app later this year. A one-stop service, the app will offer guests contactless services such as contactless entry to their apartments, payments, check-in and check-out. It can also provide seamless in-room service and smart controls, management of Ascott Star Rewards loyalty points or redemption of special flash deals.
‘Ascott Cares’ – A commitment to cleanliness to reassure guests and staff Ascott will deliver stringent hygiene and cleanliness standards as well as safe distancing through its newly launched ‘Ascott Cares’ commitment, to continue providing safe homes for its guests, and a safe working environment for its staff. ‘Ascott Cares’ covers nine commitments to enhance Ascott’s existing cleanliness protocols:
1. Our Staff’s Work Environment
2. Guest Safety
3. Physical Distancing
5. Apartments & Rooms
6. Food & Beverage
7. Shared Facilities
8. Contactless & Paperless
9. Our Vendors
The comprehensive protocols that are in compliance with the World Health Organization standards and local regulations will be rolled out progressively to its properties globally from June 2020. For more information on ‘Ascott Cares’, please visit www.the-ascott.com/ascottcares.
Mr Alfred Ong, Head of Global Operations at The Ascott Limited, said: “Ascott has always placed the safety and well-being of our guests and staff as our top priority. ‘Ascott Cares’ reaffirms our commitment to deliver high standards of cleanliness. Safe distancing in shared spaces and increased sanitisation will be part of the new normal. A health and hygiene champion will also be appointed in each property to uphold these standards and act as an official liaison with local health authorities to ensure compliance with the latest regulatory health measures. With ‘Ascott Cares’, our valued guests will have greater peace of mind and full confidence in our commitment to their well-being.”
In the United Kingdom, Ascott is recently recognised by the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers for being an International Serviced Accommodation Accreditation Process (ISAAP) Quality Accredited and Compliance Assured Provider. To achieve the award, Ascott had to satisfy more than 250 rigorous ISAAP quality considerations in addition to prescribed regulations and best practice standards of safety, security and a duty of care.
In Singapore, Ascott properties that have achieved the National Environment Agency’s SG Clean certification include Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, Citadines Rochor Singapore and lyf Funan Singapore. Ascott Orchard Singapore is expected to receive its certification in June 2020.