Some may still ask “What is a serviced apartment?”. Serviced apartments are accommodations that have all or some facilities a hotel offers. However, they have more space, are fully furnished and are available for short-term and long-term stays. These apartments have private facilities to cook, in-room technology and more. They are mainly used by people who are on business assignments or in need of relocation. Though, lately, there has been an increase in the usage of serviced apartments: More people are booking them for leisure purposes. It’s no surprise either since serviced apartments are becoming more and more available worldwide and it can be a quite cost-saving alternative to hotel stays. In this blog, we’ll talk about how it’s going in the serviced apartment industry.

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The serviced apartment industry has been around for quite some time now and it continues to grow and innovate. This sector is expanding more in Europe and making it one of the most active sub-sectors in the hotel industry. By 2022 there will be 23,600 new apartments available. Almost a third of the apartments are going to be built in the United Kingdom in the upcoming four years. This will be around 7,505 serviced apartments.  Adagio Apartments has the biggest pipeline with over 50 hotels and 6,000 apartments for the upcoming four years. Staycity has 4,763 apartments in the pipeline for 2019 until 2022 and Independent Apartments has the third biggest pipeline with 4,345 apartments for the coming four years.

Furthermore, eco-friendly serviced apartments are being built more often. The newest sustainable serviced apartment building, by Apartrooms, is built in Aberdeen, Scotland. These apartrooms are available for long or short stays. The vision of the owner, Stuart Duncan, was to provide apartrooms that are sustainable and affordable. To construct this building, the Passivhaus principals were used. The Passivhaus technique is used to create energy-efficient buildings. The buildings are airtight so it uses less power to heat and cool the houses.  They also have thermal isolation.

A 10-unit eco-friendly serviced apartments in Aberdeen by Apartrooms.

Not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world there are new serviced apartments being built. Recently, Radisson Blu serviced apartment opened in Nairobi, Kenya. These are the very first serviced apartments from an international brand in Nairobi! This building contains 122 rooms that are ranging from 20 to 133 square meters. Many rooms have private balconies. There are also meeting rooms, event spaces, a pool, gym, spa, an all-day restaurant and more.

Radisson Blu opens extended-stay in Nairobi, Kenya.

Trends 

Like any other industry, the serviced apartment sector also has its trends. The trends that are currently popular:

  • Micro-apartments: Smaller units are getting more popular amongst employees that must pay the costs themselves. Apartments that are smaller, are more cost-friendly and more appealing to millennials. Millennials tend to not stay for a long time in one place or stay at a workplace where they do not feel satisfied. They settle down later in life and live alone longer. Being able to work and live in the centre of a city is more important to them than the size of an apartment. This will bring a change in the serviced apartment industry. Instead of only offering spacious and high-end serviced apartments, there will be more micro-apartments available in the future. The locations are gaining more importance than the size of the serviced apartment. Companies such as Smartments and Saco are starting to offer apartments of 21-24 square meters.
Micro serviced apartments Leman Locke by Saco.
  • Bleisure: A combination of business and leisure. Many business travellers extend their stay for leisure or try to include leisurely activities while they’re on business. The driving force for this trend is the millennials. They account for 38% of all bleisure trips globally. They want more flexibility and combine business and leisure more often than the generation before them. Even though this is not a very new trend, it has, however, an impact on the serviced apartment industry. This trend has increased the demand for serviced apartments since it is more cost-effective for guests to book a serviced apartment than a hotel for long stays.

 

  • Going green: With sustainability getting more popular and important, there is a new type of traveller: the ‘conscious traveller’. These travellers find sustainable communities and human rights important. Eco-friendly accommodations are more appealing to them and having an eco-friendly accommodation attracts more clients.

“One of a Kind” Serviced apartments are well aware of this trend and are making headway with sustainable apartment buildings. They are sustainable in different ways; how the gardens are designed, recycling and how they operate their business. Some examples of how they practice sustainability are that they recycle and compost all their waste, the gardens are xeriscape meaning that the plants are native to the region and do not need excess water. One of a Kind apartments also provides herb gardens and greenhouses. They promote using bikes and public transport for their guests, use less toxic cleaning products, all their appliances are energy-star rated etc.

The greenhouse of One of a Kind serviced apartments.

With new serviced apartments in the pipeline and exciting trends such as sustainable serviced apartments, micro-apartments and the bleisure trend, the serviced apartment market will innovate and adapt to the everchanging and innovative needs of the target audience. Many exciting things are happening in the upcoming years! Companies like Short Stay Citizens recognize these trends and are providing serviced apartments that match your needs and wants!

 

By Sahar Tahib

 

Sources: 

The Blue Swan Daily, July 2019

Glion, August 2019

Hotel Management, July 2019