Giselle Makarachvili CEO Hmlet 640

Singapore-based co-living company Hmlet has made its foray in the short-term stay market, having opened its first hotel, the Owen House, on February 1.

Located steps from the Farrer Park MRT and a stone’s throw from Little India, the 106-key Owen House features nine room categories, where select rooms boast kitchenettes. Conceptualised as a reflection of New World Amusement Park – a popular nightlife spot in the 1930s – rooms start from the 18m² Deluxe Queens and go up to the 52m² Two-Bedroom Deluxe and Suite.

Giselle Makarachvili CEO Hmlet 640
Makarachvili: catering to the new generation of travellers and renters who are seeking authentic connections and interactions

Facilities on-site include a boardroom good for up to eight people, two communal lounges – The Pembroke and The Plaza – on levels four and six, as well as Sunlight and Moonshine, a lobby-cum-speakeasy bar. There is also a current empty space good for a café or restaurant, but talks are still ongoing with potential partners.

Giselle Makarachvili, CEO of Hmlet, told TTG Asia that opening Owen House was a “natural progression” for the co-living brand, given its “track record” in already running short-term stay accommodations.

“We do not see a separation between the hotel business and co-living. Owen House happens to be a hotel that provides the co-living experience and programming. There is a room type that fits every guest depending on their needs, length of stay and purpose of travel – from transient tourists staying a night to individuals relocating to Singapore,” she opined.

When asked about whether the communal living trend might ever wane, Makarachvili stated the communal living experience has “never been more relevant” in a post-lockdown world.

She shared: “We all realise that the human connection is something that cannot be migrated fully online. This will be continued to be expressed in various types of accommodation real estate, be it residential, serviced apartments or hotels, essentially catering to the new generation of travellers and renters who are seeking authentic connections and interactions, instead of just a room to sleep in.”

As such, her future plans for Hmlet include expansion across different markets in Asia-Pacific across all of its product lines.

Hmlet currently operates three product lines – one for short-term accommodation, Hmlet Boutique; and two for residential living, Hmlet Homes and Hmlet Nest. Both Owen House by Hmlet and Hmlet Cantonment are part of Hmlet’s Boutique Collection even though they have a slightly different product offering.

Makarachvili added: “Our focus will be on gateway cities where rising home prices and income stagnation makes rental housing the only viable option. In such cities, we will also expand our boutique product line as it gives a larger flexibility to travellers across different target audiences.”

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