Hong Kong continues to thrive as a regional financial hub in the region, and this means demand for accommodation is not likely to die down. According to the Ovolo Group, extended stays are expected to rise by 5 to 10 percent, riding on the back of Hong Kong and China’s boom. In the near future, more than 50 percent of visitors will be staying for a minimum of two months, resulting in an average 90 percent occupancy, added Ovolo.
Due to the scarcity of land and space in the city, most operators lack the prerequisite facilities common to hotels, such as in-house gyms and meeting rooms. However, the perks of stylish interiors, flat-screen TVs and high-speed internet access are present in full force. Here are five serviced residence providers cashing in on the market’s upswing:
CHI Residences was launched in 2007 by Philip Morais, who envisioned creating a luxury home away from home for the road warrior. The first CHI Residence opened in West Kowloon, and over the years, the brand has expanded with four more properties. The group plans to open another property in Wan Chai, Chi 130, in 2013 featuring large duplex apartments and two-bedroom units.
All residents at CHI can enjoy a complimentary membership with California Fitness Clubs across Hong Kong. Each apartment consists of a 37-inch plasma television with DVD/VCD player, wireless phone with IDD and voice mail function, complimentary in-room internet access, fully furnished kitchen and daily maid service with linen change twice a week. The property also features a small business centre with a mini movie library.
Location: CHI Residences has five properties in Hong Kong:
- CHI 393, with 21 units, is located on 393 Shanghai street in Yau Ma Tei, which is a two-minute walk from the MTR Station and Langham Place shopping mall.
- CHI 279, which offers 24 units, is located on 279 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.
- CHI 120, located on Connaught Road in Sheung Wan, features 19 one-bedroom apartments, each with private balcony and is also pet friendly.
- CHI 314, featuring 57 two-bedroom and studio apartments, is located in Jordan on Nathan Road, which runs into Tsim Sha Tsui in one direction and Mongkok in the other.
Prices: Rates start from HK$14,600 (US$1,877.60) per month for a 26.9sqm studio on 391-393 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.
Frasers Hospitality first started offering short-term accommodation and extended stay apartments in 1998 from two flagship properties in Singapore. Now, Frasers Hospitality has three brands under its umbrella – Fraser Suites, Fraser Place and Fraser Residence.
There is one Frasers Suites in Hong Kong, which offers its residents a range of leisure amenities such as a current jet pool, a whirlpool, a modern gymnasium.
Each of the 87 one-bedroom residence offers a private keycard elevator service that brings residents directly to their apartment. All apartments include a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine and dryer, broadband internet access, housekeeping services three times a week, regular residents’ programmes and mail and message delivery.
Location: Fraser Suites Hong Kong is located in the heart of the Wan Chai, along Johnston Road and within walking distance from Wan Chai MTR station. It is also close to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai Ferry Terminal and Wanchai Waterfront business district.
Prices: Monthly rates start from HK$34,500 (US$4,437) for a 52.6sqm one-bedroom unit.
Oakwood serviced residences, established in 1960, has recently been expanding aggressively in Asia-Pacific with a total of 24 properties in China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand, and more in the pipeline. The group recently opened its first property in Hong Kong (see story here), offering guests yet another centrally located option.
Each of the 24 apartments at this property are one-bedroom flats with a washing machine, dryer, a fully equipped kitchen, complimentary internet access and a 42-inch LCD TV with DVD player. No in-house gym is available, but the management plans to strike up a partnership with a nearby facility, although details have yet to be finalised.
Location: Oakwood’s only property in Hong Kong – for now – is located on Kennedy Road in Midlevels East, one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in the city, where access to the Admiralty and Wan Chai MTR stations is not a problem.
Prices: Opening prices, between now and October 31, start from HK$36,000 (US$4,633) per month for a 60sqm unit
The group began in 2002 with its flagship property on Central’s Arbuthnot Road. Since then, Ovolo has expanded its presence in Hong Kong and aims to eventually be in Australia, Japan and Singapore. Guests at Ovolo can stay on a nightly basis as well as on a monthly basis.
Ovolo offers guests the Indulge Programme, which consists of a series of dining, lifestyle, shopping and entertainment discounts. All properties also include complimentary breakfast, membership at the nearest California Fitness Centre, a fully equipped kitchen, in-house grocery delivery, Xbox and Wii and wifi internet access.
Location: The group has seven properties around Hong Kong, six of which are serviced apartments and the last is serviced office spaces.
- The signature property on Arbuthnot Road is located a stone’s throw away from Lan Kwai Fong and Soho – Hong Kong’s main entertainment hub – and Central. At this property, each apartment occupies an entire floor.
- There are three Ovolo properties in the Sheung Wan district: 222 Hollywood Road, which was refurbished last year; 286 Queens Road Central; and 111 High Street, which is not as central as the other two properties.
- The property on 100 Shek Pai Wan Road is located away from downtown Hong Kong and close to Cyberport and the scenic Aberdeen area.
- The group’s newest property, which opened in April, is located in the up and coming West Kowloon district, close to Elements shopping mall and the ICC. It has an in-house gym and guests are entitled to complimentary Happy Hour drinks daily at the Ovolo lounge.
Prices: Introductory rates at the 256 Tung Chau property in West Kowloon start from HK$880 (US$113) per night and normal rates start from HK$11,500 (US$1478) for a studio at 100 Shek Pai Wan.
The Hong Kong-based brand was recently acquired by ONYX Hospitality Group, which should fast track Shama’s expansion across Asia-Pacific with 40 properties in the pipeline. The group introduced the serviced residences concept to Hong Kong back in 1996 and since then, Shama has appeared in Shanghai and Dalian in China and Bangkok.
Shama offers residences a “no boundaries” lifestyle card, which provides guests with special discounts and access to clubs. In Hong Kong, guests staying for three months or longer will have complimentary access to a Fitness First health club since they have no in-house gyms, and KEE club, a private members club. All offer a fully equipped kitchen, daily cleaning services, wifi internet access and laundry and dry-cleaning services.
Location: The group has six properties in Hong Kong within key commercial districts.
- The 110-unit property in Causeway Bay is located directly opposite Times Square.
- There are two properties in Central: one on Hollywood with 11 units and the other on Peel Street with 56 units. Both are within the city’s main CBD and entertainment district.
- Shama Fortress Hill, with 115 units, lies between Causeway Bay and North Point, directly opposite the Fortress Hill MTR station.
- The 48-unit Shama Midlevels, on Hospital Road, is located in one of the city’s posh neighbourhoods.
- On Kowloon side, the group has an 87-unit property in the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) district, located next to the MTR station and a short walk to the harbour and Nathan Road.
Prices: Prices differ amongst the properties. Rates start from HK$21,800 (US$2803) per month for a 54sqm studio in Tsim Sha Tsui
Alisha Haridasani and Rachael Ho