Since the 1980s, the popularity of serviced apartments and aparthotels (or whatever other name you may think of to describe fully furnished apartments available for short or long-term stays offering amenities such as those you may find in hotels) has been on the rise – evidence that a traditional hotel room does not meet the expectations of business travellers.
Reasons for this include escalating consumer demands, and the need for high standards at a reasonable price.
This trend is borne out by statistics. Private accommodation’s share of global hospitality bookings is increasing steadily with its portion of the market in 2014 at 16 per cent ($69 billion) and 2016 at 18 per cent ($88 billion). Forecasts remain optimistic and indicate that this number will increase to 19 per cent in 2018. (source)
Home Sweet Home
As the popularity of serviced apartments is on the rise, the same goes for the expectations about service. Landlords are making every effort to make sure their offer is unique and able to meet the rising requirements of their guests.
Their primary concern is the combination of comfort, privacy and service – somewhat unattainable in a hotel. Business travellers or experts who are in the process of relocating are in need of spaces, be it flats or properties, rented for the long term that will offer them the comfort of work and allow them to settle in a new city before they find a permanent place.
Most hotels are similar to each other, and regardless of how big and spacious your hotel room is, after some time you will feel like you are working from your bedroom.
Having an entire apartment to themselves means business travellers and their families can feel like they are going home at the end of the day, not to a confined space. This is particularly true for big, bustling, and raucous cities. Unlike any hotel you have ever stayed at, a long-term rented apartment in New York may become your new home.
Value for Money
The second factor, next to comfort, is the reasonable pricing of this type of accommodation. Some 63 per cent of companies reported increased pressure to reduce assignment costs, according to a 2015 report by Brookfield Global Relocation Services. (source)
Comparing the cost of a three-week stay in a three-star hotel to the cost of renting a similar or higher class serviced apartment, staying in the latter may save you approximately 40 per cent.
Currently, around 27 per cent of worldwide business travellers and 70 per cent of German business travellers spend more than 31 days a year away from home. It’s easy to see why the market for comfortable long-term accommodation is growing since the cost benefits are so appealing.
Thomas Emanuel, Director of Business Development at STR in London, illustrates this trend with hard numbers, “In 2016, the UK’s serviced apartment sector recorded higher occupancy levels (81 per cent) than the hotel sector (77.2 per cent).” (source)
There are no indications that the popularity of aparthotels among business travellers will change, particularly given that the ease of booking serviced apartments, communication with the corporate client, professionalism and high standards of service are not in any way inferior to those we can expect when staying in a hotel. And this type of housing certainly beats any accommodation available via Airbnb.