Jodie Armstrong and Emma Dean from Staybridge Suites Birmingham and Stratford tell us about their new properties.
How’s the new property in Birmingham performing since opening in December?
Jodie: We have 189 suites, making it one of the biggest serviced apartments in Birmingham. It’s also the first Staybridge Suites in the UK to have two and three bedrooms. Four months down the line we’re at 60% occupancy and we’ve been voted number one best place to stay in the West Midlands out of 137 hotels, serviced apartments and specialist lodging.
Tell us about your new property opening in Vauxhall in November
Emma: It’ll be the smallest property in our portfolio and will have a boutique feel – with 93 suites (7 one beds and the rest studios). Vauxhall’s a developing area and the surrounding area is influencing the design. Brand elements will be carried forward but we’re implementing a brand refresh and we’re taking it to the next level. There’ll be a bar in the reception and we’re also going to have our own Staybridge Suites dog. We’ll still have the Pantry and the Hub Kitchen where everyone meets for breakfast and the Den area for business meetings. We’ll also be keeping The Social we do three nights a week.
Staybridge are renowned for their FAM trips, why do you think these help your business?
Jodie: The industry has yet to establish itself and we don’t have as much structure as hotels. Developing relationships is hugely important and it’s also essential that agents visit our properties. If you can’t touch or feel it how can you possibly sell it to your clients?
What do you think is driving the growth of the serviced apartment sector?
Jodie: Our Birmingham property represents the sector well because we’re serviced apartments in a similar environment to a hotel. Aparthotels offering facilities are fuelling the growth and serviced apartments are more widely recognised by the business traveller.
Emma: I’ve worked in the extended stay market for over 12 years and I’ve watched SilverDoor grow. I can remember when Marcus and Chris were starting out together and when we’ve spoken about how the industry has grown, I think SilverDoor is a true testament to that.