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Wink Hotel offers lifestyle experience

Released at: 10:07, 09/01/2019

Wink Hotel offers lifestyle experience

Photo: VET Magazine

A new concept in Vietnam's hospitality sector, the first Wínk Hotel opening in 2020 will pioneer affordable luxury in the country.

Hundreds of people gathered in late November at 75 Nguyen Binh Kiem Street in Ho Chi Minh City to witness the breaking of ground at the first Wínk Hotel in Vietnam, marking the beginning of a revolution in the country’s hospitality sector. It was also a milestone for ICC-Kajima, a joint venture between Indochina Capital, a leading real estate property developer in Vietnam, and the Kajima Corporation, Japan’s most prolific overseas real estate developer, after more than two years since it was launched. 

Mr. Peter Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital, said that he and his team are extremely proud to give birth to Vietnam’s first international-standard hospitality brand. “In my 25 plus years of working in Vietnam’s real estate industry, I have had a front row seat and an active role in the emergence of the country as an economic force in the global area, experiencing a stunning transformation to its place in the global order,” he said. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to contribute to Vietnam’s emergence as one of the most exciting markets in the world through the development of Indochina Capital’s landmark hospitality projects - The Four Seasons Nam Hai, Six Senses Con Dao, and Hyatt Regency Danang. Wínk Hotels is our next statement, the next stage in our development portfolio and Vietnam’s maturity as a global hospitality player.” 

Pioneering affordable luxury

Located in a rapidly gentrifying area within District 1, Ho Chi Minh City’s CBD, the first Wínk Hotel will have 237 rooms in a modern design and with a hip interactive lobby, a co-working space, innovative food and beverage concepts, cutting edge technology, and beautifully-appointed minimalist-style rooms. Working closely with AW2, a Paris-based architecture company, and QUO Global, an innovative hospitality branding agency, Wínk aims to establish itself as a leading lifestyle brand with a forward-thinking approach and commitment to embracing both the modern and the traditional.

“Wínk Hotels champions the concept of affordable luxury,” Mr. Ryder said, adding that it doesn’t offer as many amenities as a traditional five-star hotel operator but is nonetheless of the highest quality. “Wínk Hotels will truly take Vietnam by storm, as most of the population has never experienced something quite like it. Offering minimalist but tasteful design while maintaining luxury levels of comfort, our visionary hospitality concept, Wínk Hotels, is pioneering affordable luxury in Vietnam.” 

Wínk Hotels targets guests who are aspirational and modern travelers, and while this segment is largely comprised of younger people there are no restrictions when it comes to age. “Young people will certainly make up a large portion of our guests, but we are targeting an attitude rather than someone’s age,” Mr. Ryder explained.

With Wínk Hotels, ICC-Kajima wants to bring the best hospitality experience to a segment that has a set of contemporary desires that have not yet been tapped into. Contrary to traditional hotels, Wínk Hotels will provide dynamic, aspirational branding options to customers, evolving to meet their needs as they grow and change over time. 

As of right now, Wínk is positioned in a very unique segment, meaning there is currently little to no competition, though change will come over the next year. “Our niche in the market is a large contributor to ‘our advantages’, but an integral aspect of the brand is the properties’ design,” Mr. Ryder said. He believes that Wínk personifies the 24/7 tenacity of the Vietnamese people and will accommodate their growing awareness and exposure to the rest of the world. 

The Wínk brand also caters to their fast-paced lifestyles and growing awareness and interaction with the world at large. Wínk aims to champion the “affordable luxury” segment in Vietnam, with a prominent focus on delivering an exciting lifestyle experience. 

Tapping into the market

Wínk Hotel Nguyen Binh Khiem is set to open in the first quarter of 2020 and will be the first of 20+ hotels that ICC-Kajima intends to develop throughout Vietnam over the next five to seven years, beginning with Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, and Hai Phong and ultimately including a number of secondary markets such as Nha Trang, Ha Long, Vung Tau, and Can Tho and quite possibly spilling into neighboring countries.

According to Mr. Ryder, however, to date their biggest roadblock has been sourcing land for projects. The company has focused their efforts on securing land within cities’ CBDs, as location is just as important to the overall guest experience. 

Another challenge has been educating people about the pioneering concept of affordable luxury. “As most people only concern themselves with star ratings and not the actual experience, we’ll need to go to great lengths to invest in product offerings that tap into the needs of the right target segment,” said Mr. Ryder. 

Following the Wínk Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, a Da Nang site was revealed to be located at 178 Tran Phu in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district. The 243-room Wínk Hotel will feature a sky lobby and spectacular views of the Han River, Hai Van Pass, Son Tra Peninsula, and the East Sea and is also scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.

International-standard budget hotels have barely made a mark in Vietnam. This is where an international-standard affordable luxury brand like Wínk Hotels has a lot of room to thrive, in the context of luxury products becoming less attractive to investors in terms of profitability. This promising mid-scale market, together with millennial and technology impacts, is reshaping the hospitality sector.

With an investment mandate of $1 billion plus, spread over the following several years, ICC-Kajima is committed to developing innovative and high-quality projects throughout Vietnam. “We will keep expanding the Wínk Hotel portfolio in upcoming years as our main real estate development business in Vietnam, but we are looking for opportunities in office, residential and other real estate development as well,” said Mr. Keisuke Koshijima, who heads Kajima’s Overseas Division.

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