Despite the recession and attendant collapse of worldwide property markets, the global serviced apartments industry continues to expand. In 2010 we estimated that there were 446,996 Extended Stay/Apart-Hotel apartment units in 7,119 locations. Today, we have identified 599,187 units in 8,362 locations – an increase of 34.1% in inventory and 17.5% in coverage. This growth reflects the increasing popularity of serviced apartments with operators and users alike. The perception amongst operators in all the regions covered by this report is that competition is growing. 77.4% of operators who took part in our survey confirmed that local inventory is increasing. The drivers behind serviced apartment usage are space, the ability to self-cater and price. Three years ago, the main factors were independence, comfort and the ability to entertain friends. This reflects the growing maturity of the sector and the steadily increasing understanding amongst travellers and corporates of the benefits apartments can offer over traditional hotels. However there is still much work to be done in educating users about what they should expect from a serviced apartment. Demand for serviced apartments is on the increase, evidenced by the continuing and overriding optimism amongst apartment operators. The relocation industry is placing more short (i.e. less than a year) term assignments; business travel has picked up and is seeing more trips of a week or longer; multi-cultural societies are travelling further and longer to spend time with friends and relatives. These disparate forces are all driving demand. The variations in types of apartment are becoming clearer, although very slowly. Previously restricted to the US, corporate housing is establishing itself in Europe and Asia. India is a now a leading market source for corporate stays and Brazil for leisure stays, demonstrating the growing power of the BRIC countries. Nevertheless product differentiation continues to be an issue, and in this report we have looked at how the sector is trying to make life easier for its customers. However I believe the main difference is a fundamental one.
Extended Stay hotel offerings are typically purpose-built properties catering for stays of five nights or more. The corporate housing industry provides residential apartments with added services, where the average stay is around three months.
Now is an excellent time to switch over from hotel accommodation to serviced apartments for corporate customers. Such schemes allow for more flexibility so there is no need for constant reservation/cancellation. Having a serviced apartment with SriGanesh Serviced Apartments allows corporate customers the flexibility of arranging business travel at any time whereas with hotels the availability is always in question. SriGanesh Serviced Apartments provides all necessary utilities and services one would expect from a 4-star hotel with the convenience of serviced apartments. Now is the time to explore your company’s options and switch to our flexible and luxurious accommodation services.
The term ‘serviced apartment’ is traditionally used to describe an apartment alternative to hotel accommodation for long stay leisure or business travellers. However there are two types of accommodation to which the description serviced apartment applies, with an ever-growing list of sub categories.
1. Extended stay hotels –mainly studios, one bedroom with a few two bedroom apartments typically found in urban locations, ranging in standard from budget to deluxe. All are fully furnished and include -
• En-suite bathrooms
• Fitted kitchen or kitchenette
• Lounge/dining area sometimes including a sofa bed or pull down bed
• Working area, desk, office chair, internet access & direct telephone line
The hotel services usually available from extended stay hotels include -
• Reception desks – some manned 24hrs, others on limited hours (e.g. Travelodge), or none at all
• Daily or weekly cleaning. & laundry service. (Most properties have either shared laundry facility or an in-apartment washing machine)
There are typically no restaurants, bar or lounge areas, although the level of services is generally higher than those found in hybrids Apart-hotels or Apartotels, which are usually a leisure or resort based product, and also come in standards of accommodation and range of services from budget to deluxe.
2. Corporate housing – residential apartments up-graded for stays of 30 days or more and packaged
together with services such as:-
• Weekly cleaning
• Utility charges
• Local taxes
• Telephone and TV
• Guest services – telephone support for maintenance etc
This type of product – also referred to as suite living, residence living and condotel – works as company apartments for either regular visitors or those on extended projects. There are two types of corporate housing:-
• Apartments rented and maintained by the operator on an on–going basis
• Those rented specifically for a particular housing requirement and length of time, after which they are handed back to the owner. This is also referred to as virtual housing.
Here are some of the considerations when deciding which option to select.
• Minimum stay – typically 30 days or more with corporate housing providers, although there are exceptions. Extended stay hotels usually have no minimum lease term.
• Lease agreements – there could be cancellation charges if a stay in cut short as the rate offered is based on the expected length of stay. Different areas have laws covering occupancy and sales tax as it relates to furnished rentals.
• Services – in corporate housing you are more on your own and with less hotel feel.
• Space - corporate housing provides more space than extended stay.
• Rates – it’s a matter of the location required, length of stay and what facilities you want.
• Amenities – remember, you get what you pay for!
All facts and figures are based on the 2011-2012 Industry Report by The Global Serviced Apartments.