Restauranteur planning big expansion into luxury hotel business

hiramatsu-mie-and-atami

Hiramatsu, a famous French and Italian restauranteur, announced bold plans for their newly created hotel brand.

In July, they opened The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Kashikojima in Mie Prefecture. The small-luxury resort has just 8 guest suites and is targeted towards wealthy individuals with a net worth of over 100 million Yen. Room rates, which include meals prepared by renowned chefs, range from 65,000 ~ 80,000 Yen/night (640 ~ 790 USD) per person. The hotel was fully booked for the months of July and August, and reservations for 2017 are already starting to fill up. Currently the restaurant in the resort is only open to hotel guests, although they are considering opening it up to non-guest bookings.

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HULIC moves into luxury ryokan business

Hulic Atami and Hakone
[Left] Hakone-Suishoen; [Right] Atami Fufu Ryokan.

To capitalise on the growing industry for luxury boutique-style ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), real estate giant HULIC and Kato Pleasure Group (KPG) established KH Resort Management on July 1. The company will engage in the operation of ryokans as well as providing consulting services.

In April 2015, HULIC acquired two hotels from KPG – the Hakone-Suishoen and the Atami Fufu Ryokan – for approximately 4 billion Yen (approx. 33.6 million USD at the time). The newly formed company plan to acquire up to 10 high-end ryokans in hot spring resort areas within 1.5 ~ 2 hours from central Tokyo.

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Luxury ryokans seeing surge in investment

Atami Fufu
The Atami Fufu Ryokan

With expectations of growing demand from travellers and foreign tourists, luxury ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and hotels across Japan are now a highly sought-after target by funds and major real estate companies. This means foreign investors looking to get into the hotel market in Japan will be facing increasingly tough competition from domestic investors.

This month, real estate giant HULIC will acquire two hotel properties in Hakone and Atami from Kato Pleasure Group. HULIC’s main business is office leasing and management, but with a declining population, they have been expanding their operations to other areas of the property market.

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