Types of Serviced Accommodations

Whether it’s for a short period before finding a permanent home in a new country, a shorter stay for a project or for even an extended stay for a long-term work assignment, business travellers need at least some of the comfort that a home provides for their stay abroad.

Serviced accommodations are integral for business professionals and the companies that employ them.  Companies prefer to accommodate their employees in serviced accommodations to keep their employees comfortable and happy. This can improve work quality and productivity. In other words, serviced apartments aid in having an improved work-life balance.

An increasing amount of companies and professionals are opting for serviced accommodations as opposed to hotels with a growth of about 7% in comparison, and an expected increase of 23,000 serviced apartments by the year 2022 in Europe alone. According to ones’ demands and needs, there is a wide range of different types of serviced accommodations available, especially in the past decade a significant increase has been parallel to the rising amount of global nomads that need a place to stay abroad.

But what type of serviced accommodations are offered by providers? 

The range of accommodations provided have a minimum requirement that fit the demands of professionals abroad. Basic serviced accommodations come with furniture, an equipped kitchen, bathroom and toilets. Along with that, there are certain amenities provided similar to that of a hotel such as towels, toiletries, housekeeping services and a reception.

The three types of serviced accommodations being offered are aparthotel rooms, serviced apartments and corporate housing.

  • Aparthotels, are the most identical to a regular hotel. Aparthotels are literally what the name implies: A combination of an apartment and a hotel. This type of serviced accommodation has almost the same services as a hotel and are in designated buildings. An aparthotel provider of Short Stay Citizens, Citadines, offer services such as a 24-hour-reception, housekeeping, room service, meeting rooms, laundry and dry-cleaning, babysitting and more. Depending on the location and provider, some aparthotels might offer more or fewer services. The biggest difference is that the rooms are a bit bigger than the regular hotel rooms but smaller than your average one-bedroom or studio serviced apartment. Aparthotels typically include kitchenettes with limited kitchenware. This type of serviced accommodation, usually, does not have minimum stay requirements such as other types of serviced apartment or corporate housing.

  • Serviced apartments are typically in residential buildings however there are some in designated buildings. For instance, The Ascott Residence in Beijing, also offered by Short Stay Citizens, has buildings around the world offering serviced apartments. Some have a front desk, room service, fitness centre, a business centre, swimming pools, babysitting and more.

  • Serviced apartments in residential buildings, such as Stayci in The Hague, have fewer services but most of them do have housekeeping services and have a washer and dryer in the apartments or in the building. These types of serviced apartments don’t have a reception on site: Guests need to check-in at a designated office for check-in, or the concierge will meet the guests at the apartment to hand over the keys, or self-service check-in is also possible. These serviced apartments are bigger than aparthotel rooms, fully furnished and fully equipped. Most providers have a minimum stay requirement of 7 or 14 days. However, depending on availability, some serviced apartment providers might also provide short stays of less than a week.

  • Corporate housing is an apartment or a house that is fully furnished and equipped. Corporate housing is also sometimes referred to as serviced apartments. Although very similar to serviced apartments, they do not have the same amenities. For example, some only have cleaning services and high-speed internet. It also, usually, has the largest living space compared to aparthotels and serviced apartments. This type of housing has the least similarities with a hotel. For instance, they do not have a front desk, room service, gym, car hiring service, etc. Most corporate housing also has a minimum stay of 14 days or one month. Companies that send their employees frequently abroad to the same location, or for an extended period of time, generally prefer corporate housing.

Corporate housing and serviced apartments can be privately owned or professionally managed.  Privately owned apartments are owned by people who want to rent it out. These types of apartments can be rented for a longer period of time than professionally managed apartments and are often cheaper than other serviced accommodations. However, they offer fewer services and the quality are often not guaranteed. The professionally managed serviced accommodations include more services similar to a hotel and quality is guaranteed. Serviced accommodations are generally less expensive than hotels depending on the length of stay. However, some serviced accommodations might be more expensive due to their location. However, the living spaces are bigger and it has better amenities, therefore, making the stay worth every penny.

For more information check our blog about “The difference between professionally managed serviced apartments, privately owned apartments and hotel rooms”.

Every individual has its own housing preference depending on their needs, wants and budget. Contact Short Stay Citizens to find the serviced accommodation that is best for you!

By Sahar Tahib

 

Sources:

Dwellworks Blog, 2017

Globetrender, 2018

Buying Business Travel, 2019

Gethppy, 2019

National Corporate Housing

 


Tips for Business Travel Insurance

Are you a frequent business traveller? If you answered yes, then keep reading! We have made a checklist for you to see if you need it. Already know that you need it? Scroll down for tips and see if you have the right insurance.

Questions you need to ask yourself about travel insurance

  • Does your company have a corporate security program that covers travel?
  • Does your health insurance cover you internationally?
  • Do you have a credit card with benefits?

If you have answered any of these questions with no, you should look into business travel insurance. You do not want to be abroad, have a medical emergency and worry about the costs. There are different ways you can cover yourself during your business trips. We will discuss some of them below.

Upgrade your health insurance

Many health insurance companies have upgrades that can cover medical bills abroad and emergency transport etc. You should consider changing to another health insurance if the international coverage is not reasonable enough for you. Most basic health insurances do not or only cover medical costs partially. For better cover during travel, you will need to upgrade. Keep in mind that they will not cover travel inconveniences such as lost luggage or delays.

Look into what your credit card offers

Many credit cards offer travel insurance. You can either use your personal or your company credit card to see which one offers the best travel insurance. If you want to use your credit card travel insurance, be aware that you need to pay at least a part of the trip expenses with the card. Keep in mind that credit card travel insurance is quite limited, hence annual coverage limits not per trip. Read into the fine print of the conditions to find out what they cover.

Invest in a separate (business) travel insurance

Or better yet, try convincing your company to invest in one. There are various options: Some you pay every month, another option is travel insurance per trip, or some are available on a yearly basis. What does the travel insurance company do for you?

  •     Track lost luggage
  •     Offer baggage delay coverage
  •     Travel assistance
  •     Find local medical care
  •     Locate translators
  •     Cover lost luggage till a certain amount
  •     Cover trip interruption
  •     Trip cancellation coverage

The difference

As mentioned above, health insurance only covers medical expenses. Credit Cards only cover trips that were fully or partially paid with the card. Travel insurance covers your medical bills and any other inconveniences during your trip. If you do not travel often, you can combine your health insurance and credit card travel insurance and have a safety net during your trip. But if you are a frequent business traveller a separate travel insurance plan is highly advised. 

Tips

  1.     Before you choose travel insurance, compare the limits of cover with the amount that is deducted from a payout or your own mandatory coverage.
  1.     Try not to use tools like websites that compare insurances, because the insurance companies will show their lowest prices to make sure they appear at the top of the search results. But these low prices come with low coverage and high mandatory personal coverage. Visit the websites of the insurance companies and write what is necessary for yourself and make your own comparison tool.
  1.     If you travel more than four times a year, it is best to invest in travel insurance on a yearly basis. If you travel less than that, go for separate travel insurance for your trips.

Now you know if you need separate travel insurance, the ways you can cover yourself during your business trips and some of our tips. At Short Stay Citizens we ensure full legal security throughout the booking process and your entire stay. That is one less worry, however, having travel insurance is of great importance for frequent travellers. We hope you’ll find your perfect fit after reading our blog. Any tips for fellow travellers? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

By Leticia Cardoso

 

Sources:

Business Travel Insurance 

Guide to travel insurance, 2016

 

 


Serviced Apartment Industry News-November 2019

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.

Pipeline News

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

 

 


Short Stay Citizens' Pillars Explained

Stay Royal, Stay Together or Stay Central. Terms you regularly see used by us. But what do they represent? What are the differences between Stay Local and Stay Central? We have divided our serviced apartments into six different pillars. We believe in certain feelings and tailored needs. While some want peace and quiet, others want to stay in the centre of it all. Continue reading to find out what they mean, stand for and what vibe each of the pillars brings. After reading this you will know what pillar might suit you best…..

 

#StayHigh

Stay High

Are you afraid of heights? Or can you just stare at the city’s skyline for hours?  With our Stay High apartments, you will have the most beautiful views in the city. Enjoy the views from the balcony, but some of them even have a private rooftop! You will feel like you’re on top of the world. The serviced apartments in this pillar are located in vibrant cities like New York, Hong Kong and Dubai.  

 

#StayLocal

Stay Local

Feel like you are a local, no matter where you are staying! Located in vibrant neighbourhoods with shops and restaurants right at your footsteps. There is no running or escaping the locals since you will be living right next to them. Embrace the charm of the local community!

 

#StayChic

Stay Chic

You want to enjoy the luxuries of life, host dinner parties, have easy access to fine cuisine and cultural highlights as museums and theatres. If this sounds like music to your ears, select our elegant serviced apartments in the Stay Chic pillar. Stay Chic serviced apartments are commonly stylish and fashionable apartments located in cultivated areas. 

 

#StayCentral & #StayTogether

Stay Central

As the name says it, the locations are central. This pillar is perfect for the global nomads or business travellers that are continuously on the move. The apartments are located nearby public transport and have good connections with airports. Stay Central serviced apartments are also typically surrounded by-or nearby- amazing restaurants, bars, shopping streets, and parking garages.

 

#StayTogether

Stay Together

Is your family staying with you? Of course you’d want the apartment to be in a nice, quiet and family-friendly neighbourhood. Well, Stay Together serviced apartments provide these. Additionally, these apartments also tend to be near some greenery as well!  These serviced apartments have multiple rooms and fulfil the needs of each member of the family. It will feel like home, to all!

 

#StayRoyal

Stay Royal

Last but most definitely not least, SSC’s most luxurious and glamorous serviced apartments. Live like royalty with great services offered at all times. The Stay Royal pillar is a collection of hotel suites offering space, luxury and privacy for those who crave it. 

 

Still can’t choose what pillar suits you best? Or are you feeling multiple vibes? Some serviced apartments qualify for more than one pillar. For example, you can Stay Central and Stay Together if an apartment has multiple bedrooms and is also located near public transport. For every pillar, Short Stay Citizens provides quality serviced apartments, offered by carefully selected providers and most important, safety and legal security during the entire stay.  

 

Book your serviced apartment with Short Stay Citizens today! Click here!

 

By Leticia G. Cardoso

 

Sources: Short Stay Citizens, Our Pillars

 


Travel Compliance for Business Travelers: Why an effective Travel Compliance method is important for Multinationals as well as Business Travellers

You are about to embark on an exciting journey to work for your company abroad, something that you will have to keep into account is the type of travel compliance policy your company employs. These are the things that you should take into account when dealing with Travel Compliances and what it means for an employee or employer.

Travel compliance is an agreement multinational companies have to take into consideration when sending employees abroad, such as regulations of the host country and policies the company itself has in place. Not all companies employ the same methods regarding their Travel Compliance, but all of them are in place to make sure spending does not exceed reasonable amounts and laws and regulations are taken into account- while providing professionals with comfortable accommodations when working abroad.

Why do companies bring over or send employees abroad?

One could argue that there is no need to move employees around from one place to another, because why not just hire someone that already lives there? In most cases, this is not attractive for companies if there is a certain type of expertise needed which they cannot find in the country they operate. It would be much more effective to rely on an employee that has a track record and familiarity with the company.

There are various risks involved for business travellers and companies when the regulations of a host country are not taken into account, what are these risks exactly?

For the company

  • Fines
  • Not being able to apply for new working permits
  • In rare cases civil/criminal action

For employees

  • Entry denied to the country
  • Fine(s)
  • Incarceration

Apart from the external risks companies and employees are exposed to when not carefully handling their papers- there are policies set by Multinationals to ensure employees travelling to work abroad do not spend excessive amounts of money. Of course, a multinational is not going to monitor an employees’ every move while this person is abroad, as this would not only breach their privacy but also create a hostile working environment. Instead, companies choose to set certain policies and methods in place to ensure employees do not exceed the set budget- these methods are never able to control expenses entirely, making acting in good faith on both sides imperative.

Expense management is a vital aspect of travel compliance, but what type of methods and processes can multinationals put in place?

  • Automation: By having a monitoring system in place to see what type of expenses are made, a red flag can indicate which expenses are of the highest importance.
  • Process optimization: Along with automation optimizing the processes that go along with detecting certain expenses are important, by automatically searching for the largest expenses it would be possible to avoid looking at all of them individually, instead, focusing on the most important ones.
  • Expense reports: By examining expense reports of an employee over a longer period it would be possible to see whether this person has a predisposition to spend excessively.
  • Comparing Employees: Aside from individual expense reports it is also effective to compare employees with each other to see if one of them spends more than the other while keeping relative measures into account.
  • Resolution Workflow: By assigning certain names for the cases in which excessive spending has been made, it would be possible to categorize them, thereafter it would be possible to see which ones are a recurring problem and give employees training to prevent it in the future.
  • Expense report data mine: By storing cases of excessive spending it would be possible to have useful information for other methods such as comparing employee expenses and having a centralized system possible.
  • Comprehensive Centralized System: By combining several types of information that can be gathered a centralized system will enable it to effectively deal with information.

Overall, it can be said that Travel Compliance is something that will be increasingly important in the future, parallel to the rising amount of Business Travellers. For companies, this means managing expenses properly and employees should be well informed about what type of expenses they are allowed to make.

 

Short Stay Citizens

If you’re in need of serviced apartments, use Short Stay Citizens to relieve you from the accommodation compliance. Short Stay Citizens work with professional serviced apartment providers to ensure industry recognised compliance standards.

 

 

By Selçuk Salman

 

Sources:

Visa Traveler, 2019 

The Accidental Expat, Baker McKenzie

Corporate Compliance Insights, 2016


Work-Life Balance

When it comes to making career choices, people tend to always say the following: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. The famous words of Mark Twain may be true, however, this mentality can cause an unhealthy work-life balance.

Work-life balance is the ability to enjoy the four aspects of a person’s life: Family, career, health and friends. And in the current digital age, everything is very fast-paced and employees tend to overwork themselves trying to keep up with the new environment leaving no time for the other three aspects. To avoid burnouts and exhaustion you need to reflect on your working habits and in order to do so, you need to set boundaries.

By prioritising and separating work-related activities from your personal home environment, a so-called work-life balance is created. It is important that the moment your working hours end, you are leaving all of your professional worries and responsibilities at your workplace. Some European countries have already undertaken several legal measures to control excessive working hours. For example, French law permits all employees to ignore their email after work hours and the European Union enforced a maximum 48-hour work week.

In the business field, business travellers face the most difficulties in maintaining a healthy balance since they are away from home for a long time. Being constantly on the road can be stressful since they have less quality time with their families and are surrounded by unfamiliar places and people. Also, in order to kill time during the commute, the travellers are tempted to catch up on their emails. To take matters into your own hands, we have gathered some tips to help you create a healthy work-life balance!

  1. Talk about it

When you notice that you are stressed out because of work and feel powerless, talk about it with people around you. It is not good to bottle up feelings since at some point they will explode. Engage with your colleagues, HR department and ask for advice on how to solve this issue.

  1. Start exercising

A great way to relieve stress is to do some type of physical activity. One of the effective ways would be to join a sport’s team because in this setting you are surrounded by other people and commitment to the game will distract you from your worries. Furthermore, doing physical activity will help you to reset your stressful state. For instance, upbeat exercises which make you sweat and raise your heartbeat will increase your mood, energy and make your mind feel more refreshed. Rhythmic exercises like walking and running will calm down your nerves. Whenever you feel like work is overwhelming you, during your lunch break take a stroll around the block.

  1. Plan

Plan your week ahead and include a window for the things you love doing the most. Having a clear overview of your task can help you think more clearly, however, your goals need to be realistic. When travelling on a business trip, try to schedule a few days either before or after the trip to do some sightseeing. This will be a great escape! A bonus tip, take your family with you on the trip.

  1. Unplug

The moment you leave the office, mentally leave all of your professional responsibilities there. Mute your work email and focus on spending quality time with your loved ones. A tip, never give your personal WhatsApp number as your work number. In this case, you will be getting unofficial work-related phone calls at unexpected moments.

Reflect on your current situation and include these tips to feel more refreshed!

 

By Polina Zavyalova

 

Sources:

Work-life balance, OECD

Deborah Lee, Forbes

Stress in the workplace, Helpguide

Work-life balance around the world

 

 


Make a Big Impact with a Small Commitment

As a global nomad or a business traveller that is always on the road, it is difficult to find time to maintain a healthy work-life balance and simultaneously give back to the community. Most of the charity projects require quite long-time commitment since the usual duration of projects can vary from 2 and up to 4 weeks of consistent dedication. To avoid the registration hassle and high sign-up fees, consider opportunities for an amazing concept: micro-volunteering.

Micro-volunteering offers opportunities that are cost-free and have little to no commitment. It allows volunteers to contribute to various causes on the spot and there are no commitment boundaries.

The demand for flexible short-term volunteering opportunities is on the rise because more and more people are leading a busy, unpredictable and global-nomadic lifestyle. During your work travels, micro-volunteering would be a great opportunity to explore the neighbourhood, community and culture. It offers great flexibility and a chance to explore various volunteer projects to discover what you like best. A great way to get involved would be volunteering at a local homeless shelter, food bank or any other local community centres. In the Netherlands, there is a platform NL Voor Elkaar which provides various volunteering options that are possible for one time only volunteering experience. The concept of micro-volunteering is known world-wide and there are other platforms that promote various causes such as Speed Volunteer in London or Cause Corps with various short-term volunteering openings all around the world.

What makes this concept even more special, is the fact that it is also possible to help the world online. For instance, an online volunteering act would be online sponsorship, crowdfunding, providing feedback, filling in a survey and much more. It requires minimum effort, however every small contribution matters.

No matter the setting, everyone should explore volunteering opportunities that the world is offering. Remember, each contribution counts and it will definitely make a difference!

Are you planning your next business or leisure trip? Contact Short Stay Citizens and reserve your next accommodation with us! Need additional information about any accommodation location? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help you!

 

By Polina Zavyalova

Sources :

Charlotte Jones, The Guardian

Anna Patton, Mission Box