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APARTMENTS NEW TRENDS

Longer stays, community-focused activities and sustainability are top priorities for serviced apartment guests

Interest in serviced apartments increased during the pandemic, as travellers wanted additional space, exibility and places for remote working. While we are leaving those Covid years behind, such requirements remain signi cant to travellers. In addition, the sector is seeing the introduction of new brands and a larger focus on eco-friendly operations and multipurpose accommodation that appeals to both business and leisure travellers. Finally, operators are also gearing up for a younger cohort of travellers – Generation Z – looking for experiences that draw on local surroundings. Here we look at ve trends within the industry, and what to expect in the coming years. For further information on the sector, see our feature ‘Serviced apartments:

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Hotel Chains Invest In Extended Stays

Large hotel groups are betting on the long-term success of the serviced apartment sector, introducing new brands while also expanding the reach of existing extended stay brands. Building on the group’s 26 years of experience with Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott International announced its Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy in November 2022. Properties will not include traditional hotel services such as dining venues and meeting spaces, but all apartments will feature a separate living room and bedroom, kitchen and in-unit washer and dryer. No locations have been announced at the time of going to launched the aparthotel brand Dao by Dorsett last summer, joining its portfolio including Dorsett Hotels, Silka, and d.Collection. e 74-key Dao by Dorsett West London in Shepherd’s Bush marked the rst property in June 2022, followed a month later with a debut in Asia – the 268-unit Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, featuring two dining destinations and a pool deck overlooking downtown Singapore. Earlier in 2022, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts launched an extended stay concept for its 24th brand, Echo Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham, and it has become the group’s fastestgrowing development pipeline, with 120 properties under development. e new-build prototype consists of 120 rooms across single and two queen studio suites with kitchenettes, as well as a tness centre and 24-hour guest laundry. e rst properties have broken ground in Plano (Texas), Sterling and Richmond in Virginia, properties in new markets to expand their existing serviced apartment brands and respond to growing demand. Pan Paci c Hotels Group is set to double its serviced suites portfolio, with ten properties in Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi and Singapore, increasing the group’s global development portfolio by 50 per cent, and adding more than 4,000 keys by 2023.

Singaporean-based company e Ascott Limited, meanwhile, has also extended its scope by purchasing fellow serviced apartment company Oakwood. e move will increase Ascott’s global portfolio to around 900 properties across 200 cities and 39 countries, and see the group debut in new markets such as Washington DC, Cheongju in South Korea, Zhangjiakou and Qingdao in China and Dhaka in Bangladesh. operators reporting an increasing average length of stay by guests. e reasons for this are threefold. Remote working has made it easier for employees to work from abroad (provided the time di erence isn’t too disruptive), while the growth in bleisure has seen guests add on a few days to their business visit to make the most of the destination. Sustainability also has a part to play, with business travellers planning to travel less but for longer periods in order to limit their carbon footprint.

Reaping Rewards

With longer stays comes a greater desire for rewards. ankfully there are several operators which o er loyalty and membership programmes.

e Ascott Limited allows guests to accrue points during stays at select properties as part of Ascott Star Rewards (ASR). Staycity’s loyalty programme Stay Sweet currently has over 200,000 members and has seen

Growing For Relocation And Assignment Work

(Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report, June 2022)

34% of Generation Z and Millennials plan to take longer trips than pre-pandemic, compared to 15% of older generations

(Source: ‘The Future of Travel Hospitality’, Centre for Economics and Business (Cebr), commissioned by Edyn, November 2022)

The proportion of seven-to-14night stays doubled between 2019 and 2021

(Source: Cebr)

Edyn has an average length of stay of 4.2 nights per visitor, with more than half of guests staying for over a week guest retention boosted through membership. Members receive a ten per cent discount on all bookings, along with early check-in and late check-out, priority access to o ers, and free cancellation up to 24 hours before arrival. Edyn’s design-led aparthotel brand Locke, which has properties across the UK and Europe, has a membership scheme called the Locke Community. is gives guests ten per cent o every stay as well as early check-in, late check-out, exible cancellation and deals for new property openings. Such reward programmes are also bene cial to the operators in communicating more easily with guests on new property openings and upcoming events.

55% of travellers said it was important to have accommodation which includes exclusive discounts and perks as part of a membership model

(Source: Cebr)

23% of members of Staycity’s Stay Sweet programme go on to make a second booking

Seeking Sustainability

Guests are increasingly interested in choosing accommodation with sustainable credentials. Operators must also provide transparency regarding their e orts to avoid accusations of greenwashing. UK-based real estate investor and developer Lamington Group is a pioneer in this eld with its ‘hometel’ brand Room 2, which has three properties in Southampton, Hammersmith and Chiswick. Room 2 Chiswick opened in December 2021 and is the world’s rst fully whole-life net zero hotel, meaning that it has o set both operational and embodied carbon (the amount emitted during the construction of a building). See our review of Room 2 Chiswick at businesstraveller. com/ tried-and-tested. Other operators are also working on their sustainability strategies to ensure a cleaner and greener future. Staycity has introduced a new set of technical speci cations for the buildings it will lease in the coming years, ensuring that these use heat pumps instead of fossil fuel heating technologies and operate with high energy e ciency standards. e new buildings will also be required to disclose their whole-life carbon assessment. Additionally, the brand ensured that all its properties in 2022 o ered on-premises waste sorting, and it is starting an inroom and back-of-house waste and recycling trial, with hopes of rolling this out across all properties in the future.

63% of operators surveyed state that building energy e iciency will be very to extremely important when securing and developing new stock in the future

(Source: Savills European Serviced Apartment Market Commercial Research, March 2022)

Accommodation that has a low environmental impact is now more important to 35% of travellers than pre-pandemic

(Source: Cebr)

Room 2 plans to be fully net zero and to have 5,000 keys across the UK by 2030

A total of 4,462 trees were planted to o set the carbon of all the furniture in Room 2 Chiswick

Experiential Stays

Millennials and Gen Z travellers are looking for more experiential stays, leading brands to organise events and create communal spaces. e Ascott Limited’s Citadines brand is undergoing a refresh, with new features set to be rolled out across Europe by 2025 including the incorporation of a café into the lobby to create a more relaxing check-in experience. Sta will be barista trained and there will be events and programmes that encourage well-being. Ascott’s co-living brand Lyf, meanwhile, has been designed

Forthcoming Openings

Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Nairobi

The 128-key property will open in March and mark the group’s first venture into Africa. Located in Nairobi’s Westlands business district, the 26-storey property will occupy one tower in the gated complex of Global Trade Centre Nairobi along Waiyaki Way. The property will include a resident’s lounge, meeting room, gym, wine and cigar lounge, outdoor pool, children’s playground and a multimedia room.

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