As the Japanese government starts to reduce inbound international travel restrictions, Singapore-based Banyan Tree Group has announced its entry into the market with four of its brands.
Banyan Tree partnered with Wealth Management Group to launch the 138-room Dhawa Yura and the 25-room Garrya Nijo Castle in Kyoto earlier this month, while two more resorts — Banyan Tree Higashiyama and Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone luxury resort views of Mount Fuji – are set to open by 2026. All four deals are management agreements. Dhawa will start with a room rate from JPY 25,000 and Garrya from JPY 100,000. The Banyan Tree-branded hotels are expected to launch with a much higher daily rate.
The Garrya Nijo Castle in Kyoto represents the first hotel under the new brand and will focus on wellbeing. The 52-key Higashiyama urban resort property is located in the Gion and Higashiyama district. It will also be the first and only hotel in Kyoto city to have a Noh stage.
Separately, the group has signed a management agreement with Terraform Capital that will lead to a newly built 50-room Cassia in Niseko, set to open by 2025 in Japan’s popular ski resort destination. The property will also have 113 residential keys.
In addition, Banyan Tree has also entered into a 50-50 strategic partnership with Intrance Hotels & Resorts to focus on conversion projects to further grow its brands across Japan.
“The past two years have been quite challenging, but through this journey, we found partners that believe in our vision and share our common values of presenting the best hospitality experience to our guests,” Banyan Tree Group CEO Eddy See told HOTELS on Friday. “Our Group has always been centered on wellbeing and sustainability, with the aim to provide exceptional, design-led experiences for the global traveler. Today, we have added more vibrancy to our multi-branded ecosystem with the introduction of two of our brands: Garrya and Dhawa, here in Japan. And I cannot think of a perfect destination other than Kyoto that offers a robust history and friendly neighborhood to debut our brands.”
See added that while Banyan Tree has a very good business development team in Singapore, it also has a strong Japan-based team that expands its capabilities to find agreements with new owners in Japan. “This helps a lot in terms of bridging our communications,” he said. “The timing from the moment we signed the agreement to announcing it couldn’t be more perfect as it coincides with the government’s recent decision to ease international tourism into the country.”
A Banyan Tree spokesperson also told HOTELS that the Wealth Management Group deal was signed a while ago, except for the Cassia Niseko, which was signed just weeks ago, as well as the joint venture which was signed in May this year. “We believe that as the world starts to emerge from COVID-19, coupled with Japan’s skillful management of the pandemic and deciding to allow tourism to resume, has contributed in part to the partnerships.”
Banyan Tree leadership expects to sign more projects in Japan, especially through the newly formed joint venture, in which it will focus on conversions. “We have seen growing demand and will be answering it with developments that will be aligned with our Build For Good sustainability values, especially now that we have gained a foothold in the country,” the spokesperson said.
Currently, Banyan Tree operates 55 hotels in 15 countries with a pipeline of some 47 properties. It has a strategic partnership with Accor and a joint venture with China Vanke Co. Ltd.