Brookfield’s aparthotel arm seeks European expansion

Edyn, the hybrid hospitality platform acquired by Canadian asset management firm Brookfield in 2018, is looking to expand the business in continental Europe and acquire assets in all of Europe’s main gateway cities, according to CEO Stephen McCall.

‘Our strategy is to have our brands represented in all major cities and we are preparing a number of new openings for this year and the next,’ McCall tells PropertyEU in an interview.

This year the extended stay hotel specialist plans to open in Zurich, Berlin, and London Kensington while Lisbon and Paris are on next year’s list. ‘We are moving into western Europe and ideally we would like to have more than one asset in each of the big capital cities. We are also looking to enter Italy,’ he adds.

Last year Edyn bought the NH hotel in London’s Kensington and Chelsea district as well as the Hotel Ascot in Zurich, both planned to be operated under its lifestyle Locke brand.

Contrary to most hotel operators which opt for an asset light strategy, the firm prefers to expand through the acquisition of both the real estate and operating business. ‘We like to own our properties, especially in key cities,’ says McCall. ‘This has the advantage that we get to make changes to new assets based on what we have learned from our previous projects. This way the real estate and the brand can each time be refined. Also, we are owned by Brookfield, who are one of the world’s leading real estate investors, and we’ve been able to leverage their expertise as we’ve grown.’

The Edyn concept combines the offer of boutique lifestyle hotels with the comfort provided by the serviced apartment sector for those guests staying longer. ‘The beauty of our model is that we capture both leisure and business. The leisure side for instance is generally short stay and it has a cyclicality - it peaks in high season. By combining this with a more business-focused offering directed towards young professionals and corporate clients, who stay for longer and more consistent periods, we diversify across different revenue types meaning that we are able to reduce cyclicality and have a less volatile cash flow. We think this is a very resilient business model.’

The hybrid hospitality sector has seen significant growth in recent years, supported by evolving traveler demands and consumer trends. According to research from Savills, the supply of serviced apartment stock across Europe is set to expand by 21.2% over the next three years as the sector strives to keep up with demand. ‘Stock levels are set to expand and the appeal of serviced apartments is likely to endure in line with the increasingly nomadic nature of work and the rise in the length of stays due to environmental concerns,’ comments Richard Dawes, director of EMEA Hotels at advisor Savills.

Edyn currently manages five Locke properties in London and is planning the opening of a sixth one in Kensington and Chelsea. ‘We haven’t seen any lack of demand,’ McCall notes. ‘We don’t have to worry about saturation yet. In fact, we see a lots of opportunities in Europe and we’d love to do the same in Paris as we did in London.’


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