Yesterday, we noted that Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has more than tripled its number of Forbes Five-Star hotels over the past decade, making it the brand with the most five-star properties for 2014 – a total of 18 hotels in 11 destinations. Today, we're taking a look at the brand's strategy and the hotels, resorts and private residences that are joining the luxury pipeline.
President and CEO J. Allen Smith said in a statement that as a management company, the company is looking for owners and investors who share "long term vision and values," and that about one quarter of its investor/developer partners owns more than one Four Seasons property.
In the past three years, Four Seasons has unveiled a dozen new hotels and resorts in places like Baku, Shenzhen, Baltimore and the Serengeti. In the coming year, new properties will open in Moscow, Johannesburg, Orlando and Dubai, among others.
Executive Vice President Worldwide Development Scott Woroch called the company's strategy “multifaceted," and said that Four Season is targeting growing destinations and markets where they want to establish a local presence. “At the same time, we continually explore options to enhance our position in destinations where we currently operate.”
Upcoming hotels include a luxury resort inside Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (pictured below); a strategic foothold in the African subcontinent; a second location in Russia following the brand’s opening in St. Petersburg last year; increased presence in the Middle East with new locations in Bahrain and United Arab Emirates; new locations in India and the first in Korea; plus continued expansion into China’s major business and leisure destinations.
Rather than building new hotels, Four Seasons is also looking to reflag hotels that are currently established under another brand. In 2012, Four Seasons converted the historic Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, and this year the company will raise its flag above The Westcliff in Johannesburg. Another dimension to the company’s plans is the continued focus on residential opportunities. Two thirds of projects currently in development include a residential component, whether primary or secondary homes or vacation properties.
“Working with our owners, we are also looking at our existing locations with an eye to improving our market position, whether it’s extensive renovations as we recently completed in Buenos Aires, Riyadh and Las Vegas; or the creation of destination-specific restaurant and spa concepts,” Woroch said.
Planned New Openings in 2014, 2015 and beyond...
· Moscow, a renovation of the Hotel Moskva and the company’s second location in Russia, just steps from Red Square
· Orlando, a luxury resort inside Walt Disney World Resort
· Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, the first Four Seasons in UAE, close to the central commercial district
· Johannesburg, a conversion of the existing Westcliff hotel to Four Seasons, in the subcontinent’s gateway city and business capital
· Surfside, Florida, a revival of the Surf Club and the company’s fourth location in Florida
· Seoul, the company’s first hotel in Korea, located in the city’s Central Business District
· Casablanca, the second Four Seasons in Morocco, located on the city’s oceanfront promenade
· Kyoto, the company’s second destination in Japan, in the city’s historic Higashiyama-ku district
· Bahrain Bay, the first Four Seasons in the country, in a bridged double tower development on an island in the Bay
· Tianjin, the first Four Seasons in this destination and the ninth in China, located at the apex of the city’s motor and pedestrian thoroughfares
· Tanzania Safari Camp, the second of three projects in this country, located near the Ngorongoro Crater and UNESCO World Heritage Site
· Bengaluru, the second Four Seasons in the country, in southern India’s IT hub
· Philadelphia, a new Four Seasons hotel in the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center
· New York, a new Four Seasons hotel in Tribeca, complementing the brand’s Midtown location
Four Seasons has also previously announced plans for new hotels and resorts in Taghazout Bay, Morocco; Madrid, Spain; and Delhi, India.