From Armani to Aston Martin, the world’s luxury powerhouses are changing today’s residential landscape. Branded residences come with intrinsic value included in the proposal, as, in addition to being supported by internationally recognized brands, they also come with a range of amenities, lifestyle benefits, quality services, and all the high standards associated with the brand. With innovative design and exclusive access, the branded residences offer the amenities and location of luxury hotels, with the privacy of home. F Luxury reveals some of the most interesting residences in the world…
Branded residences have been enjoying an increase in popularity in recent years, especially among buyers with little free time to look after their own property. To give you an idea of its growth, the world market for branded homes has grown exponentially in the last decade, with more than eight hundred projects (operational and ongoing) in more than 180 locations and in 64 countries. It is a concept that dates to the 1920s when the iconic Sherry-Netherland Hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York announced that it was going to offer 165 luxurious apartments for sale with all the advantages of staying in a five-star hotel. However, it wasn’t until 1985 that branded residences had their defining moment, with the opening of the Four Seasons Boston. Since then, many of the top hotel brands have followed suit, adding this uniquely sophisticated lifestyle to their offerings. But what is branded residences really?
In direct terms, branded residences are luxury residential properties tied to a particular brand. Historically and in the field of hospitality, branded residences offer potential buyers the opportunity to purchase their own rooms or small permanent apartments, exquisitely designed (sometimes inside a hotel or located in an independent development), often inserted in the most unique to a city.
However, the real appeal comes from the built-in level of service that such uniquely branded properties offer. For example, want to get a massage after a long day at work? There is a spa on the ground floor available. Need to walk the dog? There is someone specifically appointed to handle this. Guests arriving for dinner? The fridge has already been stocked with the main ingredients. In other words, everything you could want is available, including valet parking, security, 24-hour concierge service, and a series of fantastic amenities. Homeowners don’t even need to leave the house if they don’t want to. Without a doubt, this type of residence offers service levels like those of the best hotels, including a private chef or the possibility to order from a room service menu.
These amenities, along with the changes imposed by the pandemic, explain why, according to leading real estate experts, this unique market bar has weathered uncertainty better than others. And don’t think that it’s just hotels that have acted in this area, as luxury brands such as Armani, Bvlgari, Fendi, or the prestigious car manufacturer Bentley have also fueled the trend, which has seen the number of branded residences increase by 230 percent globally over the last ten years. The acceleration trend continues, with Asia-Pacific and Europe gaining ground.
Large hotel groups such as Marriott, Four Seasons, and Accor still account for about half of Miami’s branded home market, but non-hotel brands are rapidly gaining ground in this coastal city, ranging from luxury cars to fashion houses. Miami has been a hotbed of innovation in this area, hosting a wider range of non-hotel branded residential projects than any other city. Fashion giants such as Armani, Fendi, and Missoni have transitioned from the catwalk to the city streets, offering branded hotel-style apartments, but luxury car makers are also behind major developments. The Porsche Design Tower was the first condominium to allow residents to transport their cars to their apartments in specially designed glass elevators, and the British brand Aston Martin’s residences will be located in the tallest tower in the US outside of New York. Bentley, for its part, recently revealed plans for its first branded residential tower in Sunny Isles Beach, due to open in 2026. Another Miami project, Missoni Baia is developed by the OKO Group with design by the Italian fashion brand. Taking advantage of the beachfront location, the apartments feature a continuous-flow design and three-meter-deep balconies.
In this Greek country, buyers are also adopting branded residences with a focus on wellness and sustainability facilities, hence the growth of sustainable suppliers, such as 1 Hotels, launched in 2015. Founded in the United States, this hotel group expects to reach Europe in 2026, with Elounda Hills, in Crete, an oasis built with construction techniques aimed at reducing the carbon footprint and a design inspired by Nature in conformity with the surroundings. The new owners of the 258 residences will enjoy more than two kilometers of ecologically clean beach, views of Mirabelo Bay, a botanical garden and therapeutic spa, as well as the benefit of docking a yacht in the 64-berth marina operated by the renowned Camper & Nicholsons.
According to global real estate network Savills, Dubai is currently the world’s number one destination for branded residences, with its 46 residences soon to be joined by more than thirty new residential developments of its kind currently under development.
The city’s first branded residence, Armani Residence Burj Khalifa, in downtown Dubai, with apartments designed by Giorgio Armani, was launched in 2010. But as the emirate has grown, two new points of interest have emerged: one in the center of Dubai, the last unit of The Residences, Dorchester Collection; in turn, the Six Senses chain launched its first offer in the United Arab Emirates on the West Crescent, on the island of Palm Jumeirah, with apartments through Knight Frank.
If the branded residences sector is growing all over the world, Portugal is no exception, being well positioned to have more offers in this segment, with several projects already in operation, such as the Ombria Resort, Palmares Ocean Living & Golf or the W, in the Algarve, and many others in sight, being the 11th country in the world with the most pipeline. Karl Lagerfeld is an example of a fashion brand that is now investing in this sector and that assumes that it is interested in Portugal’s potential. According to Maggie Priori, Senior Vice President Licensing at Karl Lagerfeld, the brand takes the legacy of the late Karl Lagerfeld to real estate through projects that make sense, given that one of his passions was interior architecture. In Marbella, Spain, Sierra Blanca is an example of one of the projects that Karl Lagerfeld is developing in this area. Without going into detail, the brand admits that it could go ahead with one or two projects that are particularly consistent with the brand’s values — luxury and sustainability — possibly close to Lisbon and to Comporta, wanting to be 100% involved in the residences they develop, as only thus the project remains faithful to the brand.