Capri by Fraser at China Square targets millennial travellers

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
May 30, 2019 4:44 PM SGT
Opened for soft launch on May 6, the development is the Capri by Fraser’s second hotel residence in Singapore (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Twice a week, Vernon Lee, country general manager at Frasers Hospitality Singapore, would make it a point to organise bicycle tours around Changi and East Coast for guests at Capri by Fraser at Changi City.
The itinerary on these tours are not rigid and could take guests anywhere from East Coast Park to the NEWater Visitor Centre at Koh Sek Lim Road off Bedok or even to Marina Bay, depending on the guests’ stamina and requests.
Vernon Lee, country general manager at Frasers Hospitality Singapore (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
“We did a lot of food trails in East Coast because there are so many good eats nearby,” he says. “It’s about engaging the guests so that we know them personally and they are not just faces in the crowd.”
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As a result of these bicycle tours, Capri by Fraser at Changi City sees recurring visits from guests who have kept in touch with Lee through social media channels and make it a point to catch up with him when they are in town.
Social living
Now, Lee is hoping to create a similar “off the beaten track” experience for guests at Capri by Fraser at China Square. Opened for soft launch on May 6, the property is the brand’s second hotel residence here.
The Capri brand was launched in 2012 and was positioned to cater to millennials travellers. Capri by Fraser at Changi City was its first development.
Guests can enjoy views of the CBD from the rooftop pool (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Its second hotel residence at China Square features 304 rooms across 16 floors in 280 sq ft superior, deluxe and executive, and 312 sq ft studio configurations. All rooms have a kitchenette equipped with a microwave and mini-fridge, and the studios have an additional cooker hood and hob.
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Designed with social living in mind, the property features The Den, a co-working space dedicated for guests. This includes wireless charging and work pods for guests who prefer some privacy. The space is also stocked with ready-to-eat meals, coffee, juices, and snacks.
“Ready-to-eat meals are not something that every hotel provides, but millennials may prefer this fuss-free meal as opposed to going to the restaurant,” says Lee. For guests who are not keen on microwavable meals, the hotel also has a restaurant. Lee adds that he is always happy to recommend good eats within the vicinity since the development is close to Chinatown, Maxwell and Telok Ayer.
Designed with social living in mind, the development features The Den, a co-working space dedicated for guests (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
In addition to The Den, the hotel has also turned its launderette into a social space with a coffee table that incorporates the original Atari Pong arcade game. In due course, the hotel will be installing a PlayStation there as well. Meanwhile, its gym also provides guests with the option to socialise, with treadmills that can be synced to a network where guests can compete in a run with someone else located elsewhere in the world.
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To target millennials, the space is filled with “instagrammable” designs and artwork. BLINK Design Group was engaged to create vibrant art and designs that showcase iconic structures and early Chinatown dwellers, paying homage to the historical roots of Chinatown. Little touches can also be seen in the rooms. For example, the bedside table was custom-made to resemble a tingkat – a metal lunchbox comprising stacked tiers.
BLINK Design Group was engaged to create vibrant art and designs that showcase iconic structures and early Chinatown dwellers (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Leveraging technology
With this new hotel, Capri is also enhancing productivity through the use of technology. Doing away with the traditional use of room cards to activate power in rooms, all rooms are now powered by smart control technology that detects guest occupancy, improving overall energy efficiency.
Capri is also working on a separate cloud-based app that taps on the in-room smart control to prioritise housekeeping, together with RFID tagging of linen and uniforms to aid delivery and tracking.
“Things like that enhances our productivity,” says Lee. “We’re not really at the age of full automation yet; I think the technology can handle it but right now a lot of people still like human interaction.”
An upcoming Frasers Hospitality app will also enable Capri to meet guests’ needs on the go, including 24/7 concierge services complemented by chatbot technology. The app will be beta-tested at Capri by Fraser at China Square this year before being rolled out across all properties worldwide. For now, Capri will continue to retain a manual check-in so guests have the option to speak to someone if they prefer.
The property at China Square features 304 rooms in 280 sq ft superior, deluxe and executive, and 312 sq ft studio configurations (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Prime location
Since its launch in 2012, the Capri brand has expanded to over 3,300 rooms in 13 cities including Barcelona, Berlin and Ho Chi Minh. According to Frasers’ Lee, the reason for Capri taking seven years to open its second location in Singapore is the lack of “right locations”.
At Changi City, Capri is next to Changi Business Park and within proximity to Singapore Expo and Changi Airport, providing a good catchment of guests all year round.
“It is not easy to find a similar site that is right next to a business park,” Lee observes. “We were lucky with this China Square site because we are [within walking distance] to the Singapore River and we are surrounded by MNCs so there is a good mix of corporate travellers as well as people who want to discover Singapore.”
According to Govinda Singh, executive director of Colliers International, room occupancy is expected to continue growing in 2019 and beyond. “In addition, given the already high room occupancy levels, and the continued low levels of new supply anticipated, hoteliers can be expected to drive room rates even higher,” he says.
Capri by Fraser at China Square is expected to open officially in November this year. Prior to that, Frasers’ Lee hopes to be able to come up with a guest experience that is as unique as his bicycle tours at Changi City.
“Our initial thought was to curate a food trail, but that isn’t very personal. It’s something that I could just give recommendations to guests and they could go on their own. For now, we will just continue walking around the area to see what interesting finds there are,” he says.