seafront villa

A seafront villa at the Ritz-Carlton residences in Bodrum, Turkey

The concept of the branded residence was born in New York in 1927 when The Sherry Netherland Hotel began offering privately owned apartments overlooking Central Park. Since then, almost all major hotel groups have jumped on the trend, launching collections of luxurious, fully-serviced apartments and villas across the globe. Here, Dana Jacobsohn, the Senior Vice President of Residential Development at Marriott International discusses consumer trends, the impact of the pandemic, and the launch of the world’s largest branded residential complex to date

woman smiling

Dana Jacobsohn

1.Why do think branded residences have become more popular in recent years?

The comfort of buying into globally trusted brands like The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis is becoming even more important to buyers as it ensures the very best in services around the globe. All members of our dedicated residential staff go through over 150 hours of training annually and I think that level of service really appeals to buyers, especially during these unsure times.

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2. Has the pandemic brought about any changes in your sector of the real-estate industry?

Our branded residences business has been resilient, and we have seen strong consumer confidence despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The live, work and play phenomenon is a trend that we are seeing across our properties. Vacation homes are now becoming places where people stay for longer periods of time. Many of our residents are working from their homes, so they want to have offices and workstations that seamlessly fit into their lifestyle. We expect to see more vacation homes to become a primary place of residence in the future.

3. How do you engage your owners?

Our teams of dedicated residential staff often become like extended family to our residents. Staff members quickly become familiar with owners’ preferences, their pets, and family, so there’s a very deep level of personal engagement within the communities.

Often in our residences, we’ll have an owner’s lounge, and a place where, say, a celebrity chef comes and does a cooking instruction. However, due to the pandemic, we’ve had to get even more creative with our programming and how we engage with owners. For example, at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Los Angeles, the staff delivered food to residents during the pandemic, and we organised a cooking class via Zoom.

luxurious villa on the beach

A render of the living space inside a St. Regis branded beachfront villa

4. Where have you seen the most growth in recent years?

While the majority of our branded residential portfolio is in North America, more than 75% of our pipeline projects are outside the US. We are seeing strong interest from markets in Asia and the Middle East.

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5. What is the most common demand from buyers?

With over 100 locations across the globe, Marriott International’s branded residences portfolio offers something for everyone from beach-front resort-style properties to ski chalets in the mountains or homes that are within walking distance to restaurants in a bustling city. Our buyers’ lifestyle preferences vary, but the common thread is that they all want beautiful design, and trusted services. I think those will always be most important elements to a buyer, regardless of the location.

6. Can you tell us about latest project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam?

We were thrilled to announce this dual-branded project, The JW Marriott Residences and Marriott Residences, Grand Marina, Saigon earlier this year. Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the project marks the largest branded residential project in the world and is anticipated to include close to 4,200 residential and office units. Each private retreat will offer access to an array of high-quality hotel-like amenities and on-demand services for residents.

Find out more: marriottresidences.com