IHG has revealed plans to bring its voco Hotels brand to Japan next year with the opening of a 191-room flagship property, voco Osaka Central.

On Thursday, the hotel company announced that it had signed a management agreement with NTT Urban Development Corporation, represented via its subsidiary UD Hospitality Management Corporation, with the aim of bringing something different to Osaka’s accommodation landscape.

IHG believes voco’s character and style hasn’t been seen before in the city.

The move follows an “unprecedented period of growth” for IHG in Japan, with the launch of Kimpton, Regent and Holiday Express brands into the market.

“As IHG continues its period of expansion throughout Japan, we see a great opportunity for hotels that are fresh and different, with a colourful personality that combines the reassurance of a big brand with the informality and charm of an individual hotel,” said IHG’s Managing Director – Japan and Micronesia, and IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan CEO, Abhijay Sandilya.

“voco has been one of IHG’s most successful brand launches, due to its unique guest offering as well as interest from hotel owners who appreciate the brand’s flexibility. We can’t wait to see voco Osaka Central open in 2023, and we hope it’s the first of many in Japan.”

The Osaka Central hotel, which is located close to train stations, shops and Utsubo Park, will include a restaurant, cafe, gym and meeting rooms. Its sustainability efforts will include the use of biodegradable coffee cups, energy-saving aerated shower heads and bulk bathroom amenities.

“With a focus on location, environment and uniqueness, we have used this experience to create a new city with the concept of ‘Decorate and circulate from here’. And we aim to create the hospitality demand in the new era by valuing the history of Kyomachibori and creating a more lively area in the vicinity centred on the hotel,” said NTT Urban Development Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, Hiroshi Tsujigami.

“This opening builds on our experience in the hotel segment, which includes the opening of The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu, which is housed in a preserved primary school building, and lyf Tenjin Fukuoka, a co-living hotel for millennials.”

Working with IHG and its company, UD Hospitality Management, Tsujigami said it’s the company’s aim for the hotel to become a “symbol of the city”.

Since its global launch in 2018, voco has grown rapidly with 35 high quality properties already open around the world. The Osaka Central signing marks the 75th signing for IHG in just over three years. It will be IHG’s sixth hotel in the city, following InterContinental Osaka, ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka, Holiday Inn and Suites Shin Osaka, Holiday Inn Osaka Namba and Holiday Inn Express Osaka City Centre Midosuji, with nearby ANA Crowne Plaza hotels in Kobe and Kyoto.

IHG currently has 50 open or pipeline hotels across six brands including (ANA) InterContinental, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, ANA Crowne Plaza, (ANA) Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.