This week we chat to Emma Cashmore from Regal Hotels, who tells us about the serviced apartment industry in China and how she’s a big fan of the snow – perfect for today’s weather!
What do you think the main differences are between the serviced apartment industry in the UK and in China?
People in China, and Asia as a whole, really focus on hospitality and service. So at Regal Hotels, all of our staff are very well trained to a high service standard, really trying to build that relationship up with the guests and give them the best customer satisfaction experience. In Asia they also focus very much on the gastronomy and cuisine out there and try and add value to the guests through their food outlets.
What do you think the benefits are of a serviced apartment over a hotel?
Paddy: That’s a mean question for someone who represents serviced apartments as well as hotels!
Caroline: That’s why I asked it. It’s not called an Inside Scoop for no reason!
Emma: With Regal Hotels, as Patrick quite rightly said, we have hotels and serviced apartments and what’s actually really good about our brand is that we have something to match every client and every request. Serviced apartments are very good for longer stays and for guests being independent, such as being able to cook their own food. Also within our serviced apartments we have restaurants so that if you don’t want to cook for yourself you don’t need to, you’ve got that flexibility. Hotels are great for short stay businesses travellers as well as leisure clients and just offer a different convenience. So both are fantastic for different clients and different requirements, you’ve got to meet whatever the client’s needs are for that particular stay.
Do you think people are becoming more aware of the benefits of serviced apartments?
I definitely think people are becoming more aware of serviced apartments and their benefits, particularly with the economic crisis; people have started to realise that serviced apartments offer a more affordable option. Serviced apartments are also becoming more glamorous. Ours are a very high standard. You have beautiful long sofas and flat screen TVs in the living room, whereas years ago when I started in the industry they weren’t like this and it perhaps wasn’t as luxurious as staying in a hotel. Now you most definitely get the hotel feel, while also having the kitchen and cooking facilities which can be very convenient.
What’s your ratio of corporate/leisure clients across both your apartments in the UK and in China?
In China, it’s more corporate based – I would say about 70/30 corporate – and in Hong Kong there’s more of an even split. We have a lot of leisure travellers coming through but we also have a lot of business travellers and groups in the Regal Airport Hotel especially.
Quick fire round:
Tea or coffee: Coffee.
Winter or summer: Tough one… summer. But I do love winter – I love the cold and snow, I just don’t like the rain!
China or UK: I’ll say UK.
Jam or Marmite: Marmite [Caroline: Yuck!]
Hotels or serviced apartments: Both! [Caroline: Very diplomatic answer!]