After years of false dawns everything looks set for 2016 to be the year that serviced apartments finally become a mainstream accommodation option. A quick Google search will show that this is something that’s been foretold numerous times but it seems at last that this will be the year of the serviced apartment.
For years – and years, and years – the line has been, “there isn’t enough supply to satisfy demand”. And, while there’s still a real tussle between serviced apartment operators for property in prime UK locations, most plan to expand exponentially in 2016. In a recent survey of 48 operators by the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), it was found that operators in the UK were planning to increase stock by, on average, 102.3% by 2018. This concerted effort to finally meet the ever-increasing levels of demand should ensure that 2016 witnesses the most serviced apartment stays on record.
Sharing economy piggybacking
Whatever view you hold of the sharing economy, it’s clear that industries have been affected by the rapid growth of companies utilising the controversial business model. However, the corporate serviced apartment market has been relatively unscathed thus far as businesses appear to prefer the security and standardisation of trusted serviced apartment suppliers. If anything, the likes of Airbnb have brought greater attention to the concept of staying in an apartment instead of a hotel, for leisure stays, and those looking for the same experience in a business capacity then opt for a regulated serviced apartment.
Aparthotels bridging the gap
Upgrading from an Airbnb apartment to a corporate serviced apartment is an easy transition to make, but some business travellers are more apprehensive about changing from their trusty hotel room. The main reasons often quoted are to do with the range of services hotels often supply; on-site restaurant, gym facilities and a daily maid service. Handily, aparthotels are a thriving serviced apartment sub-category which accommodate for those looking for the best of both worlds. The apartments in an aparthotel are still more spacious and better equipped than a hotel room but business travellers benefit from the additional hotel-like facilities. They can have their cake and eat it too.
The outlook for the serviced apartment market has looked rosy for some time but with supply finally catching up with demand, greater general awareness and a variety of options to suit all, 2016 seems set to be the year of the serviced apartment.