In 2002, Sol Kerzner’s Sun International empire comprised two distinct businesses: mega destination resorts with casinos at their heart – think Sun City and Atlantis Bahamas – and by comparison, eight boutique-sized luxury resorts including the peerless Le Saint Géran, Mauritius. The boutique properties each had individual names and identities and were only partially linked to the trade brand ‘Sun Resorts’. Butch Kerzner appointed Luxury Branding to create an upscale management company brand for the boutique properties with a view to expanding the portfolio and providing Sun International with a jewel in their not inconsiderable crown and so was born One&Only Resorts.
Kerzner was intent on creating a brand of 5-star deluxe hotels with an informal, family-friendly atmosphere. On this basis, the three mid-market hotels in the group were excluded, leaving five, remarkably disparate properties, which would form the basis of the new brand. What resided at their core was a strong emphasis on design detailing, an animated, activity-friendly atmosphere, a real sense of place and an easygoing, genuine style of hospitality. These attributes were like four separate moons orbiting a planet however, a planet we still had to define.
The “One&Only” moniker resolved the impasse – it was, at once, the brand’s proposition and a category-breaking name. By placing the brand and property on the same level, as in “One&Only Le Saint Géran”, the branding solution elevated each hotel as it were on a pedestal, ensuring immediate buy-in from the respective owners and GMs. It also broke the established approach to endorsement where the group brand name sits after or under the property. The peculiar name, strong co-branding and industry defying brand and collateral design realised in collaboration with Pentagram Design, helped to achieve instant notoriety within the trade and super-quick recognition amongst global luxury travellers. The brand was taken to market with another first for the resort industry – advertising developed by M&C Saatchi, which used fashion-inspired, black and white photography to great effect.
Our work with One&Only Resorts established Luxury Branding as a go-to hotel branding firm.