Does your ideal ski home manage itself and come with the trimmings of a luxury hotel? Cue branded residences, the rising star of the international property market and now an emerging sector in ski resorts. We take a closer look…
Pick an exclusive district in any of the world’s most fashionable cities, such as Dubai, London or New York, and chances are its most talked about new developments include branded residences. The same goes for luxury beach destinations, including the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, and now the trend is catching on in leading ski resorts.
A branded residence is an upmarket residential development affiliated in terms of style and services with a luxury brand
To set the scene, a branded residence is an upmarket residential development that is affiliated in terms of style and services with a luxury brand, typically a premium hotel name. More often than not they occupy buildings located next to – or above – their associated hotel, giving property-owners direct access to the hotel’s services and facilities. Those with non-hotel brands will have luxury facilities on-site. Owners also have the option of having their property managed and rented out for them, making them a hands-off investment, often with an agreement for annual usage for themselves.
Everything about the residences should reflect the calibre and style of the associated brand, giving the properties extra cachet and helping them to command a premium over non-branded equivalents.
According to the latest Savills Ski Report, North America accounts for 68 per cent of the world’s completed branded residences in mountain settings. However, looking at new schemes in the pipeline, Europe has a 40 per cent share, hinting at future opportunities for this type of ski property in the Alps.
Andermatt, Swiss Alps
Championing the branded residence concept in the Swiss Alps is the new resort of Andermatt, located in the pretty Ursern Valley and part of the 180-kilometre SkiArena area.
The €1.6billion transformation of the mountain village into an upscale ski resort designed to attract the international jet set includes the creation of two branded residences. The Chedi Residences was the first to open in 2013, offering 119 luxury apartments affiliated to the five-star Chedi Andermatt Hotel in the centre of the resort. Owners have access to all the hotel facilities, including reception/concierge with a ski and sports butler service, spa membership, discounts on food, beverage and spa treatments, covered parking with valet service, cellar storage and golf playing rights at the Andermatt golf course. There is also the option to enter the on-site rental management scheme, making it a hands-off purchase.
The resort’s other, newer option is the Gotthard Residences, where the 100 apartments are affiliated with the attached Radisson Blu hotel, benefitting from access to its facilities. Again, a rental scheme is available to owners there.
Davos and Crans Montana
A trendy option in the exclusive resort of Davos is the Hard Rock Residences – the world famous brand name speaks for itself! Part of the Hard Rock Hotel Davos, apartment (or suite) owners there benefit from the Hard Rock Hotel Davos signature amenities, which include Rock Spa, Body Rock (fitness centre), Sessions restaurant and terrace, GMT+1 cocktail bar, The 5th rooftop cocktail bar, The Studio private bar & dining, private parking and secure ski room. A lock-up-and-leave investment, apartments there can be incorporated into the hotel scheme for a rental return each year.
One of the most anticipated launches recently was that of the boutique Six Senses Residences in glitzy Crans-Montana. Comprising just 17 very large luxury apartments located above the five-star Six Sense Hotel, some even come with special provision to allow international buyers to own a Swiss property in excess of 200 square metres.
Expected of such a high-profile brand, ownership there comes with access to a concierge service, an outdoor pool with a cinema, two restaurants and a state-of-the-art 2,000-square-metre spa. Owners can choose to enter the fully managed rental scheme and benefit from cleaning and housekeeping, butler services, residence set-up and weekly refresh, dry cleaning and laundry service and more.
Other branded residences in Switzerland include those at W Hotel in Verbier, and at the Kulm Hotel and The Grace Hotel in St Moritz.
France and Italy
A landmark development within exclusive Courchevel 1850, the prestigious Six Senses Resort in the 1850 village includes a collection of branded luxury apartments that benefit from access to all the facilities. Still in the French Alps, a rising force in the branded residences sector is Club Med. The luxury resort operator has apartments available to buy within its resorts in Valmorel, La Rosière and Samoëns-Morillion ski area.
Meanwhile, an alternative in the Italian Dolomites could be the Lefay Wellness Residences, which form part of the Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti, located in Madonna di Campiglio. As well as access to 150km of pistes, owners there benefit from an outstanding four-level, 5,000-square-metre spa area and a fitness centre, restaurants, bars and lounges and a round-the-clock concierge.