Considering his first property was The iconic mansion on Turtle Creek – a former private residence – it seems only natural that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts branched out into residential real estate.
From this single property, the Hong Kong-based company now manages 29 luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 17 countries, with 24 new properties under development. Half of the growth pipeline includes a residential component, a company spokesman said.
The brand has unveiled its first standalone residence in the United States with the recent construction of the 17-unit Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills, designed by Danish-born New York architect Thomas Juul-Hansen. The project is expected to break condominium price records in Los Angeles. Residential-only Rosewood projects are also underway in Lido Key, Florida, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Phuket, Thailand.
Brad Berry, Rosewood Hotel Group’s vice president of global residential development, spoke to Mansion Global about converging global tastes, the demand for intelligent design and why shoppers crave a sense of place.
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Mansion Global: What about the Rosewood brand makes it particularly suitable for branded residences?
BB: The housing business has become a matter of course for us. Rosewood started The Mansion in Dallas 40 years ago. It was actually a mansion that became a restaurant and then a hotel. We also call our customers “residents” in our hotels. The design and furnishings of our hotels have always been of a homely nature.
MG: What demand do you see from luxury buyers and how has it evolved during the pandemic?
BB: Buyers want larger areas. Post-pandemic, they also want a more flexible lifestyle. They are citizens of the world and our brand seems to do them justice. They also prioritize a sense of connectedness with the place they have—they want to experience it. It says: “Life is short, let’s live it.”
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MG: Wellness seems to be a priority for buyers, especially in the high-end segment. How does Rosewood deal with this?
BB: Shoppers have embraced a more holistic view of wellness. It’s more than just a pool; You want a healthy building. It is now more about well-being and not about our walls. In a standalone branded residence, you wouldn’t have a full-service spa facility because it doesn’t make sense from a real estate perspective. But we can make wellness come to you. We can bring in personal trainers. We also give recommendations on what’s nearby, whether it’s bike tours or horseback riding. Residents of the new private suites at Rosewood Sao Paulo have access to Asaya, our integrative wellness concept built on five distinctive pillars of well-being. Resident guests of Rosewood Hong Kong and Rosewood Guangzhou also have access to Asaya, which encompasses a range of practitioners and experiences.
MG: The brand residency field has become crowded; What is the advantage of rosewood?
BB: Our philosophy is also to enrich the quality of life. We have [activities] that take place within the place that allows the owners to experience the place, which is probably why they bought there in the first place. In Mexico, for example, we are planning an owner’s dinner with a helicopter flight. It’s not a Rosewood experience, it’s a Mexican experience enabled by the property.
MG: Rising interest rates have held back some real estate segments. Are you at the luxury end of the market?
BB: You have to keep an eye on it. You would be foolish not to do that. Luxury or not, it is a concern of the people. Our advantage is that at the end of the day, when real estate markets change, it’s the projects and the people that are executed perfectly that really make it through these times. We rely on our brand, our service and our design. We’re really focusing on that. This helps our development partners. It will help us through these times. And times will change.
MG: What markets do you have your eyes on for branded residences?
BB: There’s a lot of activity in Europe in terms of residential real estate so we’re looking at a lot of key gateway cities and we’ll start to see more. For example, we have a wonderful housing project going on in Tuscany. There is currently some hesitation in Asia and Australia, but we will see more activity this way.
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MG: What differences do you see between buyers around the world?
BB: The Middle East is more what I would call a marble market. In America, it’s softer surfaces. What is interesting, however, is that the wishes and needs of our buyers are converging a little more as they become more youthful. With younger buyers, it’s a combination of an urgency people are now having to live with and some trickle-down effects of wealth.
MG: What demands do apartment buyers have when it comes to the design of their units?
BB: People want intelligent design. Kitchens are a perfect example. They want quality appliances and countertops, of course, but they want the storage area to be smart. People put a lot of pressure there, especially in the luxury segment. It’s about making life easier. Many of our buyers are lucky enough to be buying their second, third or fourth home. They want it to be lock and leave. If we can enable things from a design and service standpoint, that’s where they want to be.
MG: What is your own definition of luxury?
BB: Luxury is how you feel and how the goods or the experience or whatever you buy makes you feel. It’s different with you or me. Homeownership gives you the opportunity to feel good all round. That is the power of the brand.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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