James Koh’s Global Premium Hotels gets Accor boost

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Franchise agreement with international brand Accor sees the rebranding of 15 hotels in his privately-held Singapore portfolio.

Koh: That’s why Accor saw us as a perfect fit for midscale and economy brands. We are enjoying over 90% occupancy at most of our hotels (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Staff at James Koh’s hotels know their “Boss” has arrived as soon as they see his dark grey and silver Rolls Royce Ghost pull up and park at the side of the building. Koh is not chauffeur-driven in his Rolls Royce as one would expect. After all, he is a billionaire hotelier and property tycoon who is consistently ranked among Singapore’s richest.
“I don’t know why, but I prefer to drive myself,” says the 56-year-old chairman of the privatised Global Premium Hotels Ltd (GPH), as well as executive chairman and CEO of listed Fragrance Group Ltd.
Most people can’t leave home without their mobile phone these days. For Koh, who carries a Nokia flip phone (the non-smartphone version), it is his pocket calculator that he can’t do without, he says. It is a useful tool, and he demonstrates just how: First, it fits perfectly into his shirt pocket; and he just needs to whip it out, punch in some numbers, do some quick calculations and within minutes, pronounce whether a property or a site for sale is a “yes” or a “no” for him.
ibis budget Crystal, one of 13 properties in the Global Premium Hotels portfolio that has been rebranded ibis budget (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
A recent deal that probably took longer than a yes-or-no response was a franchise agreement between Koh’s GPH and Accor. As part of the deal, 13 Fragrance hotels in GPH’s portfolio will be rebranded ibis budget, according to an announcement by Accor on Oct 7. It also marks the debut of Accor’s ibis budget brand in Singapore.

REBRANDING, REFURBISHMENTS

Six of the 13 Fragrance hotels that are rebranded ibis budget are located in Geylang. As part of the rebranding exercise, the 13 GPH properties are being refurbished to be in keeping with Accor’s brand standards for...