ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Oakwood intensifies East Asian growth strategy
Tuesday, 3rd November 2020
Source : Oakwood®

Oakwood announced the addition of its 12th property in Japan and the executive appointment of a dual role as General Manager of Oakwood Suites Yokohama and Director of Operations for Japan and South Korea.

Oakwood Suites Yokohama, which is the first international serviced apartment brand in the Japanese port city, celebrated its official opening on 31 October 2020. The 175-unit property is the second serviced apartment asset owned by Mapletree in Japan and part of Oakwood’s efforts to effect continued portfolio growth globally.

“Mapletree is delighted to open its second Oakwood-branded property in Japan, following the opening of Oakwood Apartments Azabudai, Tokyo in 2017. Despite the current global situation, Oakwood continues to expand its management and operations with the broadening of its portfolio of hospitality properties globally. The opening of Oakwood Suites Yokohama marks an important milestone for Mapletree as we continue to acquire and develop new lodging assets around the world, which will be managed under the Oakwood brand,” said Mr Chua Tiow Chye, deputy group chief executive officer, Mapletree Investments.

“As the pioneer of serviced residences with over 50 years of hospitality expertise, Oakwood’s strength lies in our continuous service innovation to cater to evolving guest preferences. We recognise the increasing demand for sophisticated residential lifestyle and personal space when discerning guests make their travel decisions. This trend opens the window of opportunity for Oakwood to differentiate the hospitality landscape in gateway cities. I am confident that Oakwood Suites Yokohoma will be a resounding success under Christian’s leadership,” said Dean Schreiber, interim chief executive officer of Oakwood.

Strategically located above Bashamichi Station on the Minato-Mirai Subway line, Oakwood Suites Yokohama occupies the 46th to the 51st floors of The Kitanaka Yokohama Tower, Yokohama’s tallest and largest residential complex. Guests will enjoy easy access to retail outlets, a supermarket, selection of dining venues as well as a well-known concert hall within the same building. Key attractions such as Yamashita Park, Chinatown and the famous Yokohama Red Brick Warehouses are within walking distance.

All 175 elegantly appointed units offer panoramic views of the city or Yokohama Bay, and span accommodation options that range from cozy studios to luxurious three-bedroom residences, well-suited for guests across all stages of their lives. Designed to serve as a personal sanctuary, each unit is fully equipped with a kitchenette, washer and dryer. Facilities such as a residents’ lounge, 24-hour fitness centre and restaurant provide elevated convenience, making it the perfect retreat for both leisure and corporate travel.

“Being the city’s first international serviced apartment brand, Oakwood Suites Yokohama will debut our signature hospitality excellence to savvy travellers and senior executives who are accustomed to contemporary luxury. As opposed to traditional hotel experiences, our guests are assured of unobtrusive service that speaks to their need for immaculate service without compromising on their personal space and lifestyle,” said Christian R. Baudat, General Manager, Oakwood Suites Yokohama and Director of Operations for Oakwood in Japan and South Korea.

A Swiss national with extensive hospitality experience, Christian is equipped with over 30 years of global insights acquired during his professional journey across the Middle East, Singapore, Europe and Japan. Having managed properties under the Hilton brand in Tokyo, Nagoya, Otaru and Fukuoka, he has authoritative expertise in the Japanese market. Christian joins Oakwood from Rotana Hotels in Abu Dhabi, where he served as Area Vice President in-charge of sixteen properties in Abu Dhabi, Ai Ain, Oman and Morocco. His hospitality career began as a Food & Beverage Management Trainee with Hilton Tokyo in 1985. Christian has made significant contributions to the Japanese hospitality industry and was the General Manager responsible for establishing the iconic Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk as one of Japan’s leading venues for MICE business and wedding in 2010. In 2015, Christian executed ground-breaking commercial strategies during the pre-conversion of Hilton Tokyo Odaiba, resulting in the hotel’s top market share position within two months of operation.

In his new capacity at Oakwood, Christian is responsible for directing corporate initiatives, driving operational excellence and achieving financial performance for fourteen properties across Japan and South Korea. He will lead Oakwood’s growth strategy by building a robust development pipeline while strengthening the brand presence in these two key markets.

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