Hotels are old hat. They’ve had their day and been displaced by the surging popularity of house swaps and the new-look self-catering accommodation promoted by the likes of Airbnb. While this may be a somewhat grandiose and presumptuous statement, there is some truth to it. When away from home, more and more people are looking for accommodation that offers more freedom and fewer constraints than traditional hotels – and this is particularly so for those individuals who are on an extended trip, perhaps for work. This isn’t to say that they are looking for somewhere where they’ll have to change their own beds and do their own cleaning, though. Rather, they are seeking a home-hotel hybrid.
The rise of serviced apartments
Serviced apartments in Birmingham, London and other business-friendly cities and popular tourist destinations are a relatively new innovation. They offer the discerning guest the comforts of a top class hotel with the privacy of home. Some, although not all, have a 24 hour reception or concierge, but none of them offer communal dining or drinking facilities. Mostly situated in residential areas, a few, depending on their specific location, may offer guests access to a gym or swimming pool, but all of them promise a flexibility that hotels cannot provide, whilst still also taking care of cleaning and linen changes.
With no need to worry about check-in times, lock-out times or fixed meal times, serviced apartments are particularly well-suited to longer staying guests, especially those who need to be in work mode, rather than holiday mode. Their increasing popularity was noted by impartial observers, including PwC, in 2015. Since then, the sector has continued to grow, with both developers and investors paying close attention.
Those considering entering the market might do well to investigate existing serviced apartments, such as http://www.8waterloostreet.co.uk/serviced-apartments-birmingham-city-centre.html, to understand what this type of accommodation offers. Currently, development remains the main route for investors interested in this area but, as the market develops, acquisition opportunities are likely to increase.
A further option in the extended stay accommodation sector is dual-branded buildings. This is where a single building or complex of buildings combines both a traditional hotel and serviced apartments. There are obvious operational advantages to such a setup, as well as the chance of tempting existing clients to switch from hotel to serviced apartment.