UK: Frasers Hospitality has launched a pilot of its Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraser partnership with the luxury German car manufacturer.
From November 2015, visitors to London will be able to book six
serviced apartments that have been designed by Mercedes-Benz Style.
A further nine apartments will follow at the beginning of next year
in Singapore, and the partners aim to roll the concept out to other
key cities if it is successful.
Mercedes is looking to "translate its expertise in cutting-edge design, innovative technologies and integrated transport solutions to the serviced apartment sector".
Inspired by the interiors of the company's current vehicle range, the team at Mercedes-Benz Style designed the interiors of the apartments in conjunction with design partners Burmester and Swarovski. The apartments are aimed at "business travellers and individuals who don't want to compromise on style and comfort when they are away from home". The project is based on an idea by the Business Innovation department, the Daimler think tank that is tasked with identifying new areas of business, and posed the question, 'why should a traveller have to leave sophistication behind when getting out of a Mercedes-Benz?'
Wilfried Steffen, head of the Business Innovation department at Mercedes said: "More and more people are permanently on the move. They live and work in unfamiliar cities where they are looking for a 'home away from home' and a sense of security. That's exactly what we want to offer them - and at the very highest level and with the perfection and quality that you'd expect from Mercedes-Benz."
"As in our vehicles we have combined sensual surfaces and clean lines with intelligent high-tech functionality in order to create a perfectly conceived world of modern luxury that promotes wellbeing and relaxation," said Gorden Wagener, head of Design at Daimler AG.
The six London apartments, which are located in Kensington, have around 100 square metres of space that includes a living and dining area, a fully fitted kitchen and two bedrooms. The nine apartments in Singapore will have around 50 square metres of living space. The choice of furniture and accessories as well as the varying colour and lighting concepts clearly bear the signature of the Mercedes-Benz Style designers.
The company says: "Furniture elements that would typically be separate instead form a seamless whole, creating new, self-contained spaces. Contrasts are used intentionally to create visual interest, while a blend of free-form shapes and geometry produce an aesthetically accomplished composition. This is exemplified by the 'Black Magic Wall'. This media wall with integrated smart TV and high-gloss black finish has a cool technical appearance that creates an intentional contrast to the historical Kensington Street in which the apartments are located. It blends seamlessly into the beautifully designed sideboard, above which there is a sculptural element reminiscent of the feature line of a car."
Choe Peng Sum, CEO of Frasers Hospitality Group, said: "Frasers Hospitality is delighted about this partnership with Mercedes-Benz to create Mercedes-Benz Living @Fraser - where our guests can now choose to experience exclusive bespoke modern luxury living - door to door."
The apartments in London can be booked from mid-November at Fraser Hospitality. In Singapore they will be ready for their first occupants in the first quarter of 2016. "Once we have successfully concluded the pilot phase in spring 2016, we will be looking to come to a decision with our strategic partner about rapidly expanding the Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraser concept to other cities," said Steffen. "Our aim is to turn the idea of the Mercedes apartments into a functioning business model as quickly as possible. Successful past projects such as car2go show that this is within our capabilities."
Click on the image below to view the promotional video interview with Wilfried Steffen, director, Daimler Business Innovation; Gabrielle Mussotter, project manager, Mercedes-Benz Living @Fraser; Guus Bakker, CEO Frasers Hospitality EMEA; Stefano Tan, manager, Mercedes Benz Style highlighting the luxury car maker's new found approach to hospitality.
As we see a growing trend for partnerships between luxury brands, the alliance between Frasers Hospitality and Mercedes-Benz makes perfect sense.
Top end hotels have been flying the flags of luxury brands for a while now - Bulgari and Armani for example, and there is even a Lamborghini branded hotel in China.
Car brands in particular - even in the light of the recent VW scandal - inspire fierce devotion in their fans. A motorsports-loving business traveller in London or Singapore offered the choice between a Mercedes-branded property and a generic apartment is going to choose the former, even at a premium price.
It will be interesting to see where the Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraser project goes after its initial trials in London and Singapore. More tie-ups between premium apartment operators and compatible luxury brands are surely around the corner.