The latest news in the hospitality sector is that luxury car brand Aston Martin wants a slice of this luxury cake. Apparently, the car company is branching out into the luxury travel market. Not that Aston Martin is the only outsider luxury brand with dreams of cashing in on the travel industry. Fashion houses Armani, Missoni and Bulgari have already joined this hospitality bandwagon, so what if consumer spending is still a long way from reaching pre-recession levels.
The first quarter of 2011 has witnessed a boost in consumer confidence, which should infuse some confidence into the luxury sector. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry appears to be on an upswing, with many brands eyeing the growth potential in the emerging BRIC nations.
Things are looking up for hospitality giants, which should explain why traditionally non-hospitality brands are joining this industry. Here is a look at six non-travel brands that are testing out these luxury waters.
1. Aston Martin
James Bond’s favorite car brand has begun expanding into the hospitality industry. The luxury car brand is looking to conquer specific markets. The brand is on a buying spree currently. There are plans afoot to develop Aston Martin villas, hotels and residences. Even sports clubs.
Up Next: In the years to come, we could end up vacationing at Aston Martin properties on the beach, the marina or ski destinations. The car brand is looking to target golf and polo crowds as well.
It rarely gets more sophisticated than Armani, and the luxury fashion brand already has a few hotels in its kitty. Their flagship project in the hospitality industry is the Armani Hotel Dubai launched in April last year in collaboration with Emaar Properties.
Up Next: Armani hotels is planning on building a $600 million London hotel near the iconic Harrods store. The hotel chain is also eyeing properties in Paris, NYC, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Hotels are not LVMH’s area of expertise. Instead, the luxury brand that has over 50 brands in its portfolio, is entering the luxury yacht business. Last year, LVMH purchased Princess Yachts and launched a 32-metre yacht where interiors designed by Fendi.
Up Next: More such luxury yachts are in the pipeline, as is a new line of luxury luggage from Louis Vuitton.
Family-run premier fashion house entered the hotel industry in 2009 when it launched an Edinburgh hotel. This May, Missoni opened a luxury hotel in Kuwait.
Up Next: Coming up, are luxury hotels in Oman, Brazil and Turkey.
The timeless elegance of Bulgari is reflected in its luxury hotels. Their flagship property is a hotel in Milan. Since then, the Italian firm has launched a beach resort in Bali and a restaurant in Tokyo.
Up Next: In 2012, Bulgari will be launching a luxury hotel in London’s Knightbridge area, where each suite covers over 200 square metres.
6. Elisabetta Gucci
Legendary designer Paolo Gucci’s daughter Elisabette Gucci ran into controversy when fashion house Gucci, which is currently owned by luxury group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, moved against her to block the launch of new luxury hotels under the Gucci name. This year, Elisabetta Gucci will be launching a luxury hotel with 80 suites in Dubai’s Media City.
Up Next: 40 luxury hotels are coming up in developing economies over the next 15 years.