Asia-Pacific hotel management, development and consulting group, Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia (BHMAsia) reveals the plan to expand its design hotel brand X2 (CrossTo) to the international market. Last year, BHMAsia announced a new X2 Apartment in Sydney and X2 Chiang Mai Villa and so far this year BHMAsia has opened a new design resort X2 River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. X2 group has plans to open X2 Oasis Phuket Villa and X2 Mae Ping Villa in Chiang Mai in Q3 and Q4 of 2014 respectively, with another 6 properties in the pipeline for 2015.
“We have received a number of inquiries from property owners and investors who are interested to invest in or build X2 properties. They are impressed by the brands design-driven philosophy and the levels of international PR exposure the X2 properties have received. Instead of the typical verticals (that most brands have), X2 is a very special brand that goes horizontal. We have X2 Resorts, X2 Villas, X2 Apartments, X2 Residences and X2 Hotels. We can leverage it (X2 Brand) as we see fit because we own it and we know it,” enthuses Mr. Anthony McDonald, CEO of BHMAsia and Founder of X2.
Frederic Garnier, BHMAsia Director of Operations and Development adds, “We have X2 overseas projects in China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the pipeline. While continuing the global growth momentum, our team is working hard to expand X2 properties into the popular and emerging destinations in Thailand. We are going to open two exclusive X2 Villas in Phuket and Chiang Mai in the next couple of months while the X2 Residences projects in Kamala, Koh Samui, Kui Buri and Koh Kood are on-going. X2 Hat Yai Hotel is expected to open in 2016/2017. With some China projects under negotiation having over 150 rooms, we are confident to have 30 X2 properties by 2016. We have strong team with a lot of energy and international experience. Inquiries from property owners and investors are always welcome.” Strategic decisions and partnerships have been formed in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, which should see some exciting new projects in those countries.
As the number of hotels in the region expands, the marketplace is becoming more competitive and more sophisticated. Even though there is a trend to boutique, lifestyle and design hotels, to operate in the sector without a brand is extremely tough according to X2 Founder Anthony McDonald. He added, “We see it very clearly with the new properties that we are opening. The ramp up time, stabilization and ROI’s are all much faster when we have the X2 brand on a property. It is a plug and play type solution now, where we have a true boutique design experience, but with the full advantages of being part of a chain. It is a very compelling position we occupy in the market, which even big brands cannot deliver. With a portfolio of high design, sexy properties that have a dozen design awards between them, the brand and the properties have a true credibility in the space.
Over the course of the last 6 years, the brand has grown steadily, to the point now that it is the largest boutique brand in Thailand. With over 12 properties opened or under construction, and a new property opening rate of at least two per quarter, the brand is looking to have 30 properties by end of 2016. Mr. McDonald added, that “…the one area where we haven’t yet found a suitable property is Bangkok. We are currently looking for a property developer or hotel investor to work with to undertake a flagship project with us. The X2 brand has a strong mixed use “Hotel-Residence” model that provides exceptional returns for a property investor, so hopefully we can identify the right partner for us to do a larger scale project in the capital”.