St Giles Hotels offers travellers a growing collection of centrally and strategically located, individual and inspired hotels in the heart of major cities. Here, we take the opportunity to sit down with Abigail Tan, CEO of the company to learn more and find out about what’s in the pipeline.
The hotels of St Giles are the hidden gems of the cities they serve, creating new and innovative experiences for guests that turn your average trip into something out of the ordinary. Grouped by the three different levels of excellence, the company’s hotels offer true value but not at the expense of personality or style. The portfolio currently consists of eight properties across its three tiers. In the mid-range there are three hotels, two of these are in UK, St Giles London and St Giles Heathrow and one is in the Philippines, St Giles Makati. A further three are classed as premium hotels, two are in Malaysia, The Boulevard – A St Giles Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and The Wembley – A St Giles Hotel in Penang and one is in Australia, The Tank Stream – A St Giles Hotel in Sydney. The final two are upscale hotels and these are situated in USA, The Tuscany – A St Giles Signature Hotel in New York and in Malaysia, The Gardens – A St Giles Signature Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
“The past year has been one of preparation, strategizing and planning for what is to come in 2020 and onwards in terms of growth, development and perception of the brand and portfolio,” explains Abigail Tan, CEO of St Giles Hotels. “We have embarked on a rebranding programme that will redefine and reinvigorate the St Giles brand, as well as launching a sub-brand which will clarify our mid-range category – all the while maintaining the existing culture, personality and energy that the current properties exude.”
In the first months of next year the business will launch its ninth property, a new premium property in SouthKey – the newest business district of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Ideally located near the border of Singapore and Malaysia, the hotel will be part of a mixed-use development project by the parent company of St Giles Hotels, IGB and will offer guests the full experience in 575 rooms. Next year will also see the launch of its portfolio wide loyalty programme. The programme will be recognising and rewarding guests with exclusive perks and members-only experiences localised to the destination of each of its hotels. Looking forward, Tan explains what markets the brand is currently aiming for. “My main focus from 2020 onwards is Europe and the UK’s main cities. The European focus will be on Germany, Portugal, Spain, Poland and Bulgaria. In the UK, we are looking at development in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.”
Location and the culture of the city, as well as the style and energy of the property is what initially attracts them to new properties, whilst they keep their current locations attractive and exciting by embracing the local energy of its surroundings. Tan says that the hotel experience is unique as they create a sense of place by infusing local influences in design, décor, food, guest perks and special offers. Guests remain loyal to the brand and its destinations because of the very friendly and welcoming staff, as many of them have been there for several years and have built strong relationships in this time. The excellent and convenient locations have played a big part in this customer loyalty, as well as the personalised service guests receive when they stay at a St Giles location. “Our people, who we also refer to as our family, are the key drivers behind the success of the company. Their values, commitment and love are the heart of what make this business successful,” says Tan.
Next year will see St Giles launch its eShop, a platform that will allow creators within each of its communities to sell its unique creations, while benefitting local charities. As for its social media output, they are long term embracers of the medium as important channels to communicate with its guests. The brand recognises that the modern traveller engages many channels and touchpoints when making travel decisions and they aim to be present at every micro-moment of influence. The ethos of St Giles is providing a warm and friendly home-away-from-home in a convenient location at a great value for a fulfilling and inspiring guest experience.
“The ever-evolving hospitality scene – from design to guest demographics – is a key topic which keeps us on our toes. However, we get excited about this challenge as it forces change, adaptation and flexibility in an industry that can be rigid and at moments behind the times. Our challenge is how we can continue to attract the best workforce and instil in our team a passion for hospitality that goes far beyond clocking in and out,” Tan concludes.