Established luxury brands are always looking for ways to expand their businesses, but until recently, few had put their name and reputation into a branded residence. Although dating all the way back to the 1920s – when the Sherry-Netherland hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue sold 165 apartments – the idea of a branded residence did not take off in earnest until the 1980s.
It was Four Seasons Boston, which opened in 1985, that kicked off the new era. Today, branded residences are popping up everywhere, and it seems not a luxury hotel can open without some of the space being dedicated to residential sales. But what exactly are branded residences? And why have they become so popular?
In the most straightforward terms, branded residences are luxury residential properties tied to a brand. Historically the domain of exclusive hoteliers, branded residences provide would-be buyers the opportunity to purchase their own exquisitely designed permanent quarters (sometimes within a hotel, sometimes located in a standalone development) often within a city’s most exclusive postcode.
However, the real appeal comes with the level of integrated service that these exclusive properties offer. Fancy a massage after a long day in the office? There’s an award-winning spa downstairs. Need your dog walked? There’s someone to take care of that. Are guests coming over for dinner?
The fridge has already been stocked with your visitor’s favorite ingredients. With everything you could ever wish for available on-site, including a valet, security, a dedicated concierge service and a host of incredible amenities, owners don’t need to leave their front door if they don’t want to.
It’s this, along with the pandemic-imposed shift to staying home that could explain why, according to property experts Savills, this unique real estate market has been able to weather the uncertainty better than others (and also given some hard-hit luxury hotel groups a much-needed income stream).
And it’s not just hotels that have got in on the action either with luxury fashion brands such as Armani and prestigious car manufacturer Bentley all fueling the trend which, according to Savill’s has seen the number of branded residences increase by 170% over the past 10 years.
Coming in many different shapes and sizes, each branded residence offers something slightly different to its prospective owners. Those set within or adjacent to their five-star hotel counterpart often come with access to the hotel’s onsite facilities or even supply exclusive resident-only amenities.
While all branded residences will deliver a high level of luxury living, standalone residences, particularly those affiliated with a non-hotel brand, will often provide its residents something unique. For example, in the case of Aston Martin’s new Miami development owners of its Signature Residences are given the choice between an Aston Martin DB11 Riverwalk Edition or DBX Riverwalk Edition (Aston Martin’s first SUV) to accompany their new abode.
We take a look at some of the newest branded residences on the market and uncover what their new owners can expect.
Bentley Residences, Miami
Miami is the branded residence capital of the world with a number of the world’s most recognizable brands partnering with experienced luxury property developers to produce a living experience befitting their reputation. Bentley Motors has left nothing to chance with its debut residences, partnering with leading figure Gil Dezer to produce what they claim will be the best residential tower in the world. It’s a big claim, but considering Bentley’s success over the last 20 years, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
Set to complete in 2026, Bentley Residences will have 216 furnished apartments and a wealth of amenities that will transform the living space into a de facto five-star resort exclusively for its owners. The glass facade has been specifically designed to replicate the famous cross-stitching in Bentley leather while the communal spaces are laden with reference to the British marque.
But the most spectacular feature comes inside the apartments and condos themselves. Some of the prime condos will have their own private car elevators, which will allow them to drive straight into the building and up to their apartment without leaving their car. It is a feature that has already convinced major celebrities, including Lionel Messi, to invest.
Armani/Casa Residences, Miami
Designed by the late César Pelli – the world-renowned architect behind Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers – the 56-story tower houses 308 luxury apartments, the largest offering over 5,968 sq ft of elegant Miami beachside living at the cost of $10m.
With a design overseen by Giorgio Armani himself, there is a distinct touch of European style throughout, from the Armani Privé lounge at lobby level to the sleek apartment interiors courtesy of Armani’s own design studio. The residences have direct access to a 300 ft stretch of private beach on one of Miami’s most sought-after shorelines – Sunny Isles Beach. Resident’s amenities include a two-story spa, oceanfront bar and restaurant as well as a pool which comes with the added bonus of dedicated poolside service.
The Towers, Waldorf Astoria, New York
The legendary Waldorf Astoria has been undergoing a major restoration to bring it back to its former glory. Part of this is the construction of 375 residences in the art deco building’s upper floors giving buyers the rare chance to purchase a pad at this prestigious New York landmark.
The Towers have truly embraced Waldorf Astoria’s illustrious past with interiors by preeminent designer Jean-Louis Deniot that create a modern experience within the building’s historic 1930s framework.
There are 50,000 sq ft of private residential amenities ranging from health and wellness to entertaining spaces. Privacy, security and world-class service are all central to the appeal at The Towers, with the residential experience kept separate from the hotel with two owner entrances, round the clock valet service and a Concierge Closet at the entryway of every residence that allows for secure and discreet delivery of packages and room service.
Mayfair Park Residences, Dorchester Collection, London
The first set of branded residences for the Dorchester Collection is located in the heart of London’s prestigious Mayfair, just off Park Lane. Created in collaboration with luxury developers Clivedale London, Maryfair Park Residences are a collection of fully-serviced (the nearby Dorchester Collection at 45 Park Lane provides housekeeping, 24-hour in-residence dining and grocery shopping), exquisitely stylish homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments through to a number of townhouses.
Its crowning glory however is its 12,000-sq-ft penthouse featuring its own rooftop pool and 5,000 sq ft of outdoor terraces. There are luxury amenities aplenty including a 10,000-sq-ft health club that incorporates a 65 ft pool, gym, sauna, steam room and two private treatment rooms.
The Residences at Montage Cay, Bahamas
Set to open in late 2024, Montage Cay is a new resort set for the sun-kissed shores of the Abacos, famous for its stunning coral reefs and rich marine life. The 53-acre-private-island resort will feature a five-star hotel with just 50 suites as well as an exclusive collection of private branded residences known aptly as The Residences at Montage Cay.
This latest branded residence from the luxury hotel and resort group offers prospective buyers a piece of beachside paradise. Accessed by helicopter, boat or seaplane, owners can enjoy luxurious indoor-outdoor family living in the form of two- to four-bedroom Villa Residences or the larger Estate Residences with four to six bedrooms.
We asked Tina Necrason, EVP of Residential at Montage International what to expect from The Residences at Montage Cay: “While we are in the planning and design stage, we are focused on each aspect of the development and experience for our guests and residents as it relates to sustainability, wellness and articulating the ethos of the island in a distinctive way.”
St Regis Residences, Miami
Set for completion in 2025, the brand new St Regis Residences are situated in Miami’s exclusive Brickell Financial District with stunning views of Biscayne Bay. The East Tower will feature 149 roomy apartments, ranging from 2,300-sq-ft two-bedroom units to 8,000-sq-ft duplexes. This will be joined at a later date by a second tower boasting a further 200 one to five-bedroom apartments.
As you would expect, the coveted properties don’t come cheap with prices for the first residences to go on sale starting at a cool $2.8m. Future owners can expect an impressive range of amenities including an open-air exercise deck, fitness center, golf VR room and rooftop bar. They will also enjoy the brand’s much-loved signature butler service and access to a beautiful spa complete with private treatment rooms and a cold dip pool.