Saint Amand: Why Lodha established an exclusive hospitality brand to serve its developments
Saint Amand is a full-service residential management and hospitality company providing services exclusively to the owners and residents of Lodha UK’s developments, No.1 Grosvenor Square and Lincoln Square.
The team was established by Simon Hirst, one of the UK’s leading hoteliers, and Stephane Palluault, formerly the general manager of a renowned London private members’ clubs. Together Stephane and Simon have built a truly outstanding team of over fifty staff members from a variety of impressive hospitality and service backgrounds.
Starting in 2023, David Lampe has assumed the role of General Manager for both projects. With over two decades of high-level hospitality experience, David has been instrumental to the team’s growth and looks forward to the next chapter at No.1 Grosvenor Square and Lincoln Square.
The leadership team is set to grow further as Saint Amand mobilises to extend its services to the residents of our next project, Holland Park Gate, in 2024.
From the outset of our business, we recognised that high-quality services were becoming more and more important constituents in prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, but we initially believed that this need could be met by a third-party service provider, such as a residential managing agent or a branded hotel operator.
However, as our developments progressed and we built closer and deeper relationships with our off-plan customers, two fundamental realisations reshaped our thinking.
The first insight was that there was a significant opportunity to go beyond providing ‘just’ an exceptional service level – we could aspire to deliver services that would genuinely improve the quality of life of our customers, services that could respond and adapt to our residents’ needs and continuously improve year on year. We recognised that it was unlikely that anyone else would ever be as motivated as us when it came to serving our own customers in this way.
The second observation was that value for money and transparency were growing in importance for anyone paying a service charge, whatever their level of wealth. We observed that there is a structural financial advantage to a freeholder delivering services directly to residents compared to using a third-party operator. This presented an opportunity to increase service quality while reducing leaseholder costs.
The more we discussed it as a team, the clearer it became that there would be significant advantages for our customers if we could establish a world-class hospitality company that could deliver bespoke services directly to our residents. Our structural cost advantage would enable us to attract the highest calibre of people in the hospitality industry; we would deliver tailored services that are genuinely valued by residents and which we could improve year on year, and we could do this whilst reducing the overall service charge for residents.
Establishing Saint Amand has been a transformative experience for our business, with the benefits going far beyond what we originally envisioned. It has broadened, deepened, and personalised our relationships with our customers, allowing trust to blossom and genuine, meaningful relationships to develop.
It has enabled us to fine-tune the services that we offer, and as we see first-hand how the features and attributes of our developments are used and valued by customers, it allows us to incorporate improvement in future projects such as Holland Park Gate.
It has also brought leaders with a deep and genuine concern for customer service right into the heart of our company, positively influencing our corporate culture beyond our service teams.
When we ask our residents and owners what they like about living in our developments, the calibre of staff and services are at the top of their lists. More and more of our customers now cite our personalised approach to services as one of the main reasons why they purchased a property from us, and customers now refer their friends and relatives to us, on the strength of their service experience.
We now see the self-delivery of exceptional services in our developments as an important source of strategic competitive advantage for our business, and there is no going back.