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Feature: Serviced Apartments ➔


confusing in the past although I think people are starting to understand it more now.” SACO’s Redman adds: “Travel managers


know all about us because the sector is noisy, it’s growing and there is a lot of interest from all sides. On the other hand at times they can find us quite a difficult product to understand and deal with as we don’t really fit in neatly with their hotel programme.” Select Apartments’ England says he feels the sector has blossomed so that there is more choice for the customer but that the result is sometimes “confusing for the uninitiated”, while Ascott’s Hollants Van Loocke adds, “I think there is still work to be done with travel managers. They just don’t understand the offering properly.”


Skyline Apartments' Pepper Street apartments


But here’s betting this noisy, profile-building sector will change all that within the next five years. It is a sector that has quickly pushed itself into the consciousness of the corporate world, and done it so successfully that it can only be a matter of time before its message achieves the


SERVICED APARTMENTS: WHO OFFERS WHAT


The Apartment Service Profile: Earlier player in the sector, established in 1981 and now offering 700 locations globally though partnerships with providers. Brands: Not applicable. Pricepoint: One bedroom central London apartment nightly rate £130.


Ascott Profile: The Ascott Ltd is a global serviced residence owner-operator with more than 27,000 serviced accommodations including 5,000 under development in key cities throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region. In Europe, the company has apartments in key cities in the UK, Brussels, France, Germany and Spain. Brands: Ascott, Citadines (including Citadines Prestige) and Somerset. Pricepoint: One-night stay in Trafalgar Square property £224 plus VAT.


BridgeStreet Worldwide Profile: Global operator and provider of serviced apartments. BridgeStreet, along with an alliance of members, offers around 20,000 apartments in 60 nations across Australia, the US, Asia, Europe and Middle East. Brands: BridgeStreet Residences, Serviced Apartments and Suites. Pricepoint: One-night in a central London apartment is around £157.


Citybase Profile: Independent provider of serviced apartments to business travellers worldwide. Citybase Apartments provide client specific programmes, bespoke payment terms and committed support as part of their dedicated business service. As an agent, Citybase Apartments offers over 14,500 apartments in London and other key business destinations in the UK, Europe and across the world. Brands: Not applicable. Pricepoint: Average nightly rate for a London apartment is around £120 plus VAT.


Frasers Hospitality Profile: Singapore-based provider, with global offering but very strong in Asia with properties in primary and secondary cities across China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea. New openings are underway in India, Australia and Hong Kong. Now strengthening European portfolio, with latest opening in Istanbul, and Middle Eastern offering. Brands: Fraser Suites, Fraser Place, Fraser Residence and Modena. Pricepoint: Not supplied.


SACO Profile: Established company, in on the ground floor when the sector started up. Global serviced apartment operator and agent that offers around 12,000 apartments in more than 35 countries worldwide including Australia, Europe (including 500 in the UK), the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As an operator, SACO covers 14 key business locations across the UK. Has increased its London presence by 80 per cent over last 18 months.


Go Native Profile: Established in 1997, Go Native is an award- winning provider of temporary housing to the corporate market, providing access to a quality selection of over 25,000 serviced apartments worldwide. Has an annual turnover in excess of £35million. Go Native operate and manage a portfolio of serviced apartments, offering national and global reach through an established network of serviced apartment providers. Brands: Not applicable. Pricepoint: Average nightly rental in Canary wharf £104; average nightly rental rate in the City of London £123 – both based on a 28-night stay.


Oakwood Profile: The granddaddy of the serviced apartment sector, US giant Oakwood was set up in the early sixties and now offers apartments in 25,000 locations across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Los Angeles, but with international headquarters in London and Singapore. Brands: Oakwood Apartments, Oakwood Residences, Oakwood Premier (Asia-Pacific only, five-star), Oakwood Corporate Housing (leased private property with Oakwood furnishings). Pricepoint: A one-bedroom London apartment for one night is around £140-160.


SACO Apartments


Brands: SACO Serviced Apartments, plus sells other providers’ brands. Pricepoint: Average nightly rental for a London apartment is £140 plus VAT.


Select Apartments Profile: Select Apartments’ property portfolio is comprised of more than 250 buildings in the central and greater London area, plus more than 350 throughout the UK and Ireland and a further 153 in key locations worldwide. The company, formed 12 years ago, offers a reward scheme for members called ‘Select Living’. Its corporate client response guarantee focuses on delivering detailed proposals to corporate clients within 60 minutes. Brands: Aldgate Select, plus other provider’s brands. Pricepoint: Average nightly rental for a one-bedroom apartment in London is £130 plus VAT.


Silverdoor Profile: Serviced apartment agent working with many different providers, offering 46,000 apartments across the globe in 200 destinations including Asia, Africa, Europe, the US and the Middle East. Features 350 properties in London alone. Brands: Not applicable. Pricepoint: One-night stay in a central London apartment is around £130 (seven nights, is more like £110 a night).


Skyline Profile: Relative newcomer to the sector, with strong offering in London’s Canary Wharf and the City. Introduced Brazil to the sector with directly-owned apartments in the destination. Has strong alliance with a number of other apartment providers, enabling it to offer apartments in the US, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Brands: Skyline Worldwide Accommodations. Pricepoint: One night’s stay in central London apartment from around £100 plus VAT.


Think Apartments Profile: Think Apartments is a privately owned and operated company with over 700 studio, one, two and three-bed apartments and has been established since 1991. Think Apartments are located at Tower Bridge, London Bridge and Bermondsey Street, while a recent development is Think Earls Court in West London. Brands: Think Apartments. Pricepoint: The lead-in price point is from £100 plus VAT.


*Rates based on stays of less than seven nights unless otherwise stated. Nightly prices generally drop significantly for stays of five nights or more.


clarity that will open the floodgates and dramatically change that tiny two per cent share of the accommodation market in the UK. Only time will tell, but as Silverdoor’s Stuart Winstone reckons, “It just takes a little hand- holding, that’s all.”


18 I THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE 36


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