As with so many things, it started in the US. Standing tall on New York’s 5th Avenue, the iconic Sherry-Netherland hotel opened its doors at the height of the roaring twenties and was the very first to introduce the concept of branded residences – offering the thriving Manhattan elite their own slice of Belle Epoque in the form of glamorous privately-owned apartments overlooking Central Park.
Despite the Sherry-Netherland’s success, it would be another 70 years until the branded residence concept would have its watershed moment with the opening of the Four Seasons in Boston in 1985. Since then, this unique style of luxury living has catapulted in popularity and can be found in 60 countries worldwide. But what exactly are branded residences?
In its simplest terms, branded residences are luxury residential properties associated with a brand. Historically the domain of exclusive hoteliers, branded residences provide would-be buyers the opportunity to purchase their own exquisitely designed permanent quarters (sometimes within or adjacent to a hotel, sometimes located in a standalone development) often within a city’s most coveted postcode.
However, the real appeal comes with the level of integrated service that these exclusive properties offer. Fancy a massage after a long day in the office? There’s an award-winning spa downstairs. Need your dog walked? There’s someone to take care of that. Guests coming over for dinner? The fridge has already been stocked with your visitor’s favorite ingredients. With everything you could ever wish for available on-site, including a valet, security, a dedicated concierge service and a host of incredible amenities, owners don’t need to leave their front door if they don’t want to.
It’s this, along with the pandemic-imposed shift to staying home that could explain why, according to property experts Savills, this unique real estate market has been able to weather the uncertainty better than others (and also given some hard-hit luxury hotel groups a much-needed income stream).
And it’s not just hotels that have got in on the action either with luxury fashion brands such as Armani and prestigious car manufacturer Bentley all fueling the trend which, according to Savill’s has seen the number of branded residences increase by 170% over the past 10 years.
Coming in many different shapes and sizes, each branded residence offers something slightly different to its prospective owners. Those set within or adjacent to their five-star hotel counterpart often come with access to the hotel’s onsite facilities or even supply exclusive resident-only amenities.
While all branded residences will deliver a high level of luxury living, standalone residences, particularly those affiliated with a non-hotel brand, will often provide its residents something unique. For example, in the case of Aston Martin’s new Miami development owners of its Signature Residences are given the choice between an Aston Martin DB11 Riverwalk Edition or DBX Riverwalk Edition (Aston Martin’s first SUV) to accompany their new abode.
We take a look at some of the newest branded residences on the market and uncover what their new owners can expect.
Armani/Casa Residences – Miami
Designed by the late César Pelli – the world-renowned architect behind Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers – the 56 story Armani/Casa skyscraper houses 308 luxury apartments, the largest offering over 5,968 sq ft of elegant Miami beachside living at the cost of $10 million.
With a design overseen by Giorgio Armani himself, there is a distinct touch of European style throughout, from the Armani Privé lounge at lobby level to the sleek apartment interiors courtesy of Armani’s own design studio. The residences have direct access to a 300 ft stretch of private beach on one of Miami’s most sought-after shorelines – Sunny Isles Beach. Resident’s amenities include a two-story spa, oceanfront bar and restaurant as well as a pool which comes with the added bonus of dedicated poolside service.
The Towers, Waldorf Astoria – New York
The legendary Waldorf Astoria has been undergoing a major restoration to bring it back to its former glory. Part of this is the construction of 375 residences in the art deco building’s upper floors giving buyers the rare chance to purchase a pad at this prestigious New York landmark.
The Towers have truly embraced Waldorf Astoria’s illustrious past with interiors by preeminent designer Jean-Louis Deniot that create a modern experience within the building’s historic 1930s framework.
There are 50,000 sq ft of private residential amenities ranging from health and wellness to entertaining spaces. Privacy, security and world-class service are all central to the appeal at The Towers, with the residential experience kept separate from the hotel with two owner entrances, round the clock valet service and a Concierge Closet at the entryway of every residence that allows for secure and discreet delivery of packages and room service.
Mayfair Park Residences, Dorchester Collection – London
The first set of branded residences for the Dorchester Collection is located in the heart of London’s prestigious Mayfair, just off Park Lane. Created in collaboration with luxury developers Clivedale London, Maryfair Park Residences are a collection of fully-serviced (the nearby Dorchester Collection at 45 Park Lane provides housekeeping, 24-hour in-residence dining and grocery shopping), exquisitely stylish homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments through to a number of townhouses.
Its crowning glory however is its 12,000-sq-ft penthouse featuring its own rooftop pool and 5,000 sq ft of outdoor terraces. There are luxury amenities aplenty including a 10,000-sq-ft health club that incorporates a 65 ft pool, gym, sauna, steam room and two private treatment rooms.
The Residences at Montage Cay, Montage Hotels & Resorts – Bahamas
Montage Cay is a new resort set for the sun-kissed shores of the Abacos, famous for its stunning coral reefs and rich marine life. The 53-acre-private-island resort will feature a five-star hotel with just 50 suites as well as an exclusive collection of private branded residences known aptly as The Residences at Montage Cay.
Set to open in 2023, this latest branded residence from the luxury hotel and resort group offers prospective buyers a piece of beachside paradise. Accessed by helicopter, boat or seaplane, owners can enjoy luxurious indoor-outdoor family living in the form of two- to four-bedroom Villa Residences or the larger Estate Residences with four to six bedrooms.
We asked Tina Necrason, EVP of Residential at Montage International what to expect from The Residences at Montage Cay: “While we are in the planning and design stage, we are focused on each aspect of the development and experience for our guests and residents as it relates to sustainability, wellness and articulating the ethos of the island in a distinctive way.”