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 Apartments.
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: the company I worked for was responsible for 7 theatres and 30 private rooms so I was involved in the corporate hospitality side of things.
What is Ascott’s corporate/leisure mix?
Antoine: Ascott is 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!]
Just a two-minute walk from London Charing Cross station, Citadines Trafalgar Square Apartments are advantageously located in the capital for a business traveller who has many corporate commitments all around the city. There are studio, one and two-bedroom apartments available, each with kitchen facilities and access to an on-site business centre to work on important projects with ease. Ascott serviced apartments are tailored towards a corporate guest and make ideal bases from which business travellers can live and work in London.
Do you have any plans to take on any new properties in the near future?
Louise: Lots! Ascott are always looking for new ones to take on. Certainly not in London at the moment as we recently bought The Cavendish which was our most recent acquisition in October. It’s actually being run as a hotel at the moment; however we do have plans to turn The Cavendish into a serviced apartment building.
Other than London, Ascott has many properties in major Asian business hubs such as Shanghai and Manila. These Ascott Bonifacio Global City Apartments are a great example of the quality of their APAC properties; featuring an on-site gym, swimming pool, sauna and restaurant that guests can take full advantage of, as well as daily housekeeping to keep apartments neat and tidy. Studio, one, two and bedroom apartments are available, ideal for a solo or group business trip or if you are relocating with your family.
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. That 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.
Shoes or handbags? Handbags.
Amendment; since the publishing of this blog, Ascott has since rebranded to Ascott The Residence.