IHG Hotels & Resorts Returns to Kyoto with New Holiday Inn at Gojo

IHG Hotels & Resorts has entered into a management contract with AXA IM Alts for the launch of Holiday Inn Kyoto Gojo, slated to open in early 2025. This launch marks a nostalgic return to the origins of the Holiday Inn brand in Japan, which debuted its first location over half a century ago in 1973. Positioned as the eleventh Holiday Inn within Japan, this establishment joins two other IHG properties in Kyoto: ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto and the newly inaugurated Six Senses Kyoto.

The hotel will feature 183 rooms and is set to undergo significant renovations, transforming into Holiday Inn Kyoto Gojo. Upgrades will include a modern open-lobby lounge and café bar, an upscale restaurant, several banquet halls, traditional Japanese daiyokujo baths, and a state-of-the-art gym. Energy efficiency enhancements are also planned, with the introduction of energy-saving showers, advanced guest room management systems, and overall facility upgrades aiming for BELS certification.

Strategically located near Kyoto’s main train station and surrounded by the city’s rich cultural heritage sites and authentic dining options, the hotel offers convenient access for travelers, especially those arriving by the Shinkansen bullet train. Following Japan’s pandemic border reopening, Kyoto’s tourism sector has shown strong recovery, now exceeding its 2019 visitor figures. The new hotel is anticipated to leverage the global recognition of the Holiday Inn brand and IHG’s extensive network, including its award-winning IHG One Rewards program, which boasts over 130 million members, to draw both domestic and international guests.

Abhijay Sandilya, Managing Director of Japan & Micronesia IHG Hotels & Resorts and CEO of IHG-ANA Hotels Group Japan G.K., said, “We are very pleased to announce our agreement with AXA IM Alts to open Holiday Inn Kyoto Gojo by early 2025, marking the return of the brand to its roots in Kyoto where it was first launched back in 1973. The historical, cultural and beautiful Kyoto is one of the world’s favourite destinations, so we are confident that Holiday Inn, as the world’s largest hotel brand family, along with IHG’s other Kyoto hotels, ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto and Six Senses Kyoto, will provide a place for everyone to stay when visiting this unique and wonderful city. We look forward to building on this long-standing partnership with AXA IM Alts and hope to develop even more great hotels throughout Japan in the years to come.”

Laurent Jacquemin, Head of Asia-Pacific at AXA IM Alts, commented: “The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic provided a compelling entry point for new acquisitions in certain pockets of the hospitality sector. The sector’s favorable structural drivers, including an increase in domestic and international tourism, underpin this highly attractive investment. We have long track record of successfully executing value-add projects as we look to reposition this sizeable, well-located hotel in a market characterized by a scarcity of foreign-brand hotels. Japan is a key global market for AXA IM Alts, and one where we will look to pursue our deployment in 2024, targeting those sectors benefitting from supportive technological, urbanisation and demographic trends.”

IHG is continuing to expand its footprint across Japan, now managing 59 hotels that are either operational or in the development pipeline, marking a significant growth phase in the region.

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