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Exclusive: Argaman talks Toga Far East Hotels

Photographed by Dominic Loneragan.

Exclusive by James Wilkinson

Toga Hotels has changed its name to TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels), acknowledging the recent joint venture between Toga Group and Far East Hospitality, according to Rachel Argaman.

Speaking exclusively to HM, Argaman, the CEO of TFE Hotels, said the move recognised the business relationship between the two companies and the combined plans to expand the chain.

“This is acknowledging that deal and we need to represent that structural change under a new identity,” she told HM. “[And] we need to leverage the brand identities.

“This rebrand reflects the combined strength of two well-recognised international businesses and allows our family of brands to continue to grow in Australia and overseas,” she said.

Argaman said there would be “no change to the consumer facing brands” with the move to TFE Hotels.

The joint venture, announced in 2013, has already expanded in Australia and New Zealand with the addition of Far East’s Rendezvous Hotels (under Far East’s joint venture with The Straits Trading Company).

TFE Hotels currently manages six Rendezvous Hotels and is set to add the remaining five under management, something Argaman told HM should happen by the end of April “as the liquor licensing approval comes through for each hotel”.

TFE has a significant number of hotels in the pipeline, with at least 10 set to join the chain in the coming years, Argaman said.

HM also understands the chain is also set for a significant expansion in Europe under its Adina brand, with announcements set to be made in the not-too-distant future, something Argaman said she is also excited about.

“We have some very exciting things coming up in Europe,” she said.

TFE Hotels’ Vibe brand is also set for a refresh, HM can reveal, with Argaman saying the company was “completely looking at the Vibe brand and there will be an announcement soon”. As part of that, “new hotels are set to be announced”, Argaman said.

When the joint venture was announced, the possibility of some Far East’s brands – including Quincy, Oasia, Rendezvous, Village, Far East Collection and The Marque – debuting in Australia and New Zealand was flagged.

While an announcement is yet to be made, Argaman told HM that’s still the intention.

“We’re anticipating one of the brands [appearing in Australia or New Zealand] in a three- to four-year timeframe,” she said.

Far East Hospitality’s CEO, Arthur Kiong, has welcomed the new TFE Hotels identity.

“There is a great synergy between both brands – with excellent opportunities for cross-selling initiatives across all of our geographic markets,” he said.

“We look forward to streamlining management and consultancy services and adding a bit of Singaporean flavour to the renowned hospitality experience for which TFE Hotels is known.”

To view a video of Kiong talking about the joint venture with Toga Group, click on the image below.

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