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The 2020 guide to

Serviced apartments

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Xxxxxxxxx Welcome


From strength to


Your 2020 guide to the serviced apartment sector from ASAP and The Business Travel Magazine



19 [ The 2020 Guide to Serviced apartments ] WRITTEN BY Catherine Chetwynd Editor Andy Hoskins Publisher Kirsty Hicks Associate Publisher Callum Blackwell editorial Director Steve Hartridge Designer Ross Clifford Production Manager Clare Hunter Production controller Steve Hunter managing Director Matt Bonner

The 2020 Guide to Serviced Apartments is brought to you by BMI Publishing, producers of The Business Travel Magazine. Print ISSN 1754-8543. BMI PUBLISHING LTD Suffolk House, George Street, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK. Tel: 020 8649 7233 enquiries@bmipublishing.co.uk bmipublishing.co.uk While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Images courtesy of suppliers as indicated and also sourced from istockphoto.com and bigstock.com

elcome to The 2020 Guide to Serviced Apartments, produced by The Business Travel Magazine in association with ASAP, the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers. Incredibly, this is our eighth annual guide to the sector. A lot has has changed within the long-stay sector in that time, from industry standards and emerging brands, to booking technology and new entrants. Even the world's largest hotel groups have upped the ante, increasing their presence in this sector and even dabbling in home rentals. Yet some businesses have still not embraced apartments in their various guises as part of their business travel programmes. The cost efficiencies and 'home from home' experience are key selling points for business travellers, but the benefits for corporates run much deeper. Whether you're just beginning to explore the long-stay sector or are a seasoned and satisfied customer, there's a wealth of new trends and developments to discover within these pages.




An overview of the long-stay sector

Apartment options

Getting to grips with the options on offer


Why apartments work for business


Agents & operators




home rentals

Understanding who does what

Industry evolution continues apace

An option worth weighing up

22 aparthotels

How new brands are raising the bar

24 directory

A selection of industry partners


Nightly rate comparisons


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cheval three quays


A sector in

The serviced apartment sector's star continues to rise, with both demand and supply steadily growing

he numbers tell the resounding success story of the serviced apartments sector: demand in the UK for the first eight months of 2019 was up 7.6%, supply had increased 6.7% in the same period and, despite the increase in inventory, occupancy was also on the increase and rates grew by 1.4% (STR). “This is phenomenal and it is following the same pattern as hotels,” says Thomas Emanuel, Director for STR, which tracks the industry's development. Closer analysis shows that London’s stellar performance is pulling up the overall figures of the country, with 4.4% new supply and 7% greater demand. In the regions, however, occupancy is down 0.3%. “That is purely a supply-driven decline; supply is up 8.8% and demand has increased by 8.4%, which is still impressive



but it is being outpaced by new stock and that is putting pressure on rates, which are 1.3% lower for the same period,” he says. Even in cities where there has traditionally been a lack of accommodation, new stock takes a while to bed in, so an immediate impact on occupancies and rates is inevitable. This is particularly apparent in Manchester, which has seen an increase in supply of 34.4% in the year to August and has a pipeline of 1,133 units, against an existing 1,400 – nearly 100% growth; and in the M4 corridor, with supply up 24.7%. Pipelines elsewhere are also strong, with 502 in Edinburgh, one third of the existing 1,564; and 6,682 in London, more than half the existing 11,253 units. “We are still tracking 13,798 keys in the serviced apartments pipeline across the UK and the existing supply is 24,134 keys; hotels are nowhere near that,” says



Emanuel. “We are going to have to sustain considerable demand growth year after year if that is not going to have a negative impact on the top-line KPIs.”

Big opportunities

Dublin is another area where there is a lot of new inventory, though from a low base. “Dublin is performing strongly on the hotel side and undersupply of accommodation is more pronounced than in Manchester; it is a relatively small city but it is also a capital, so it is able to absorb the new stock,” says director commercial research for Savills Marie Hickey. Adding to this are Staycity’s four properties, Locke’s additional two and Marlin’s 20 serviced apartments, all opening in 2020. Dublin has also been successful in attracting tech companies such as Slack, Intel and Amazon, so demand is there.


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There are, however, still problems with availability. “We have struggled to find options in many secondary destinations and standards need to be more consistent,” says CEO of TAS Charles McCrow. “And research for GSAir shows that growth in corporate demand has slowed down a bit, but that is partly because of accepted use, so adoption of serviced apartments is not growing as fast as it was.” It is interesting to note that two-thirds of corporates do not use serviced apartments in hotel RFPs but do contract them for relocation. Several multi-million pound transactions in the past five years evidence the sector’s buoyancy: Versa Capital Management bought BridgeStreet for an undisclosed sum in 2014; Ares bought a majority stake in Native in 2016 and SACO merged with Oaktree Capital Management in 2015, which Brookfield bought for £430m in 2018.

Aparthotels have also made the industry more attractive to investors. “The aparthotel investment curve is still emerging, it is not yet returning the potential maximum value to investors,” says Max Thorne, CEO of consultants to the serviced apartments industry MRP. “They are a cash-strong business to operate: it takes one [staff member] for every residential apartment, one per room in a hotel and in an aparthotel, you need one person for five bedrooms. Running costs are half those of a hotel and you get a similar income.”

Common goals

Reflecting this dynamism is ASAP’s activity over the past year and plans for the next. The Global Alliance of Serviced Accommodation launched in 2019 and ASAP continues to work with the CHPA. “We visited Singapore, Spain and elsewhere

Corporates are delighted we have taken responsibility for due diligence away from them and provided them with a suite of vetted products” in Europe to see if other trade associations are interested in coming together but were disappointed not to make more headway,” says CEO of ASAP James Foice. “It was a big opportunity for us to unite but it was a case of chicken and egg; we want people to be part of the accreditation scheme so we can confirm to corporate buyers that members are doing everything to be as safe as they can be,” he says. “Some suppliers who have been incredibly supportive are now questioning, who is asking for this? With the sharing economy and OTAs, and the opportunities they bring, they are asking why they need to differentiate. So I have made it a goal to get to the corporate community.” This turned out to be a revelation: many buyers did not know about ASAP’s drive to roll out accreditation, nor about ISAAP. “Members also have a responsibility, why aren’t they using it to competitive advantage, putting it in RFPs?” he asks. Foice is a man with a mission to educate buyers and is bringing together 20 corporate organisations with an aggregate spend on accommodation of more than £2bn a year, for discussions about the value of the accreditation programme. The launch of the ASAP directory stayingwithconfidence.com gives customers a visual representation of accredited organisations around the world. “Corporates are delighted we have taken responsibility for due diligence away from them and provided them with a suite of vetted products that is available through the directory,” says Foice. This ties in with a long-term objective of customers’ making a value judgment on what ASAP represents. Given that sector spending is forecast to top $1.7bn globally by 2022 – the UK spent more than $50m in 2017 alone – according to Homelike, this is a lucrative market to pursue.


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Apartment options

Spoiled for



The increasing volume and diversity of apartments on the market gives corporates plenty of options

s the serviced apartment market matures, the variety of accommodation grows. Where once it largely comprised apartments with a separate bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and kitchen, now aparthotels are on the rise and are evolving. These started life modelled on hotels, with smaller bedrooms, integral sitting room and kitchenette, but with more additional services such as gym, laundry facilities, large lounge where breakfast is generally served and the general manager often hosts social evenings. Now, the genre has taken off in infinite variety, including co-living areas, where the floor is dedicated to interaction, work, relaxing and often games rooms, restaurants and more. The increasing popularity of serviced apartments in all their guises is partly due to that double-edge sword, Airbnb. “The serviced apartment has seen a surge in popularity: on one hand, the homeshare industry has opened up hotel alternatives to




the mass market, and on the other, household name hotel brands have taken notice of the change in consumer behaviour and invested in their own extended-stay products,” says SilverDoor’s group head of partner relationships Alex Neale. “It has never been more exciting for the consumer in terms of choice; there really is something for everyone. “Aparthotels are great for shorter stays, with the benefit of a reception or onsite services, but seasoned or longer-stay corporate travellers are often happy to shave off some of the extra services to have apartments within residential blocks or dedicated serviced apartment buildings.” And many operators are expanding the public areas of aparthotels to include coffee shop, bar and restaurant. Typical is Staycity London Heathrow, which has the group’s first Starbucks concession and, “We sublet the space to an innovative Indian restaurateur who is offering cocktails and modern, light Indian cuisine in the evening,” says founder and CEO Tom Walsh. The area


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also hosts buffet breakfast. “While our core Staycity Aparthotels offer remains the same, our latest sites have a larger lounge and additional facilities such as a gym, meeting rooms and, where space allows, a Staycafé selling drinks and snacks,” explains Walsh.


Apartment options

Changing tastes

Meanwhile, the premium Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity has opened a second property in Berlin and one in Edinburgh. Stay Sweet loyalty club is a new addition, offering 10% discount and benefits for direct bookings. “Without deviating from our core operational values – great service, great value, a central location and a home-fromhome feel – we are also willing to experiment. This approach will keep us ahead of the competition as the aparthotel market matures and grows – you have to adapt to demand and the changing needs of today’s traveller,” Walsh adds. Accor has redesigned Adagio public areas as The Circle, which are not the same everywhere and include a library of things ranging from a guitar to a rice cooker, and evening socials based on a film, football game or visiting chef. Adagio is also looking at the possibility of an event kitchen – not replacing kitchenettes in rooms – with chefs invited in to do a popup restaurant; and is considering co-living accommodation. “These would be big apartments with eight private rooms and a large area with one kitchen for the eight guests. We are still trying to find the right

building and location for the first mock-up and should have something to show by mid2020,” says COO for Apartments Adagio Karim Malak.

New arrivals

In addition, variations on the aparthotel theme are beginning to emerge. “We are beginning to see the student of 10 years ago coming into the corporate market as VP, MD, or analyst, and a lot of companies are giving employees a budget through payroll. They will choose somewhere more personal; and some of those people are happy to share a room,” says MRP CEO Max Thorne. “This is leading to operators’ looking at buildings that incorporate serviced apartments and a posh hostel, where guests are paying good money for a bed and spend the rest on something else.” Savvy Hotels in

Without deviating from our core operational values we are also willing to experiment. This approach will keep us ahead of the competition” Liverpool operates serviced apartments in The Richmond and opposite, posh hostel Eat Sleep Love; and in Birmingham, a 300-bed combined aparthotel and posh hostel. Edyn is the new group name to embrace serviced apartments SACO and aparthotels Locke. It has 35 properties in the UK and one in Amsterdam, and although not branded separately, the company has two upmarket serviced apartments, one in Moorgate and The Wittenburg in Amsterdam. “Our strategy is to expand the upscale serviced apartments where we have a presence; once Locke in Berlin opens, we might look at an upscale apartment there,” says chief commercial officer Nick Barton. Like its aparthotel competitors, Edyn is pushing out the boundaries for Locke and in the Manchester property, The Cotton Factory, the restaurant is a pop-up Mexican El Camino, which will run for a year. The space will host different restaurant concepts over time to attract diners in from outside. Contracting out services offers big efficiencies. “Organisations that outsource the labour-intensive and high-cost elements are able to bring in local expertise; ultimately, that could be housekeeping or linen provision,” says ASAP CEO James Foice. The options, it seems, are limitless.


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Spend management

The price is


Long-stay accommodation presents some attractive savings opportunities for business users

dding serviced apartments to an accommodation programme is a cultural leap travel buyers and travellers more familiar with hotels. The idea has to be sold to travellers – more space, freedom and independence. It also requires a degree of analysis on the part of the buyer: how many hotel stays are more than five or 15 nights? At what point do they ask travellers to use serviced apartments? Do they mandate use? Can they find apartments in the areas travellers are visiting? Can they ask them to share? And much more. “In addition, the potential for multiple occupancy of serviced apartments offers major savings for both business and leisure travellers,” says VP Partner Communities for BridgeStreet Ana Londono. “Colleagues or families sharing a



two- or three-bedroom apartment with en-suite facilities do not sacrifice their privacy but enjoy dramatically reduced prices when compared to what it would cost for two or three hotel rooms for the identical time period.” GE Global Operations has a $1.2bn spend on air and hotels and, until 2017, had not looked at the make-up of the hotel spend nor considered serviced apartments as a strategic option to hotels. “When we did some analysis, it showed this could be of benefit for us and we could see how it would complement our transient programme; we had a pretty sizeable number of stays over 14 nights,” says Executive Sourcing Leader Travel/ Living & Fleet for GE Global Operations Sourcing Bernadette Basterfield. This was no easy task, given that travellers come from across the group – GE Healthcare,

Aviation, Renewables, Power, Corporate and Digital – and each business had a different pattern of spend or travel. Booking apartments was set up through the company’s booking tool. “If someone does a search for hotels on our booking tool, once they have put in range beyond 14 nights, they are encouraged to take a link to The Apartment Service, put in their requirements and TAS will see whether there is an opportunity to save money by moving to a long-stay apartment. That way, we do not have to juggle with apartments not on GDS,” says Basterfield.

Fresh approach

Use of apartments is not mandated but travellers welcome them as an alternative to staying in hotels. It is still early days and Basterfield anticipates making more savings as she better defines GE’s hotel


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Spend management

We are moving much of our traditional transient business into apartments... it has been successful because there is an appetite for something other than the classic hotel product”

spend. In addition, “In the future, we hope to have a onestop shop so that TAS is built into our tools to make it function better than email exchanges between TAS and travellers,” she says. The problem with the current process is that it can take up to three days for TAS to respond to a request. “In most cases, our customers need to know an engineer is going to be there and the time lag causes a bit of an issue,” says Basterfield. “We need to work on the workflow to make travellers more productive.”

Into the nights

AIG’s programme is in its sixth year and even in the past 12 months, travellers’ global average length of stay increased to 19 nights, against 13 in 2018. “This is because we are moving much of our traditional transient business into apartments and I think it has been successful because it means there is an appetite for something other than the classic hotel product,” says Global Accommodation Manager Jan Jacobsen. “When I started, we were looking at cost efficiencies to

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Fraser Suites

Spend management

bring the average spend down and that was driven by price comparison, but the programme is now mature and we have had to look at other measurements. Travellers have more flexibility, more freedom, they don’t have to eat out every day. And female travellers don’t like to eat in restaurants on their own, so it means we are looking at traveller wellbeing as well as at cost efficiency,” he says. “We can drive a cost-saving exercise but for it to work, we have to get travellers’ buy-in, especially because they are away from friends and family, which is why wellbeing is very much in focus when promoting serviced apartments.”

Learning zone

Jacobsen recommends to new users of apartments to educate themselves on the vertical. “But a lot of my industry peers do not have the time, manpower or capacity to investigate the space, so they have to rely on suppliers to get together and do something educational. Suppliers need to find time to broaden their communications channels to association, environmental, corporate level.” AIG has an automated booking process – an online booking system that comes direct from a PMS or GDS – but as he points out, the majority of suppliers is still stuck in booking via email or phone. “Unfortunately, there are some really good products that I will not be able to use because of the booking process; bringing it into the corporate environment is the biggest challenge,” he explains. “Suppliers have a long way to go when it


comes to inventory management.” An example of successful efforts to improve accessibility of inventory is Q Apartments’ and Oakwood’s partnership with Travel Click, making all their inventory available on GDS. Jacobsen’s serviced apartments programme is mandatory in some markets and optional in others and he is looking at making them compulsory everywhere but still has to decide on length of stay to mandate. He lists ASAP members, with icon, on the programme and others that have been vetted by an industry body that meets ASAP criteria.

Brought to book

Booking processes are a perennial complaint of travel buyers but as Director of CAP Worldwide Jo Layton points out, aparthotels may be easily booked online but they are largely in city centres and cater to a different requirement from serviced apartment providers, whose accommodation is in primary and secondary areas. These provide more living space, weekly housekeeping, limited facilities and more demanding T&C for cancellations or changes. “It is difficult to build a global extendedstay programme that satisfies all stakeholders with aparthotels only,” she insists. “Immediate booking on GDS, unless a local corporate rate has been negotiated and loaded, can prove to be expensive. Online systems are still generally buying nightly rather than on length of stay. Agents add value through excellent client


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Spend management

The expectations of bookers must be managed, as the reservation experience is often traded off, wrongly, against suitability and value”

services, strategic development of programmes and ensuring cost-effective bookings. OTAs provide a lighter service when handling issues and escalations.”

One agency 7 global offices

Selling the dream

And there is more to booking serviced apartments than just choosing accommodation; considerations include access, room sizes, local community, transport, schools and more – travellers are often staying for three months or more, which is a long time to be in the wrong accommodation. “The expectations of bookers must be managed, as the reservation experience is often traded off, wrongly, against suitability and value. The goal in many corporate programmes is to show content online and allow the traveller to book easily, but travellers need to be safeguarded from the perils of instant gratification – particularly where stricter commercial terms result in higher costs and stringent change or cancellation terms,” says Layton. Conversely, operators need to make their apartments as accessible as possible. CAP aims to tailor programmes exactly to the requirements of the buyer, whether focusing on savings

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1,096,547 serviced apartments in more than 160 countries Powered by

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Spend management

[ the power to save ] In 2018, a FTSE 100 global energy group asked Oakwood to help reduce costs and manage its global serviced apartment programme. It had tens of thousands of workers travelling worldwide on business for on average 90 days, and Oakwood was tasked with daily management of the programme to achieve ongoing improvements based on actionable reporting, delivered through a specially developed consolidated reporting system. The supplier worked with the client’s travel and HR stakeholders around the world to ensure compliance with the group’s health, security, safety and environment policies. Procuring the right accommodation at the best rate was a key driver and was achieved by Oakwood’s epic accommodations management platform;

and simplicity or requiring a white glove service. There is another way, according to MY Serviced Apartment Consultancy, which links buyer and supplier directly. “Generally, cost reductions are associated with a compromise in quality and standards but by engaging in a direct programme with suppliers, corporates can gain in both areas,” says founder Gary Hurst. “We introduced a bespoke serviced accommodation tender platform, which supports travel managers in achieving a direct negotiated programme resulting in

this was defined by kitchens, spacious

pre-evaluation of safety, security and quality standards and additionally reducing cost.”

Winning ways

units, locations convenient for work and proximity to local amenities. Oakwood provided local experts on the ground where required, accommodation

Any company starting to look at using serviced apartments instead of longer hotel stays – or even shorter ones – will be able to make worthwhile savings, while also exercising duty of care and looking after the wellbeing of travellers. But it is no easy task and as Jacobsen advises, it is a subject the benefits from considerable research and understanding before entering the fray.

options in 185 cities and 38 countries, including some challenging locations – and all within budget; and the company worked with the client’s policy team to introduce city rate caps appropriate to a number of assignee types. The result: more than 1,800 stays covering 124,000 nights generated an estimated saving of $2.5million.

◆ Short and long stay apartments catered for. ◆ Ideal for corporate travellers or families. ◆ Studio and One Bedroom apartments. ◆ Pet Friendly Apartments available. ◆ Great value rates and Free Wi-Fi. ◆ Featuring Numerous upgrades.


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mode aprthotel

leman locke

Introduction Agents & operators

The bigger


Agents, operators and alliances are all active in the market, but who offers what?

s the serviced apartment market proliferates, so does the number of options for booking, in theory increasing competition and therefore putting pressure on prices. In practice, it probably only increases confusion. Operators are the most straightforward. They own or lease accommodation, which they are 100% responsible for and for use of which they negotiate direct with travel buyers and procurement, although they also put stock with agents. Agents represent, market and sell accommodation as a third party, adding commission to the rental fee. There are, however, hybrids, which own some of their inventory and take on the rest as an agent in order to provide a worldwide portfolio. The latter type has two problems. First, unless the agent is honest about which



properties it operates and which it represents, there is a risk it will push its own inventory first. Secondly, when travellers turn up at the apartment, they will not know who the operator is, which has serious ramifications when something goes wrong because all parties can deny responsibility. To be fair, many hybrids draw clear lines between their own stock and apartments they are representing as agents. For example, Q Apartments refers to other suppliers as network partners, allowing clients to see clearly who is supplying what. “Traditionally, travel buyers have struggled with this concept more than global mobility buyers. We have a responsibility to educate buyers about our products and then they can decide what is going to work for them,” says Q’s Head of Global Corporate Sales & Relationships Lorna Keen. Cheval Residences started life as an

operator but is now looking at taking on third-party assets in the US, Middle East and Europe. The company has also launched Cheval Maison, a five-star product but with smaller rooms; and another brand is on the cards, which will be “fun, with large community areas, apartments that are a lot smaller, and lots of ways guests can be entertained and engaged”, says director George Westwell.

United front

Alliances generally comprise a number of small, independent operators who take advantage of greater collective marketing clout, which also provides easy access for corporates to that stock on one distribution platform; TAS Alliance is a good example. Agents (and hybrids) are the link between the product and the buyer: an agent books as a third party and is buying on behalf of

A b 8 p t a e s


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Agents & operators

the corporate. “However, many agents enjoy buying for the corporate under their own brand banner, which dilutes the ultimate power of the corporate buyer in the market, while strengthening the incumbent agent,” says Director of CAP Worldwide Jo Layton. “Although, initially, this could be perceived as a benefit for the corporate – especially for an SME – for a volume buyer there is little or no recognition of their spend, which in turn prevents effective negotiation of added value items, rate savings, or buying power if they decide to change their booking agent.” There are, however, two sides to every coin and the converse argument is that a large agency will have huge buying power and can negotiate rates and accommodation worldwide on behalf of a client. In addition, “Agents offer an impartial service to clients, being able to access the

west grove – onefinestay

Agents offer an impartial service to clients, being able to access the full range of accommodation on offer”

full range of accommodation on offer in the marketplace,” says Head Partner Account Manager EMEA for SilverDoor, Kurtis Murphy. “Essentially, going direct requires the client to manage multiple relationships, accounts and booking processes and that generates more administrative work,” he says.

Rate expectations

SilverDoor’s Orbi and Orbi Relo overcome the thorny issue of access to live rates – short- or long-stay, and clients can still pick up the phone or use email if they prefer; and operators can load advantageous Orbispecific rates for corporate or long stays. “This is where larger agencies can differentiate themselves from the multiple choices a guest will face in trying to get rates directly from the operators,” he says.

Operating on a different model is MY Serviced Apartment Consultancy, which facilitates sourcing, pricing and booking for buyers directly with operators in their programme via a dedicated portal. Offering a marketplace service that embraces serviced apartments and real estate is Homelike, which specialises in minimum three-month stays. Homelike designed a booking process tailored to long-term accommodation, 50% of which is serviced apartments from suppliers such as Adina, Adagio and Oakwood, and the rest is apartments from property managers or property firms. “The latter require signed rental agreements, which makes the booking process more complex,” says CEO Dustin Figge. “We only work with property owners; they are not in the Airbnb space.” The technology also manages staged payments, so that if a company takes an apartment for six months at €2,000 a month, the client is charged per month; in the short-term industry, guests are asked to pay for the whole stay in advance. “We control the cash flow and make supplier and corporate aware when the payment has been made; that is one of the reasons corporates like working with us – they don’t want to deal with the supplier or they would have gone direct,” says Figge. And corporates are clearly impressed: Homelike works with around 15,000 organisations worldwide. Homelike is evidence that it is possible to book apartments from a variety of sources, using technology that makes the process as easy as a short-term stay. No mean feat.

With four confirmed Locke openings in London and Dublin in 2020 our vision is to create sanctuaries across European cities which provide a sense of belonging to the free-thinking urbanite in all of us. As a visionary business, SACO has been pushing the boundaries of modern travel for 22 years. With over 80,000 apartments in 260 key destinations across our portfolio, we’ve brought four hospitality brands together under a fresh new identity that reflects our ambition and culture. The transition to edyn signals an exciting new chapter for the serviced accommodation sector.

Our expansion for Locke doesn’t just stop there, we have grand plans further into the future - with openings in Cambridge, Berlin, Lisbon and beyond by 2022. Find your edyn. findingedyn.com 0330 123 3480 | sales@edyngroup.com

Eden Locke, Manchester

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Xxxxxxxx Innovation

n an ever-crowded market, it is increasingly difficult for operators to set themselves apart from the rest. But many are achieving that through technology, sustainability and application of left-brain thinking. Citadines Islington London, opening early in 2020, will have Chromecast TV and, arguably better for body and soul, yoga mats in each apartment, complemented by yoga and wellbeing sessions. And 4K Chromecast will be in all Citadines UK properties by the end of the year. Cheval Collection has a website with a booking engine powered by AI Allora, which has led to 15% uplift in traffic. It also has an interactive app for Residences guests, which includes live messaging and discounts at local restaurants and shops. The company upgraded its property management system in a partnership with RMS Cloud, with a view to having scaleable, adaptable technology.


Keep on



Serviced apartment operators are finding increasingly innovative ways to engage with and serve their clients

Reaching out

Cheval has also appointed Chinese marketing consultancy Emerging Communications to increase brand awareness with the high-spending Chinese market (estimated to be worth ÂŁ1bn in 2019) through social media platforms Weibo and WeChat; this includes promoting offers on Chinese mobile payment tool Alipay. New services introduced into Cheval apartments include Viva Therapies, which gives in-apartment spa treatments; and Waitrose Rapid, delivering groceries to an apartment within two hours, including 15% Cheval discount and free delivery. All Frasers properties in the UK hold the Green Tourism award and it buys power only from green energy producers such as wind farms. In addition, the group is moving towards the removal of single use plastic and looking at ways to conserve energy and water. Q Apartments has upgraded the systems it uses to manage data and added crossplatform messaging tool Live Person to marry up Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and SMS to give employees access to all communications from guests on one portal, increasing efficiency and therefore sustainability too.




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Room2 Southampton provides three options for check-in: team member on an iPad, self-service kiosk or via mobile device with mobile room access. This is done through cloud-based technology with open APIs, which allow all billing to be automated and charged by the system. And when guests check out, a notification is automatically sent to a housekeeper on

Cheval has appointed a marketing consultancy to increase brand awareness in the high-spending Chinese market through social media platforms Weibo and WeChat”

an app, who cleans the room, marks it ready for inspection, and after that ready for arrival. Criton’s second-generation app allows check-in, saving time at reception and works as a digital door key. Its research shows that 74% guests would use a hotel app if available, and 62% would be likely or very likely to check into a hotel via an app. And in response to the trend for smaller rooms and larger public spaces, Accor set up a mock-up Adagio in Bercy, Paris, using specially designed tables that can be moved to redesign the space. “We had people staying there with good results, but feedback was intriguing,” says COO Karim Malak. “There was a digital assistant, which could order a taxi, control the lighting, read to children… and onethird of guests said the digital assistant was the most interesting thing they saw in the apartment.” And that was the adults…

Arlington House Apartments arlingtonhouse.co.uk

+ 44 20 7629 0021

Located in the heart of St. James’s London, with many apartments overlooking the tranquil and leafy St. James’s Park. Location, space and comfort underline what Arlington House can offer. Whether for a few nights or a longer stay this is the ideal location. For best deals book direct or check out our website.

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h t i w y a t s r u o y Extend Staybridge Suites®

Staybridge Suites® Dundee

Staybridge Suites®, the much-loved extended stay brand from IHG®, offers guests contemporary suites which provide space to dwell, with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living areas and flexible working spaces. Staybridge Suites is the perfect choice for all guests, whether travelling for business or leisure, short or extended periods of time. Each hotel has key hallmarks such as complimentary breakfast, offering a selection of hot and continental items. Three evenings per week, guests can get together at the Evening Social, an opportunity to connect with others staying in the hotel over complimentary drinks and snacks. The Pantry, a 24/7 convenience store offers all the essentials needed for a comfortable stay. 24-hour gym and laundry facilities are also available to guests during their stay. The stylish, communal spaces offer even more room to work, meet or relax. Their flexible layout breaks the barrier between hotel guests and team members, giving the hotel properties a more residential feel. The modern room designs feature neutral colour schemes, allowing guests to personalise their space and make this their own when staying at Staybridge Suites. The Staybridge Suites brand is expanding its footprint in Europe over the next two years, opening more properties and entering new markets, including Poland and Germany. Staybridge Suites® Warsaw – Ursynow (2020), Cardiff (2021) and Gdansk – Oliwa (2021) will soon be making their debut.

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Recent additions to the Staybridge Suites® hotel portfolio are Staybridge Suites The Hague – Parliament and Staybridge Suites Dundee. The first, in the heart of The Hague, is located opposite the city’s main landmarks, offering guests the perfect location to enjoy sights of The Hague’s historic skyline. Designed to meet the needs of extended stay guests - from business travellers to families this hotel offers 101 elegant and contemporary suites. Staybridge Suites Dundee, located in a historical linen mill just a short walk from many of Dundee’s key attractions, reflects the city’s design heritage. It is packed full of charming features including exposed brick ceilings and original iron beams while providing guests with all the modern facilities they need to enjoy their stay. Its 85 beautifully designed suites are the perfect base for leisure or business stays. For further information or bookings, visit: www.staybridgesuites.com

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Home rentals

An alternative


Airbnb got the ball rolling, but now global hotel groups offer home rental options too

irbnb is credited with having raised awareness in consumers that there is more to a good night’s sleep than a hotel. However, appealing though it may be to stay with a local, the risks are too high for travel managers, whose major concern is duty of care – something that is generally sorely lacking in homeshare properties. The feedback SilverDoor gets from corporate clients reflects this. “They feel homeshare has not reached the levels of compliance to enable it to be competitive in the corporate space,” says Group Head of Partner Relationships Alex Neale. “It is also less reliable; for example, there are often no equivalent properties in the event of a booking extension or if an increase in bedrooms is required, or if there is an issue with the accommodation upon arrival.”


So, do Accor’s acquisition of Onefinestay and Marriott’s purchase of Homes & Villas legitimise a once loose-cannon type of accommodation? “ AIG’s Jan Jacobsen contracts the company’s accommodation programme on location and address, rather than by supplier. “With homeshare, I cannot contract the same portfolio of content because it’s too inconsistent, so I don’t use it. But I do welcome professional service providers like Accor and Marriott moving into that space because it brings an industry standard to the segment,” he says. “For those who have more flexibility or are more project driven, I can see it would be tempting; it would give a more local experience than a purpose-built environment,” Says Jacobsen. MY Serviced Apartment Company sees a similar reaction: “We have seen an increasing interest from corporates in the

homeshare space but also with considerable hesitation,” says founder Gary Hurst. “However, this area is increasingly being professionally operated as asset management company property portfolios are finding their way into this short-let market. This is particularly true in London where uncertainty over Brexit has resulted in reduced demand for standard long-term lettings and owners are looking at alternative revenue opportunities.” The way the Accor hotel group runs Onefinestay is similar to serviced apartments. Every guest is welcomed personally, there is 24/7 guest support and there is the option to add amenities and services such as chauffeur, grocery deliveries and destination experiences. “Our core business has always been families and leisure travellers but we have experienced an increase in business


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Home rentals

Duty of care is still quite an issue. Companies are happier if they can book where the provider takes responsibility for the booking”

travellers who are looking for individual style, space and comfort alongside more peace of mind and local support,” says Raphael Guillet, Chief Revenue Officer for Onefinestay. “They are looking for an experience that feels authentic to the destination. A Onefinestay home is also perfect for longer stays such as relocations.” Onefinestay gives corporate rates and although not on GDS, properties can be booked via an API connection with partner tools. There is, however, no suggestion that these can be customised to include travel policy or other buyer requirements. Corporate business comprises 10% of the company’s B2B business, which includes leisure travel professionals and consortia, relocation agencies and concièrge companies. This small percentage is reflected in the website, where there is nothing to reassure potential business customers about the likes of duty of care, fire safety or the gathering of MI. Marriott’s Homes and Villas site is also fairly short on corporate consolation. Partner property management companies check out “design and fire and life-safety” but in FAQs, reference to the potential need to sign a rental agreement and pay a security deposit suggests that this product is not aimed at the business market. Research undertaken by The Apartment Service (TAS) reflects most of these reservations. “Hotel groups and aggregators


are getting into the Airbnb space. They are trying to understand it but that doesn’t help with commoditisation,” says CEO Charles McCrow. “Duty of care is still quite an issue. Companies are happier if they can book where the provider takes responsibility for the booking; some 65% of corporates do not allow use of short-term rental providers such as Airbnb. Agents are a bit more flexible – about 68% use homeshare – but companies are more comfortable if the agent books; they want reservations to go through a TMC or agent they trust to have vetted the supplier.” Additionally, doubts about service levels endure.

Changing tide

Potentially reassuring, in the UK at least, is Airbnb’s partnership last year with the National Fire Chief’s Council to issue a twopage guide to fire safety, which was sent to more than 100,000 participants in the UK. The company has also hosted events where suppliers can meet experts from organisations such as RoSPA, London Fire Brigade, Gas Tag and more. This does not, however, guarantee that every – or any – host will ensure their accommodation meets the standards recommended, although Airbnb says it ‘regularly’ gives away smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Although research undertaken by Business Travel Show in 2018 showed that more than half (58%) corporate travel buyers view sharing economy providers as a benefit to their travel programme, compared to 37% in 2017, this does not split out Airbnb from Lyft, Uber and the rest. And a robust 44% still does not allow use of the sharing economy providers and has no plans to do so. There is still a long way to go before this segment appeals to travel buyers and until suppliers can guarantee and prove the duty of care of care required, it is not even on the horizon.

Airbnb’s own figures inevitably tell a different story. In August last year, nearly 700,000 companies had signed up for and booked Airbnb for Work, against 250,000 in 2017; and more than 275,000 of these “are directly engaged with Airbnb to help them manage their travel,” says the company. Average length of stay was four nights and the fastest-growing segment was three nights or fewer. At the same time, Airbnb for Work also launched HOMEpage, a customisable tool that allows travellers to search by property type, rate caps and amenities that fit the company’s travel policy, plus pre-filtered locations such as those close to offices or frequently visited destinations.


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Home Suite Home

London, Manchester and Now Brighton !

Templeton Place

The Rosebery

27 Nevern Place SW5 9NP +44 (0) 20 7373 6670 nevern@supercityuk.com

17 Templeton Place SW5 9NB +44 (0) 20 7373 6670 templeton@supercityuk.com

20 Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4SX +44 (0) 20 7837 4400 rosebery@supercityuk.com

Church Street

The Chronicle

Q Square

20 Church Street M4 1PN +44 (0) 16 1839 4848 churchstreet@supercityuk.com

4 Norwich Street EC4A 1DR +44 (0)20 3301 7550 chronicle@supercityuk.com

Queen Square Brighton BN1 3FD +44 (0) 1273 916 444 qsquare@supercityuk.com

Nevern Place

opening January 2020 !

For B to B enquires please call +44 (0) 20 3818 9070 Untitled-3 Publications.indd 1 Ad-TBTM 1

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Aparthotels Xxxxxxxx

he UK aparthotels scene is taking off in a big way. And once again, we're following in the footsteps of our cousins across the pond when it comes to big-name brands getting involved in the action. The first operator to make waves here was Staybridge Suites with its Liverpool property and now, in addition to other Staybridge hotels, other hoteliers have joined the fray. Accor’s Adagio and Marriott’s Residence Inn line up alongside a large number of home-grown versions such as Locke, Staycity plus upmarket Wilde, Native, Room2. Best Western has entered the mix too with SureStay Studio, a premium economy brand. The principle is smaller rooms and bigger public areas, evening socials, with additional services such as restaurant, laundry, pantry and gym. “They are bringing in the bits serviced apartments always said they didn’t have; they are moving towards the hotel world,” says TAS CEO Charles McCrow. Locke will add two properties in Dublin and three in London to its existing three; and Adagio opens in London in 2020, Stratford, Whitechapel and Glasgow in 2021; and is looking at Manchester and Leeds. Accor aims to ensure Adagio is not the same in every location and to that end, brings something new to each public area. It has updated 40 out of the 60 plus properties and TripAdviser ratings were up on average two points where the update had not been done and three points where Le Cercle communal areas had been introduced, a clear measure of success.



The middle


Bridging the gap between apartments and hotels, the aparthotel model is proving popular with corporates


Double delight


Cycas continues to roll out its dual branded properties and next in line is an Indigo/Staybridge Suites (102 rooms/85 rooms respectively) in a refurbished linen mill in Dundee, with bar and restaurant; a 155-room Residence Inn in Manchester’s Northern Quarter follows. The former Staybridge Suites/Crowne Plaza in Manchester’s The Lume building will become a Hyatt House/Hyatt Regency in 2020. Quest’s new relationship with Cycas has produced a 100-unit aparthotel in



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Market movers

Meanwhile, Native Manchester has opened with independently operated restaurant, mini cinema, bar, coffee counter and flexible events and workspaces, plus BLOK fitness studio, all operated by Bistrotheque, extending even further the usual raft of facilities to be found in an aparthotel. This will be followed by a second Manchester

In the last 16 years, the asset class been recognised and understood, the institutional market has come into it in a big way and developers understand what the operators need” property, Soho, Bristol and Leeds, then York and Oxford. “There is not much competition in Oxford but it is a tight market, difficult to get into – so much of the land is owned by the universities, there is not a lot of opportunity,” says CEO Guy Nixon. “In the last 16 years, the asset class been recognised and understood, the institutional market has come into it in a big way and developers understand what the operators need and as a result, the quality of the product has evolved dramatically to meet the needs of the market.” It will not stop here.

wilde covent garden

Liverpool, with an Australian spin on the design. There are studio, one- and twobed apartments, the latter a one-bed interconnecting with a studio. One-bed units have full kitchen and a washing machine/dryer. There are laundry rooms on the 4th and 6th floors for those in a studio, plus a gym and meeting room. Usefully, there are also chargeback facilities with a number of local restaurants and cafés.


When you stay with Native, you don’t just get award winning design, central locations or stunning architecture, you get comfort, convenience, and everything you need to live – from fully equipped kitchens to in-apartment laundry to business facilities. Native Manchester is our newest aparthotel. We’ve restored every inch of this industrial icon, embracing each original beam and brick throughout our spectacular, spacious apartments. And with our neighbours CULTUREPLEX AND BLOK on our ground floor we’ve got you covered with dining, drinks, meeting and event spaces, mini cinema and fitness studios.

Stay \ Original

Native transforms the way you stay. We bridge the gap between home and hotel. We offer everything a boutique hotel does, with the space, freedom and flexibility of an apartment. We give businesses a totally new way to travel.

Welcome to Native tellmemore@nativeplaces.com

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Help is


With thanks to our very generous sponsors who have made this guide possible

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Aparthotels Adagio, the leading aparthotels network in Europe offers comfortable and spacious apartments with complete kitchen and hotel services in 115 urban locations in 13 countries.

Located in the heart of St. James’s London, many apartments overlook the tranquil and leafy St. James’s Park. Location, space and comfort is what Arlington House can offer.

CAP serves our corporate clients with consistent, sustainable, caring, cost-effective, safe & secure evolving global programmes through a blended integration of our people and our technology.

Cheval Collection offers more than 500 luxury serviced apartments in the most sought-after areas of London, with 24-hour concierge service and daily housekeeping.

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CORPORATE HOUSING FACTORY corporatehousingfactory.com +31 (0) 88 1169 500

EDYN findingedyn.com +44 (0) 330 123 3480

The City of London specialists. Established in 1999, with over 200 serviced apartments exclusively for business travellers. Our ethos is simple: to exceed expectations!

Founded in 1988, Clarendon Apartments provides the comfort and flexibility of home, with 32 properties across a variety of London locations. Stay the Clarendon way!

Corporate Housing Factory is the leading provider of high-quality and centrally located serviced apartments in the Netherlands.

We provide business travel accommodation for companies of all sizes. With over 80,000 apartments in 260 locations across our brands and partners, we’ve got your clients covered.


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Directory For a full directory of ASAP’s accredited members please visit www.staywithconfidence.com

FOUNTAIN COURT APARTMENTS fountaincourt.com +44 (0) 131 622 2754

FRASERS HOSPITALITY frasershospitality.com +44 (0) 20 7341 5599

HOUSE OF FISHER Houseoffisher.com +44 (0) 1189 514 151


Serviced Apartments in Edinburgh’s West End. Ideal for business travellers and extended stays. Spacious, secure and flexible living, in the city’s major business districts.

A leading provider of premium serviced apartments, hotel residences and boutique hotels with 143 properties across 80 gateway cities worldwide.

Market leading owner-operator with 20+ years’ experience and 200+ Thames Valley apartments, delivering unbeatable customer service, incl of SKY TV, 24/7 support and fast Wi-Fi.

We specialise in providing quality corporate and extended stay serviced apartments throughout Hertfordshire, offering a home away from home for the discerning traveller.

PREMIER SUITES premiersuiteseurope.com +44 (0) 151 227 9467

ROOMSPACE roomspace.com +44 (0) 20 8944 3662

SHORTSTAY MK shortstay-mk.co.uk +44 (0) 1908 540 636

SILVERDOOR APARTMENTS silverdoorapartments.com +44 (0) 20 8090 8090

Choose from 15 locations across Continental Europe, Ireland and the UK. A wonderful alternative to traditional hotel accommodation. All properties have achieved ISSAP Building Accreditation.

Serviced apartments in the UK, Spain & Portugal. Apartments are central, ready to live in and come with weekly housekeeping, 24h support, Great Wi-Fi and all home comforts.

Stylish studios to 4-bedroom houses in Milton Keynes. For those seeking superb quality, amenities and a professional service.

The world’s most trusted serviced apartment provider. Through one relationship, we source accommodation from 1,400 operators in 690 cities.

SITU SERVICED APARTMENTS situ.co.uk +44(0) 1392 690 079

STAYCITY GROUP staycity.com +44 (0) 20 3499 0748

SUPERCITY APARTHOTELS supercityuk.com +44 (0) 20 3818 9070

THE APARTMENTS BY PRESTIGE theapartments.co.uk +44 (0) 20 7603 7629

SITU are global accommodation specialists providing corporate business and professional travellers with a home away from home.

Award-winning Staycity Group offer quality short and long-term accommodation under the Staycity Aparthotels and Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity brands.

Luxury boutique aparthotels based in London, Manchester and Brighton. Perfect for business travellers and just about anyone who likes an added element of freedom.

Offering stylish studio and one-bedroom apartments situated for easy access into the City, the West End and Chelsea. Ideal for leisure, corporate and extended stays in London.

THE ASCOTT LIMITED the-ascott.com +44 (0) 20 3119 3405

THE RESIDENCE residenceapartments.com +44 (0) 20 3763 4637

TOWN OR COUNTRY town-or-country.co.uk +44 (0) 23 8088 1000


One of the leading international lodging owner-operators with more than 720 properties in over 180 cities spanning more than 30 countries.

A unique collection of modern luxury apartments offering the best of serviced living in central London. Luxury living, exquisite locations, premium service – The Residence.

Town or Country have over 35 years of experience in providing the best cost-effective furnished homes and serviced apartments in Southampton. Quality guaranteed.

Have you booked your stay yet?

portfolio-apartments.co.uk 0800 0248 9142


+44 (0) 1912 813 129

Short notice or planning ahead, we got you. Local. National. Global.


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Xxxxxxxx Data

Running the


How apartment rates compare with hotel costs in London and across the UK



Accommodation type

1 - 6 nights

7 - 27 nights

28 - 89 nights

90+ nights

UK average 1 bedroom


UK average 2 bedroom








1 bedroom, London 2 bedroom, London









1 bedroom, Manchester





2 bedroom, Manchester





1 bedroom, Edinburgh





2 bedroom, Edinburgh





1 bedroom, Liverpool





2 bedroom, Liverpool





1 bedroom, Birmingham





2 bedroom, Birmingham









2 bedroom, Newbury







Accommodation type

1 - 6 nights

7 - 27 nights

28 - 89 nights

90+ nights

1 bedroom, City





2 bedroom, City





1 bedroom, West End





2 bedroom, West End
















Source: figures kindly supplied by SilverDoor

1 bedrom, Newbury



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Join & Save 10%

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

The 2020 guide to Serviced Apartments  

Your 2020 guide to the serviced apartment sector from ASAP and The Business Travel Magazine

The 2020 guide to Serviced Apartments  

Your 2020 guide to the serviced apartment sector from ASAP and The Business Travel Magazine