Serviced apartments: New trends

1 Feb 2023 by Hannah Brandler
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur

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, flexibility and places for remote working. While we are leaving those Covid years behind, such requirements remain significant to travellers. In addition, the sector is seeing the introduction of new brands, as well as 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 – who are looking for experiences which draw on local surroundings.

Here we look at five trends within the industry, and what to expect in the coming years. For further information on the sector, see our feature ‘Serviced apartments: Community spirit’ (June 2022).

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 press, but the group expects to bring the brand to the US and Canada.

Dorsett Hospitality International launched aparthotel brand Dao by Dorsett last summer, joining its portfolio including Dorsett Hotels, Silka, and d.Collection. The 74-key Dao by Dorsett West London in Shepherd’s Bush marked the first 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 fastest growing development pipeline, with 120 properties under development. The new-build prototype consists of 120 rooms across single and two-queen studio suites with kitchenettes, as well as a fitness centre and 24-hour guest laundry. The first properties have broken ground in Plano (Texas), Sterling and Richmond in Virginia, and Wyndham expects to open the first hotels under the brand this year.

Hotel groups are also adding properties in new markets to expand their existing serviced apartment brands and respond to growing demand. Pan Pacific 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 The Ascott Limited, meanwhile, has also extended its scope by purchasing fellow serviced apartment company Oakwood. The 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.

PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok

Staying longer

One of the hottest trends is the ‘linger longer’ concept, with operators reporting an increasing average length of stay by guests. The reasons for this are threefold. Remote working has made it easier for employees to work from abroad (provided the time difference 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. Thankfully there are several operators which offer loyalty and membership programmes. The 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 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 offers, 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. This gives guests ten per cent off every stay as well as early check-in, late check-out, flexible cancellation and deals for new property openings. Such reward programmes are also beneficial to the operators in communicating more easily with guests on new property openings and upcoming events.

Seeking sustainability

Guests are increasingly interested in choosing accommodation with sustainable credentials. Operators must also provide transparency regarding their efforts to avoid accusations of greenwashing.

UK-based real estate investor and developer Lamington Group is a pioneer in this field 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 first fully whole life net zero hotel, meaning that it has offset 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 specifications 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 efficiency standards. The new buildings will also be required to disclose their whole life carbon assessment. Additionally, the brand ensured that all its properties in 2022 offered on-premises waste sorting, and it is starting an in-room and back-of-house waste and recycling trial, with hopes of rolling this out across all properties in the future.

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. The 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. Staff will be barista-trained and there will be events and programmes that encourage wellbeing.

Ascott’s co-living brand Lyf, meanwhile, has been designed with digital nomads, creatives and self-starters in mind. As such, it has a focus on community-based experiences and social interactions – its properties have a ‘Bond’ communal kitchen and ‘Connect’ co-working and lounge area. The brand is also curating experiences for guests at its properties in Australia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Lyf One-North Singapore, for instance, will debut augmented reality experiences from March 1 to April 30, 2023. Guests will be able to convert points from the games into Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) points. There are currently 19 Lyf properties across Asia Pacific, with the brand set to debut in Europe in 2024 with a property in Paris.

Experiences are also intrinsic to Edyn’s Locke brand, which partners with local organisations for its F&B venues and events programmes. Eden Locke in Edinburgh offers complimentary tours in partnership with social enterprise Invisible Cities, which trains people who have experienced homelessness to become tour guides of their city. Other examples include a Manchester Bee Mosaic workshop with local artist Amanda McCrann at Whitworth Locke in Manchester.

Lyf Singapore


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.

Locke London Kensington

Edyn is opening its sixth London property under its design-led Locke aparthotels brand in June. The firm is converting the former NH Kensington hotel, situated on Cromwell Road, into a 121-unit aparthotel with a mixture of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with a bar, restaurant, co-working and meeting space and private gardens.

Room 2 Belfast

Construction is underway for this carbon neutral ‘hometel’ in Northern Ireland. Set to open this summer, the nine-floor new-build on Queen Street will feature 175 studio apartments, meeting and workspaces, a café/restaurant, coffee roastery, gym, bar and lounge.

Lyf Gambetta Paris

Ascott’s first Lyf property in Europe will open in the French capital in 2024. The property will be located in a former printing house in the 20th arrondissement, with the design including old posters and signages from the printing house. It will feature 139 units comprising double rooms, twin rooms, studios with kitchens, and paired rooms with private bathrooms and a common kitchen. Facilities will include a ‘Connect’ co-working space, gym, bar and ‘Bond’ communal kitchen.

Locke Kensington


  • 60 per cent of operators and agents said the usage of serviced apartments is growing for relocation and assignment work (Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report, June 2022)
  • 34 per cent 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-14-night 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
  • 63 per cent of operators surveyed state that building energy efficiency 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 per cent 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 offset the carbon of all the furniture in Room 2 Chiswick
  • 55 per cent of travellers said it was important to have accommodation which includes exclusive discounts and perks as part of a membership model (Source: Cebr)
  • 23 per cent of members of Staycity’s Stay Sweet programme go on to make a second booking
  • Lyf has a target of opening 150 properties under the brand by 2030
  • Locke is opening new properties in London, Berlin and Zurich this year, followed by Lisbon, Paris and Copenhagen in 2024
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