The Banyan Tree Group is a Singapore-Based real estate and hospitality company which has established itself in the past twenty years. It has a remarkable portfolio featuring top-notch developments in 28 countries, including over 30 resorts and hotels, 70 spas, 90 malls and three world-class golf courses. With its flair for opulence, the Group has consistently delivered impeccable quality and the ultimate leisure experience, at par with first-rate global standards. The Banyan Tree Group is behind two acclaimed brands in the hospitality industry, namely Angsana and Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. The company seeks to further its enterprise by establishing 66 resorts and hotels, as well as 100 spas in 33 different countries, all by the year 2017.
In celebration of its 20th year in the industry, The Banyan Tree Group explores the fusion between a hotel and an upmarket condominium. Its newly launched branch, Cassia, will be Banyan Tree’s new brand of luxury hotel-condominiums, or condotels. Cassia will be composed of exquisitely finished, fully furnished units, all serviced by Banyan Tree. It promises to deliver luxurious private sanctuaries in the form of extended-stay serviced apartments.
Units at Cassia are designed to be ideal retreats, for those personal vacations or family holiday getaways. A second home has always been associated with affluence, commonly thought of as a privilege reserved for very rich people. However, Cassia is quite affordable even for those who make an average income. In fact, it provides an opportunity for middle-class citizens to own a second home in a coveted resort location.
Cassia is, in essence, a real estate development, but it will be given the treatment of a hospitality establishment. Being an expert in both departments, Banyan Tree is confident it will impress its clients. According to the Banyan Tree Group’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Ho Kwon Ping, the company intends to make waves in the serviced -apartment business. Singapore hotels have indeed improved considerably in the past several years, but the condotel sector has yet to be revolutionized. Cassia will be the one to do that.
The brand is seen to rival typical hotels by offering an experience that is unforgettably luxurious but also affordable. It also presents an innovative service model that permits their guests to customize their stay to fit their preferences. And unlike other serviced apartments, Cassia doesn’t impose a minimum length of stay.
The new condotel will offer one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, spanning between 35 and 55 square meters. Units are for sale at around the neighborhood of $250k each, with flexible options for living or for investment. This arrangement is rather convenient for people who aren’t exactly wealthy, and it can even fetch generous returns from reselling.
Buyers who wish to purchase a unit for a vacation-house may use it for free for up to 90 days, at any time of the year. For those who choose to buy an investment unit, they may stay in their property for 30 days a year; for the rest of the year, they will be required to rent out their units to interested tenants. Furthermore, owners will have special perks, privileges and discounts, including some visits to the various sites of the Banyan Tree Group’s owner’s club, The Sanctuary Club.
In accordance with the company’s pursuit of sustainable tourism, Cassia has been designed to comply with the requirements of EarthCheck, the leading environmental assessment program in the world. The Banyan Tree Group’s sustainability division, GPS Green, will make sure these standards are continually upheld.
Among the short-term goals for Cassia is to open its first five developments in the following cities: Phuket, Thailand; Bintan, Indonesia; Gold Goast, Australia; Beruwala, Sri Lanka; and Lijiang, China. Cassia Phuket will be the first of all the projects to open, scheduled for next year. Located in Bang Tao Bay next to other Banyan Tree properties, it has 334 apartments with one to two bedrooms, 70 percent of which have already been sold. Cassia Bintan will be the next in line, having already sold almost half its units. The Bintan property is ready to stun the world with its Laguna Bintan address, also proximate to other Banyan Tree resorts and hotels. Cassia Lijiang meanwhile, is set in a UNESCO heritage town with breathtaking panoramas. Cassia Gold Coast, and Cassia Beruwala are lined up to open within the next two to three years. Aside from these five initial enterprises, there are also plans to bring Cassia to Bangkok, Lang Co, Brisbane, Tokyo, Chiang Mai, and the Seychelles.
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