Langham Hotels CEO Robert Warman bullish about future expansion
Robert Warman, CEO of Langham Hotels has recently spoken to CPP-LUXURY.COM about his company’s performance and future development plans.
How has your company performed in 2015 and what are your expectations for the rest of the year.
We are looking at finishing the year positively as our hotels have picked up strong business especially for the second half of the year.
Which is currently your best forming region?
Our North America hotels are doing very well. We opened up our Chicago and New York hotels two years ago and The Langham Chicago has been consistently named best hotel in Chicago and one of the best hotels in the United States within 30 days of its opening. Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue has also been voted as one of the top five hotels in New York. The hotels in our Pacific region are also the best in the markets.
What are your priorities in terms of expansion? Do you target any particular markets?
China continues to be an important market for us. We are expanding into the Middle East, we have just signed our first city hotel in Dubai, Langham Place, Downtown Dubai, scheduled to open in 2018. This is in addition to our first resort in Dubai, The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai slated to open in 2017. We are looking to add properties in Southeast Asia and more in Europe and North America.
Which is your operations model – management versus management & ownership. What is your view?
Langham Hospitality Group is a management company; we do not own any assets (hotels, etc.) However, our parent company Great Eagle Holdings, owns approximately 60% of our hotels around the world (which includes all our hotels in North America, London, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.)
Mention the 5 competitive advantages of your hotel group when a developer / owner decides to work with you?
-We have a strong brand and despite us being a young and growing company, we have achieved global accolades and awards which testifies the high quality work and service we provide to our partners and guests.
-We have a strong legacy and name with a strong heritage.
-We have crafted signature experiences which are unique to our brands Eg. The Langham Ginger Flower scent, The Cordis Sparkling Mint Scent, Afternoon Tea experience where The Langham, London was the first hotel who served Afternoon Tea in 1865, 150 years ago. We also have our Langham Service Stylists who are on hand at all times to assist with all our guests’ needs.
-We have the Langham Hotels & Resorts, a luxury brand and our upscale brand, Cordis which allows us to have more than one hotel or brand in each destination or city.
-We have a strong global network of hotels in four continents to which few luxury hotel companies our size can lay claim.
What are the main differences between Langham and Langham Place?
We recently launched our first global advertising campaign. “The Art of the Stay” which illustrates the company’s new positioning, presenting one luxury brand in two distinct styles. The main objective is to showcase the unique proposition of Langham Hotels & Resorts, which encompasses both The Langham and Langham Place properties- the traditional elegance of The Langham and the modern art-inspired sophistication of Langham Place.
How do you evaluate the importance of social media and digital publications for your company?
Social media is extremely important as this platform is how people connect, share information and get information. At the Langham Hospitality Group, we take social media very seriously. Likewise digital publications is as important as print media as they enable today’s busy and time-limited people get their news and information fast.
You recently made significant resign and renovation of your London flagship property. Tell us more. What’s next in Europe?
The Langham, London recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. We added a new wing, Regent wing and unveiled our Sterling Suite, the largest suite in UK which has up to 6 bedrooms, several living spaces and a butler on service around the clock. The Langham, London also has a new club lounge and we recently also refurbished our Palm Court, the place where afternoon tea was first served in a hotel in 1865.
We are very bullish about Europe and are seeking new partnerships and opportunities in Europe. We are also looking at adding one a second hotel in London.