LVMH, a conglomerate that owns exceptional brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, Veuve Clicquot, Sephora and Rimowa, as well as managing luxury hotels such as the Cheval Blanc, and being an important shareholder in the Bvlgari chain of hotels, recently acquired the Belmond chain for $3.2 billion dollars, which owns or manages 46 luxury hotels, restaurants and cruises in some of the most exotic and distinctive destinations in the world.
The financial director of LVMH, Jean-Jacques Guiony, based the decision to purchase the Belmond chain on the possibility of advancing the future of luxury products and experiences.
Guiony, said, that the tastes of luxury consumers has evolved into the concept of “luxury based on experience,” which has been primarily due to the growth of the Millennials and Gen Zers, which now dominate the buying market.
Analysts have estimated that with the acquisition of Belmond, the LVMH group will obtain an dominant position in the world of luxury hotels with a single purchase.
Another factor, that could have driven the increase in LVMH becoming more involved in the hospitality market, could be the decrease in demand for Chinese luxury fashion and accessories, as a result of the country’s economy slowing down and the controversy between Washington and Beijing.
What Belmond represents
Among the 46 luxury hotels that make up the Belmond chain, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Hotel das Cataratas in the Iguazú National Park, the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and the Belmond Splendido Mare in Portofino, stand out. Italy, Belmond Casa Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende and Belmond Maroma in the Riviera Maya, Mexico also attract tons of visitors on a yearly basis. The chain also offers unique experiences such as the Belmond Sanctuary Machu Picchu, which is the only hotel located within the pre-Columbian citadel of Peru. Other important hotels and experiences that make this list include the exclusive Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman train service, along with the Belmond Afloat cruises in France and the Belmond Road to Mandalay.
As part of its first strategic move after the acquisition, LVMH announced that it will open a Cheval Blanc hotel, a Louis Vuiton café, a spa and a Celine store on London’s famous Grafton Street by 2022. The experiential hotel will be designed by Norman Foster.
Louis Vuitton prepares for the future
Attentive to the growing importance of the categories of travel, hospitality and fine cuisine in the segment of high net worth individuals around the world, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH), completed its recent acquisition with a range of complementary proposals that include fashion, accessories and experiences in exclusive places of the world for its high class clients while providing outstanding personal services. ■