Aman gets $900M development infusion

Just as Aman Group makes a big splash with the opening of its hotel and residences in New York City with rooms reportedly starting at US$4,000 a night and the penthouse residence selling for almost US$75 million, on Monday it made even bigger news by announcing a US$900 million equity investment from The Public Investment Fund, a Saudi sovereign wealth fund, and London-based private equity firm Cain International. The money will be used to drive growth of both the Aman brand and fledgling luxury lifestyle brand, Janu, as well as enhance existing properties.

The infusion values Aman Group, with 34 hotels and 12 branded residences, at more than US$3 billion. Aman said this transaction does not include its ownership interests in any part of its portfolio.

“My long-term strategic vision has been to continue to grow the Aman brand in key markets, all with Aman Branded Residences, as well as creating an ultra-luxury ecosystem which offers the complete Aman lifestyle.” – Vlad Doronin

Nine further projects are under construction and Aman, now under control of Chairman and CEO Vlad Doronin for eight years, has a committed pipeline of additional destinations around the world. Earlier this spring, Aman signed a deal to operate in Beverly Hills, California, for developers Alagem Capital and Cain International at the high-profile, 17.5-acre One Beverly Hills development.

“The aspiration is to reach 45 to 48 hotels within the next few years, and it is still very much where we feel we can deliver,” Aman COO Roland Fasel told HOTELS in July. He said Aman believes it is still underexposed in Italy and is very close on a deal or two there. He added that it would be beautiful to add properties in Africa and South America and move in further south of the Aman in Mexico City.

Aman has generated US$2.4 billion in sales of Aman Branded Residences over the last 12 months, including fully committed sales at Aman Residences Tokyo, Japan (2023) and Aman Miami Beach Residences, Florida, (2024) before reaching the market. Similarly, Aman said its residences in New York City, Bangkok (2023), Mexico (2024), Greece, and Shanghai are securing premium prices.

In New York City by mid-July, all but four of the 22 exclusive residences atop the 83-room hotel were sold. In addition to the nearly US$75 million sale of the penthouse, a full-floor unit sold for a reported US$55 million (roughly US$8,730 per square foot). In addition, Doronin’s OKO Group in July closed a US$754 million loan to refinance the New York property.

The Garden Terrace at the Aman in New York City

“My long-term strategic vision has been to continue to grow the Aman brand in key markets, all with Aman Branded Residences, as well as creating an ultra-luxury ecosystem which offers the complete Aman lifestyle,” Doronin said on Monday. “The investment from PIF and Cain International is a vote of confidence in my vision and the work the team has done over the last eight years, cementing the brand’s evolution and ability to deliver this vision at pace. Together we will deliver considerable growth and maximize the extraordinary potential of Aman.”

Just last month, Fasel said the group is running well ahead of 2019 numbers, which was its best year in history. “In 10 to 15 of our hotels, we are reaching new heights around rates with little resistance, which has been extraordinary,” Fasel said. “I think that trend will continue for a little bit, but we need to be careful and really focus on the value proposition, so guests feel that we deliver against those rates.

“The challenge is still Japan’s recovery – Tokyo. I still have challenges in Indonesia, where one hotel works well and the other three are really challenging… I think once Tokyo swings back and our Bhutan property reopens, we’re going to have a strong second half of this year. Then, in New York, I’m cautiously optimistic that as of September we will have four very, very strong months to really give us the momentum in 2023 to clearly position ourselves at the top of the New York market.”