Ascott broadens Lyf experience with eight new signings globally

by Ruth Hogan

The Ascott Limited is expanding its co-living brand Lyf to new markets with the announcement of eight new property signings spanning city and resort locations across Europe and Asia Pacific.

Lyf – based on the concept of ‘live your freedom’ – targets next-generation travellers including digital nomads, tech start-ups and creatives.

As the brand expands to destinations such as Bali, Penang, Sydney and Frankfurt, Ascott has evolved the brand to deliver a “multifaceted hospitality experience” with flexible typologies that range from co-living accommodation and city hotels to full-service resorts.

“In a world where travel is not just about reaching a destination but immersing oneself in the heartbeat of a city, Lyf stands at the forefront of a new era in hospitality,” said Ascott and CLI Lodging Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Goh.

“Lyf was first created for the next-generation traveller and has gained strong traction since its debut with Lyf Funan Singapore in 2019. There is tremendous potential for us to further scale Lyf across more hospitality asset classes, whether as a full-service hotel or resort, especially with the growth pace we have seen over the year.

“With more than 30 Lyf properties both in operation and under development, Ascott will bring Lyf to even more destinations in the year ahead, as we work towards our target of 150 properties with over 30,000 units by 2030.”

Goh says Ascott has strategically adapted its brands to meet travellers’ evolving preferences for distinctive experiences across different geographical markets.

“Ascott operates with a flex-hybrid model that gives opportunistic agility across our serviced residences, co-living properties and hotels,” Goh said.

“With the ability to scale operations across our spread of accommodation offerings, we are able to tailor and enhance our brands’ relevance and appeal in diverse locations.

“Our ambition for Lyf, alongside our other brands, is to expand horizons, pushing boundaries across geographies while deepening our local presence in current and new locations.”

New locations

Lyf is currently present in 21 cities globally, with over 5,500 units both operating and in the pipeline.

The eight new properties – scheduled to open over the next four years – include Lyf Bugis Singapore; Lyf Brickfields Kuala Lumpur and Lyf Georgetown Penang in Malaysia; Lyf Canggu Bali in Indonesia; Lyf on Sussex Sydney in Australia; Lyf Shibuya Tokyo in Japan; Lyf Frankfurt in Germany as well as an additional property in Shanghai, China.

Ascott Chief Growth Officer, Serena Lim, also revealed plans to launch the brand in the UK.

“The Lyf brand has captured the attention of the market with its dynamic designs, flexible spaces and well-curated programming with the community at its core,” Lim said.

“Owners and investors alike have seen the resilience and continued demand for experience-led social living that Lyf has been synonymous with, an accommodation trend that has been made more pronounced post pandemic and we believe is here to stay.

“Lyf is thus well-positioned to cater to this growing interest, availing a brand that is not just conversion-friendly for owners, but also meets the increasing needs of travellers who are seeking the best of all worlds where they are able to mix privacy with social living, combining a space to work, stay and play.

“The brand’s growth momentum is stronger than ever, and plans are underway to launch across additional key destinations including that in the United Kingdom.”

In Singapore, where Lyf was conceptualised and first launched, the signing of Lyf Bugis Singapore represents the fourth Lyf property in the city, following Lyf one-north Singapore, Lyf Funan Singapore and Lyf Farrer Park Singapore.

Opening in mid-2024 in the downtown core district, the 308-unit Lyf Bugis Singapore will offer a wide range of amenities including shared social spaces and fitness facilities.

In 2023, Ascott saw a record number of Lyf property openings, almost doubling that of 2022, including Lyf Schönbrunn Vienna in Austria – marking the brand’s Europe debut – Lyf Dayanta Xi’an in China, Lyf Ginza Tokyo in Japan, Lyf Chinatown Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Lyf Malate Manila in the Philippines.

The newly-operational properties have displayed strong results since opening, with the Tokyo property, which opened at the end of November 2023, achieving a higher-than-expected average daily rate, surpassing anticipated occupancy, and achieving high guest reviews.

Leading the next phase of development and growth of Lyf is Adeline Phua, who has been appointed Managing Lyf Partner.

Reporting to Lim, Phua directs the strategic growth of the brand globally and drives the commercial strategy and operational excellence of properties. Phua brings close to 20 years of global experience in hospitality strategy, planning, development, investment and asset management across Asia Pacific, Europe and the USA.