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A closer look at the rise of urban branded residences with the ultra-wealthy

Kerry McClinton-King from Six Senses Residences, one of the world leaders in the branded residences sphere, shares her thoughts on why urban retreats are rising in appeal to the ultra-wealthy and what they can offer their residents.

By LLM Reporters  |  August 4, 2022
Six Senses The Palm, Dubai

Often, when thinking of branded residences, the first image that comes to mind is one of far-flung remote destinations and resorts, golden beaches and turquoise seas. However, as international travel continues to return and many make their way back to their city-based offices, interest is rising once again for luxurious retreats in urban centres – particularly from highly mobile, wealthy consumers looking for the service, amenities, turnkey convenience and the ‘world away’ experience branded residences offer.

The epitome of serving the modern lifestyle ideal of the ultra-high net worth individual, branded residences provide a seamless interaction between owner and residence. With spare time sparse, these urban homes offer that much-needed convenience whilst maximising the experience of wellness, social and environment.

Here, Kerry McClinton-King from Six Senses Residences, one of the world leaders in the branded residences sphere, shares her thoughts on why urban retreats are rising in appeal to the ultra-wealthy and what they can offer their residents.

Six Senses The Palm, Dubai
Residents of the 172 branded residences at Six Senses The Palm, Dubai have access to a luxurious social and wellness club

The mix of connectivity, convenience and culture

Now (almost) normal service has resumed for global travel – especially for many high and ultra-high net worth individuals – the convenience of a city centre residence can’t be understated. Easy access to international airports is highly appealing, as is the idea of arriving back to a beautiful home, where whatever is needed can be met in an instant. The top branded residential schemes offer on-site teams, ready to anticipate residents’ every need, ensuring each stay is seamless and effortless.

Plus, having the cultural, social and dining scene of a city like London – whether it’s for theatres, restaurants or designer shopping – accessible the moment you step out of the door, is extremely appealing to many. A vibrant cultural scene is important in ensuring a strong quality of life, and cities such as London, Dubai and Bangkok are home to a vast number of these cultural attractions, be it museums or art, event and music venues.

The Whiteley exterior
At the core of The Whiteley will be Six Senses Place, a new kind of social club where wellness, community, and celebration meet, and sustainability is central to its design and operations

A place that feels a world away from the city

A key differentiator for branded residences, compared to non-branded properties, is the range and quality of amenities on offer. For those in urban areas, creating a real retreat for residents, which feels a world away from its busy surroundings, is all the more important as consumer priorities shift towards having spaces for relaxation and connection on the doorstep.

Wellness is a central ethos for Six Senses Residences – an approach that is clear to see within our latest urban residences projects. For example, in London, The Whiteley will see the restoration of a distinctive heritage site, with 139 world-class apartments and townhouses, 14 of which will be Six Senses Residences branded properties, sitting behind an impressive Grade II-Listed façade. All residences will be served by Six Senses hotel, spa and a social and wellness club, establishing one of the finest wellbeing, lifestyle and leisure amenities offerings in the capital, and creating an urban sanctuary for residents.

Over in Dubai, residents of the 172 branded residences at Six Senses The Palm, Dubai have access to a beautiful central garden, with a series of mini jebels, meandering valley paths and a romantic courtyard, accessed via bridges and stepping-stone paths – creating a tranquil centre as well as a hub for outdoor activities. At the core of Six Senses The Palm, Dubai, is a 60,000 square foot (5,574 square meter) social and wellness club, offering a longevity clinic, IV lounge, biohacking room, massage circuit pool, squash court, working spaces and Six Senses Spa, which is also inspired by the textured coral reefs under the sea.

The Whiteley members bar
Residents of The Whiteley will receive automatic membership and enjoy exclusive access to a beautiful ecosystem where they can meet, eat, treat or heal in wellness rooms, communal spaces, and a dedicated restaurant, all designed to encourage reflection, growth, and reconnection

Exciting investment opportunities

Several cities are fast emerging as not only residential investment hotspots, but branded residences hotspots too.

London is one such example. The city promises to be a prime prospect for those looking to invest in a branded residence, with the number being delivered in the capital set to increase by over 73 per cent in the coming years, according to Savills. This 73 per cent includes Six Senses’ first entry to the London market, following the recent launch of The Whiteley, in west London’s Bayswater.

More broadly, the investment landscape in London is a positive one. The capital has remained resilient in the face of Covid-19, taking the top spot in Knight Frank’s 2022 Wealth Report as the world’s leading city as an economic, cultural and societal hub. Looking ahead, London’s prime residential market is forecast to rise 7 per cent in 2022 – unsurprising, given how many people are now boomeranging back to the capital for work, leisure and living (many having realised the grass isn’t always greener away from the hustle and bustle of urban life).

Dubai – where we have recently launched Six Senses Residences The Palm, Dubai – also fared well in Knight Frank’s 2022 Wealth Report, as a prime residential market set to see the most growth globally this year. Knight Frank put this down in part to its lifestyle, relative value and resilience during the pandemic – making opportunities like Six Senses The Palm, Dubai an even more exciting proposition.

The branded residences offering in urban destinations is an exciting and appealing one. Capital cities have long been seen as a safe investment opportunity, with rich culture, heritage and lifestyle scenes, so it comes as no surprise that demand for these metropolitan retreats is expected to continue to thrive in the years ahead.