Serviced apartment operators are moving away from the original extended-stay concept by embracing short-stay guests and adding new facilities, according to a new report from global hotel consultancy HVS.
The Serviced Apartment Sector in Europe, No longer the underdog? reveals that as the sector grows, serviced apartment brands are having to fight for attention by adding communal spaces or dining areas, often at the expense of kitchens in the rooms.
Nicole Perreten, senior associate, HVS London, and author of the report, said: "This can also mean that space is used more efficiently, improving profit margins.
"More hotel type services may become popular in the future as the sector continues to grow."
Bridgestreet, for instance, has opened its first Stüdyo serviced apartment in London, with shared common spaces, including kitchens. It will also soon open its first Stow-Away property consisting of 20 prefabricated modular microapartments.
Ascott has just announced a new lifestyle brand called lyf, aimed at millenials, while Visionapartments is accepting payment via digital currency Bitcoin.
According to the report, the UK is leading the way in the development of serviced apartments across Europe, accounting for 41% of 10,000 openings in the pipeline.
London remains at the forefront of planned properties with the 247 businesses in the capital, featuring 10,717 rooms, with a further 22 units (1,778 rooms) under contract. Manchester and Edinburgh are the second and third busiest cities in respectively for serviced apartment development in the UK.
Thomas Emanuel, director of business development for data company STR, said: "We are seeing continued growth in the sector, as supply has increased 4.2% in the UK over the past 12 months.
"Looking ahead, the market currently has a very robust pipeline, and will add 17.2% on top of its existing serviced apartment room supply if all projects in the pipeline come to fruition."
The HVS report has been published ahead of the Serviced Apartment Summit, which will take place at the Park Plaza Victoria, London, today and tomorrow.
UK serviced apartment sector to expand by 13.1% in 2017 >>
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