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Katrina Group kickstarts hospitality expansion with new Chinatown hotel
CATALIST-LISTED food and beverage (F&B) player Katrina Group on Wednesday unveiled a hotel in Chinatown through its hospitality arm, as the first in a new line of affordable co-living hotels in the Asia Pacific.
Four more co-living hotels in Singapore under the ST Signature brand will be rolled out within the next 12 months, including the flagship one in Tanjong Pagar which will open its doors later in October.
This marks the group’s first major expansion since it entered the hospitality segment with its S$358,000 acquisition of serviced residences provider Straits Organization in December last year.
“The location and easy access to the Chinatown hotel make it an ideal choice for regular business travellers who want both convenience and luxury at an affordable price,” said chief host Ng Xin Fang, who runs the ST Signature line.
Now fully operational, ST Signature Chinatown features a proprietary smart Chat-In technology with a virtual host to provide concierge services. The multitasking chat platform also allows guests to check-in and check-out efficiently, communicate online with fellow guests without disclosing personal information, and buy e-tickets to tourist attractions.
Its 40 rooms are “intelligently designed” in interlocking S-shapes, making them spacious enough to be comfortable and yet compact enough to reduce the property’s carbon footprint and ensuring no square-inch is wasted, Katrina said. The design also provides pockets of space for co-working and networking.
Room rates at the Chinatown hotel range from S$60 to S$200 per night.
Katrina, which also owns and operates restaurants such as Bali Thai, Streats and So Pho, aims to become the largest co-living hotel brand in Singapore.
“We believe the co-living concept will continue to grow within the region, driven by the millennial demographic and with strong growth expected in the global business travel segment,” said Alan Goh, Katrina’s executive chairman and chief executive officer.
While flat-sharing or shared housing has been popular among students and young professionals, what differentiates co-living spaces is that they are professionally managed, often offering benefits and services beyond accommodation.
Straits Organization has a portfolio of over 600 serviced apartment units in Singapore and Hong Kong under its ST Residences brand.
In August, Katrina sank into the red with a net loss of S$2.1 million for the half year ended June 30, compared to a net profit of S$31,000 a year ago, amid higher expenses arising from the Straits Organization acquisition.
Its shares were flat at 16.4 Singapore cents as at 11.03am on Wednesday.