By Anton Constantinou
Few cities are as impressive as London, with its dense history and reputation for luxury. For a serviced apartment provider, it’s the place to be, and, for those fortunate enough to operate centrally, the potential for growth is huge.
Living Rooms operates right in the city centre, in some of London’s greatest districts, with apartments in Mayfair, Notting Hill, Marylebone and Little Venice. Its properties are among some of the finest out there, and combine the services of a hotel with the space and privacy of a home.
We spoke to Ryan Green, General Manager for Living Rooms – an American, turned Londoner, who in little over a decade, has made this city his home and come to love it. Luxury London living is what Ryan lives and breathes, as we discovered in our catch up with him:
What’s it like living and working in London?
I have been living and working in London for 11 years now, having moved here from the States in 2007. I love how diverse the city is and the constant changes it goes through – no street is the same for more than six months. The choice of restaurants and bars is amazing – there are hidden gems in practically every neighbourhood. Most times I’m spoilt for choice at lunch.
Talk us through the philosophy driving the Living Rooms brand
Living Rooms is a collection of apartments, suites and residences, combining the service of a hotel with the style, comfort and space of a stylish home. We want our guests to feel as though they are living like a Londoner, and immersing themselves in local culture.
What’s the story behind the company name?
The name Living Rooms was born from our ambition to provide serviced apartments with vibrant, locally-influenced living spaces. When the company was developing in the 1990s, most serviced apartments out there were pretty bland and corporate. Not the creative kind we’re used to today. We took things in a different direction.
What are the defining features of a Living Rooms property?
Our apartments are personal, intimate, superbly located, and have a feeling of understated luxury about them. Attention to detail is a key theme throughout.
What sort of mood do your apartments evoke?
Our apartments reflect both their local neighbourhoods and the guests that stay in them. 56 Welbeck Street Apartments, for example, has a mid-century modern style with a clean, chic, Scandinavian feel – perfect for a modern business traveller – while Europa House Serviced Apartments, with its classic townhouse design, is better suited for families.
What can you tell us about the Living Rooms brand that we don’t already know?
Most people don’t realise how long we’ve been around. We’ve been running since 1993, and were one of the first operators to provide luxury, serviced residences in London. Many tend to think that serviced apartments came into existence with the advent of Airbnb, but this isn’t simply isn’t true.
Co-living is becoming an important feature in serviced apartments. What communal spaces do your apartments offer and why?
Our owner believes in fun, vibrant, stylish living spaces (hence the company name), so our focus tends to be on the apartments themselves. However, guests at Europa House, for example have a private garden just outside the back door shared only with our neighbours, and what’s more co-living than that?
What growth plans do you have at present?
Living Rooms is always looking to expand. Our need for unique, centrally located properties that suit the brand and concept is challenging, but we have several options in the pipeline, so stay tuned!
Just for fun…
Europa House or No.5 Maddox Street?
As General Manager at No. 5 Maddox Street Apartments, I am, of course, biased. However, it really depends on what you’re looking for. For that authentic London neighbourhood experience and large spacious apartments, Europa House Apartments is ideal. But, for the very best Central London location with 24-hour concierge services, No. 5 Maddox Street is the place to be.
Mayfair or Notting Hill?
For that quintessential, old world London feel there is no place better than Mayfair. Mayfair is full of such rich history and tradition. Many of its businesses and shops have been around since my home country was but a colony, which is just amazing. I always encourage our guests to have a wander around London on a quiet afternoon. You never know what you’ll find.
City or country living?
I am and always have been a city guy. I grew up in Boston in the US, and have never wanted to live anywhere else but the city. I am a city mouse through and through.