Louise Hassett and Antoine Deckers from Ascott tell us all about their serviced apartments, their future plans for expansion and what benefits they get from working with agencies like SilverDoor.
Louise, I understand you’ve recently joined Ascott. What were you doing before?
I have yes; I used to work for a theatre company. [Caroline: what was that like?] It was good; I was in sales and the company I worked in was responsible for seven theatres and 30 private rooms so I was involved in the corporate hospitality side of things.
What’s Ascott’s corporate/leisure mix?
Antoine: It’s much more corporate than leisure; however it does largely depend on the location of the apartments. For example, I’m currently representing Brussels and I would say it’s about 80% corporate and 20% leisure there.
[Caroline: how does that differ from London?]
Louise: In London it’s about 70% corporate, 30% leisure. The leisure percentage is usually made up of longer stays and weekend business which we have quite a lot of. This is especially true for our properties in Trafalgar, Holborn and South Kensington, as they’re key tourist destinations.
What would you say your average length of stay is?
Louise: For London it’s approximately 3.6 days [Caroline: that’s very precise!]
Do you have any plans to take on any new properties in the near future?
Louise: Lots! They’re always looking for new ones to take on. Certainly not in London at the moment, we’ve recently bought The Cavendish which was our most recent acquisition in October. It’s actually being run as a hotel at the moment; however next year there are plans to turn The Cavendish into a serviced apartment building.
Do you have plans to expand into any new destinations?
Louise: Again, lots!
Antoine: We focus on Germany as a destination. We have two new properties in Frankfurt and Hamburg opening in 2014.
In your opinion, what global benefits do you get from working with agencies like SilverDoor?
Louise: I think access to your clients mainly. You’ve obviously built up a great reputation with those clients and by us having a good relationship with you we’re able to supply you with rates for all of our properties with one point of contact, which I think makes things a lot easier for both of us.
Quick fire round with Louise:
Tea or coffee: tea
Winter or summer: summer
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter
Fireman or policeman: fireman
Shoes or handbags: handbags