JW Marriott debuts in Singapore amid declining occupancy rates

Renovation works were worth worth US$13.8 million

THE Marriott empire continues to grow with the opening of JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, the brand’s first foray into Singapore.

Situated nearby the Marina Bay entertainment and business complex, the luxury hotel was previously The South Beach Hotel, Singapore’s first hotel designed by iconic designer Philippe Starck.

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After renovation works worth US$13.8 million, the riot of textures and colors in the hotel’s previous aesthetic have been muted and toned down to suit the JW Marriott profile.

In the Agoda listing for the hotel, the building is said to “fuse contemporary architecture with restored heritage buildings in a brilliant show of form and function”.

Derek Flint, general manager of the hotel, said, “We are thrilled to welcome discerning travelers to this design-led landmark in the hub of Singapore’s arts and culture district.”

We look forward to enriching guests with a truly luxurious experience and showcasing the warm, intuitive service that is synonymous with the JW Marriott brand globally.”

The hotel is also adorned with a multi-million-dollar collection of art from more than 30 renowned international and local artists.

According to an official statement, guests are greeted by a seven-meter wall installation by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam; the piece is said to bring art to life through movement and technology with the use of LED monitors.

Additional works include the Donna a Cavallo, a lobby sculpture by the acclaimed Fernando Botero, and the Gorilla, a reclaimed scrap metal sculpture at the hotel entrance by Turner Prize winner Iain Nutting.

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The luxury hotel begins operations amid a hotel room glut, as well as declining tourist and occupancy rates in Singapore. However, the hotel doesn’t seem too worried.

Christy Donato, vice-president of global brand management for JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, told Straits Times that the luxury travel market is a growing demographic: “The luxury travel segment has grown by 50 percent over the last five years – that’s twice as much as any other type of travel.”