Nicky Steiner and Jodie Barton from SACO joined us in the SilverDoor office to fill us in on their new exciting merger and launch of the Beyonder aparthotel brand.
So you’ve been very busy at SACO recently! Can you tell us more about your new merger?
We have! We recently merged with Oaktree Capital, an American investment company. They were looking to set up a serviced apartment company and had already sourced a number of aparthotels in different locations, including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Dublin. They had branded these aparthotels ‘Beyonder’ but realised they were lacking the operational experience to run them, so they decided they needed to merge with an experienced serviced apartment operator and got in touch with SACO.
So when are we going to see the first Beyonder product?
You’re going to see it in early January 2016! Most likely this will be in Cannon Street in London and George Street in Edinburgh. The Beyonder brand will look and feel very different to anything else currently available in the serviced apartment market place. Think loads of in-room gadgets and tech, buzzy communal areas, funky look and feel – oh and sparkly lights. We’re just finalising the spec as we speak.
The concept of the product is that there’ll be four parts to the studio sized apartment; a bedroom, bathroom and living space with dividing wall to the kitchen.
Who is this brand aimed towards?
Setup as an aparthotel, we’ll be targeting one night stays upwards with a strong emphasis on distribution via GDS, OTAs and of course all of our lovely agents such as SilverDoor. Beyonder is a cool funky brand so will suit younger, millennial travellers – but of course is great for those that are young at heart as well.
We’re going to look at taking more group business into these larger properties, the communal spaces downstairs will make these aparthotels perfect for business travellers as well as fun-seeking leisure guests.
What else do you have coming up?
We’re launching our new website in May. Going forward, we’re also looking into corporate portals which allow you to go in and look at live availability so that distribution channels are much swifter. We’ve just taken on someone who’s going to be working with the web bookings and reservations, so the reservations team will definitely grow. It’s likely we’ll have to increase our team in the North as well, to support our new locations.
Will you put your other properties on the GDS?
No, not unless they’re an aparthotel. The property needs to be the correct size to take short stays and have a manned reception as most short stay payment terms are made on arrival.
So are you doing anything internationally as well?
Yes for sure! We’re opening a SACO aparthotel in Amsterdam in late 2016! We’re also looking across Europe for other suitable locations and properties that will work as SACO or Beyonder set ups.