RICHMOND, BC—Cozystay Holdings Inc. is taking over its first hotel. The technology-first accommodations group with a growing portfolio of hotels, resorts and vacation rentals under management is readying to step into its future with a strong strategy.
“Our founder, Galen Cheng, identified that in the hospitality industry, traditionally the level of service is defined by the service provider—four-star, five-star, etc.—and purely regulated and defined by hotel groups. In our point of view, there is a gap,” said Peng Shen, chief technology officer, Cozystay, based here. “In the service industry, it should be the guest that determines if the service received is good or feels like home. Rather than the hotel saying it is a four-star property, we believe it is up to the guest. This is the potential need our founder identified.”
Cozystay was ready to branch out and signed a deal with Abercorn Inn Vancouver Airport to relaunch the property as part of its growing line of specialty properties as Cozystay Signature Vancouver Airport. The expansion follows Cozystay’s takeover of another property in British Columbia–Lake Okanagan Resort, now rebranded as Cozystay Signature Lake Okanagan Resort.
Founded in 2015, the company currently manages Cozystay Signature Lake Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, BC; Cozystay Signature Vancouver Airport in Richmond, BC; and there are properties under Cozystay’s management in Toronto, Sydney, Waterloo, Belgium, and beyond.
“We have our own platform and properties under management in the vacation rental space sector. We tried a lot of things and different interactions with our guests, and now, we are at a level that we can make a dent in the traditional hotel industry,” said Shen. “We want to do everything properly and deliver measured results. We are starting to step into the hotels and resorts sector at a larger scale.”
Cozystay is ready to grow, adding 25 new team members to support its expansion.
“For now, we are looking for properties similar in size, and we are open to opportunities,” said Shen. “With this model, a lot of the decision power goes to our guests staying on-property. Our mission is for the guest to define what a five-star hotel experience is. We believe that in order for a hotel to feel like a home away from home, guests need to be empowered and have rights in terms of the services they want. We are working toward that goal.”
According to Shen, the vacation rental industry is trending as Airbnb captures its share of the market and traditional hotel brands continue to expand in the home-sharing business.
“Airbnb and Marriott, from our point of view, are segments in this industry. One is more like a channel that puts guests in a house and Marriott, on other side, is a last-mile service provider,” he said. “There’s a fine line between a rental and a hotel. In five to 10 years, what we currently know of as accommodations will vanish. When you go on a trip, you will think about an accommodation rather than staying in a hotel.”