CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), one of the leading international lodging owner-operators, with 1,300 units in the UK, has opened lyf Funan Singapore, the largest co-living property in Southeast Asia.
It is also the world’s first property under Ascott’s new ‘lyf’ coliving brand that is managed by millennials for the millennials and millennial-minded. lyf Funan Singapore is the first of Ascott’s record-breaking property openings in Singapore this year and will join Ascott’s expanding portfolio which spans more than 170 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.
Located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic & Cultural District, lyf Funan Singapore is at the epicentre of the city-state’s buzzing retail, commercial, social and cultural belt. Spanning about 121,000 square feet in gross floor area, lyf Funan Singapore houses 412 rooms across 279 apartments. The nine-storey coliving property will have easy access, via a sheltered underground walkway, to the City Hall Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange that is well-connected to the rest of the city.
lyf Funan Singapore is an integral part of CapitaLand’s Funan integrated development, which also comprises two office blocks and a mall offering cutting-edge retail concepts, coworking spaces, urban farm, theatre, cinema, artisan shops, craft workshops, gymnasium, rock climbing, and futsal facility. Guests of lyf Funan Singapore can enjoy convenience with the plethora of recreational, retail, dining and commercial options right at their doorstep at Funan as well as surrounding landmarks such as CapitaLand’s iconic integrated development Raffles City Singapore and the National Gallery Singapore. Catering to both short and long stays, lyf Funan Singapore is ideal for leisure and business travellers, expatriates, global assignees as well as digital nomads.
“Ascott’s first lyf property, lyf Funan Singapore, is Southeast Asia’s largest co-living property that will shape the future of travel and accommodation. Millennial and millennial-minded travellers can look forward to a dynamic live-work-play experience given the collaborative spaces, social programmes and strategic location of lyf Funan Singapore. Residents can plug into the local community and form connections with like-minded trendsetters, jetsetters, business executives, technopreneurs and creatives. A social hub that offers a new way to belong, we see lyf playing a key role in bringing people together to discover new possibilities, spark creative ideas and contribute to the region’s innovation landscape. We have seven more lyf properties to be opened over the next three years. We will open lyf in Bangkok, Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Cebu and Shanghai by 2022. Besides the countries where we have lyf, we are exploring to introduce lyf, via investment, management contracts or leases, to key gateway cities in Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The booming millennial segment, which is the fastest growing travel demographic, already forms a quarter of Ascott’s customer base and is expected to grow. Our lyf properties are specially designed to cater to millennials’ craving for social connections, collaboration and cocreation. Guests of lyf properties can be assured of consistent quality in products and services given Ascott’s 35-year track record of managing award-winning properties across the globe.” – Ms Mindy Teo, Deputy Managing Director of lyf
lyf Community – A New Way to Belong
lyf Funan Singapore will offer instagrammable ‘Connect’ social zones such as coworking spaces and an arena for activities such as hackathons, innovation talks, music jamming sessions, cooking sessions, or workshops with artisans. At its ‘Bond’ social kitchen, guests can prepare home-cooked meals, take cooking classes and socialise while learning more about global cuisines from other residents. Residents can work out and have fun with quirky design and interactive elements such as a giant ball pit, a giant-sized Connect Four set and the ‘Burn’ social gymnasium with a human-sized hamster wheel, evoking lyf’s unique and fun brand personality. They can hang out at the ‘Wash & Hang’ laundromat and strike up new conversations while waiting for their laundry to be done.
A huge focus is placed on facilitating community bonding and enhancing personal and professional growth at lyf Funan Singapore. It will conduct weekly social programmes to build connections and inspire the exchange of new ideas, providing guests with the opportunity to co-organise and cocreate community programmes or take part in TED talks, craft workshops and hackathons.
lyf Funan Singapore will be managed by lyf Guards – millennials who may be community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers, event organisers, and problem solvers all rolled into one.
Catering to the digital natives, lyf Funan Singapore provides a digital experience through its lyf app, allowing easy booking, payment and seamless access throughout the property with just a tap or swipe. As one of the pioneer hospitality apps allowing multiple destination bookings in a single transaction, the lyf app also enables communications with the lyf Guards. Guests will get to enjoy discounts at various shops at Funan by showing their mobile key.
lyf Funan Singapore offers five interchangeable apartment types ranging from 18 square metres to 105 square metres to accommodate single, dual or group bookings, with room rates beginning at S$150++. They include One of a Kind (18 sqm), a studio unit with an ensuite bathroom for individuals and couples who enjoy their own space; Two of a Kind (43 sqm), featuring two private rooms with a shared kitchenette; lyf Style (18 sqm), a gaming-themed studio unit equipped with a PlayStation console, ensuite bathroom and a pull-down sofa bed, and also the Up & Down apartments (18 sqm) which come with bunk beds. The All Together apartments (41 sqm to 105 sqm), which are ideal for groups of up to nine, are business suites featuring two to six rooms with a shared kitchen, a Samsung Flip interactive smart screen to facilitate discussions, as well as a large table that doubles up as a workspace and dining area.
Guests will enjoy the most attractive rates if they book via the lyf website (https://www.lyfbyascott.com/en/membership.html) and app. They can sign up as a lyf member to enjoy perks from Ascott Star Rewards Programme such as member-only special opening rates of S$113++ for the One of a Kind studio unit and other benefits.
In 2017, Ascott, through its serviced residence global fund with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), acquired the land from CapitaLand Mall Trust for S$90.5 million to develop the coliving component of Funan. The fund has invested an estimated S$103 million to develop lyf Funan Singapore. Set up through a 50:50 joint venture with QIA in July 2015, Ascott’s largest private equity fund has committed total equity of US$600 million. The fund’s five other properties are La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris, Citadines Islington London, Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo, Quest NewQuay Docklands Melbourne and Ascott Sudirman Jakarta.
The demand for coliving is driven by the growing sharing economy, as buzzing startup ecosystems in vibrant cities give rise to a popular culture of living and cocreating as a community among the millennials. lyf Funan Singapore will stand to benefit from Singapore being one of the top startup ecosystems globally and the second-best Asia Pacific destination for bleisure travel.