Hotel management company Staywell Hospitality will bring one of Japan’s most luxurious accommodation brands, Prince Akatoki, to Sydney and Melbourne, as part of plans to ramp up its business in Australia.
Staywell, which was bought by Prince Hotels, a subsidiary of Tokyo-listed conglomerate Seibu Holdings in 2017, operates 10 hotels and 553 rooms in Australia under its locally developed Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands. Its largest hotel is the 122-room Park Regis City Centre in Sydney.
As Seibu Holdings looks to grow its global hotel portfolio from 84 locations to 250 over the next decade, Staywell president Simon Wan said it planned to open its first Prince Akatoki in Sydney by 2025 and a second in Melbourne by 2026.
Staywell will bring its five-star Prince Akatoki brand to Sydney and Melbourne 
In addition, Mr Wan said Staywell would bring two other brands into the Australian market over the next few years – its neighbourhood-style Park Proxi hotels and its more corporate-focused Park Regis by Prince – as part of plans to grow its local portfolio to 15 hotels within five years.
“Japan is one of the largest investors into Australia, but there are no Japanese-branded hotels in Australia. Zero,” Mr Wan said.
“You have American hotels with Marriott, French with Accor and British with IHG, so we see a gap in the market for hotels promoting Japanese culture, service and food,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
Staywell’s five-star Prince Akatoki brand debuted in London’s Marylebone in September 2019, replacing the former Arch Hotel near Marble Arch.
Showcasing Japanese interior design, furnishings and cuisine, the luxury brand will soon expand into new locations such as Guangzhou and Bangkok before debuting in Australia.
Mr Wan said the Australian hotel market had bounced back much stronger than expected, with a number of Staywell hotels now more profitable than they were before the onset of the pandemic.
He said there were opportunities to transform older hotels into new Staywell brands like Prince Akatoki, similar to what Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud plans to do with the newly acquired Rydges Sydney Harbour, which will be converted into a Crystalbrook Collection hotel.
”There are a couple of existing hotel owners who have been affected during COVID and do not have sufficient income to service their debt and need to restructure,” Mr Wan said.
Simon Wan: Plenty of growth in Australia 
Regarding its other brands, Mr Wan said its more casual Park Proxi brand was well suited to growing suburban locations such as Fitzroy and Richmond in Melbourne, or Newtown and Chatswood in Sydney.
Its expansion plans include working with local pub owners that already have an accommodation component that can be expanded and improved.
”We’re talking to a number of pub owners and operators about converting their accommodation into a Park Proxi, making use of the existing F&B already there and maybe adding a couple of floors,” he said.
Follow the topics, people and companies that matter to you.
Fetching latest articles
The Daily Habit of Successful People